One in five social media users consider themselves an influencer or content creator

August 30, 2023
  • 76% of self-proclaimed influencers say they earn enough money from social media content creation and advertising to support themselves without other work.
  • 54% of consumers tend to follow their favorite content creators across all the social media platforms they post on.
  • Social media personalities who create content based on broadly appealing topics, such as food (41%) and entertainment (41%), tend to have the most interest from followers.

One in five (19%) social media users consider themselves to be content creators (10%) or influencers (9%), according to new Mintel research. This number increases to 28% for Gen Z social media users as 11% consider themselves to be influencers and 17% content creators. Meanwhile, three-quarters (76%) of self-proclaimed influencers are living the social media dream by earning enough money from content creation and advertising to support themselves without other work.

When it comes to general social media usage, almost all (98%) online adults use at least one social media platform on a daily or weekly basis—jumping to 100% of Gen Z. Mintel research reveals that four in five (82%) social media users follow at least one type of social media personality (content creator or influencer). Spanning the engagement spectrum, three-quarters (72%) of social media users say they create or would like to create content for other’s entertainment and one in seven (15%) don’t post on social media at all.

Brian Benway, Gaming and Entertainment Analyst, Mintel Reports US, said:

“The combination of nearly universal social media usage among Americans and that one in five users claim to be social media personalities means it’s critically important for brands to approach each platform with unique influencer strategies to reach the differing user bases while maintaining their brand identity. Our research reveals that influencer marketing will continue to grow in the near future as Gen Z  becomes a more powerful consumer group. To succeed in influencer marketing, brands must be aware of generational preferences on each platform, as well as the different social dynamics at play. Influencer and content creator-based marketing is highly impactful, dynamic, and responsive. Keeping on top of the latest trends can help brands capitalize on the growing market and tap into the spending potential of social media users.”

Why influencers are a big draw for social media users 

Among social media users who follow content creators, Baby Boomers significantly prefer to follow social media personalities on Facebook (75%), while Gen Z prefers YouTube (62%), TikTok (62%), and Instagram (56%). This indicates how important video formats are for reaching young adults. Interestingly, more than half of adults who follow social media personalities say they follow them across all their social platforms (54%) and would follow them to new platforms if they moved (51%). Furthermore, 53% of social media followers say they miss creators if they don’t post regularly and 48% feel like they know the content creators personally. 

“Brand identity shouldn’t change across platforms, but tone and delivery should fit the format. When deciding to team up with a social media influencer, brands, and agencies must be mindful of the different platform demographics and capitalize on each platform’s benefits, such as the viral hit potential or precise ad targeting. Preferences by generation can be advantageous. For example, knowing that older platforms like Facebook and Pinterest have established user bases that are familiar with the platform makes it easier for brands to target ads to an audience they know will be interested. 

Brands could also focus on topics with fewer influencers but more followers since partnerships can reach a larger audience and offer more potential for success. Alternatively, the possibility of collaborating with influencers who have a strong presence in different niche categories could prove highly beneficial for brands.” concluded Benway.

Additional research on US consumer attitudes toward influencers and content creators and interviews with the analyst are available upon request from the Mintel Press Office. For those interested in purchasing the full report, please visit the Mintel Store.

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