June 25, 2024

Why are College Students becoming Microinfluencers in the Age of COVID-19? 

By Hayley Sharkey

In the world of Covid, many people lost the ability to access the world around them. By being forced to stay inside, people found other outlets to stay creative with. Some created online businesses while others changed their name into a type of brand.

Beginning the journey to be an influencer has never been the easier. In order to distract us from the pandemic, most of the world focused on social media platforms. This opened the opportunity for college students to find a new part-time job that they controlled. They started to try to grow their pages and learn the social media strategies on instagram. I was one of those people.

Working as an influencer allows me to partner with big brands and try products I wouldn’t normally be able to afford. Being your own boss allows you to control what times you work and how much you charge depending on the assignment. An influencer collaboration usually entails an exchange for a post on their social media platform of choice. This varies depending on the brand which means some brands can only offer a free product rather than payment. An offer tends to look like the image below.

The central demographic for this career path tends to be college students. With organizations dedicated to teaching new people how to master the world of instagram influencers started a new trend in itself: micro influencers. A micro influencer is somebody who identifies as someone of influence with under 20,000 followers. As TikTok grew exponentially over the pandemic, so did micro influencers. Brands became known as micro influencer brands, such as parade, and word circulated. Soon thousands of new instagram creators identified as micro influencers, then the money factor came to play.

Following graduation these micro influencers began to commit to posting online full-time as a career. One-by-one the number of followers grew until these micro influencers had over 20,000 followers, allowing them to be considered regular influencers. With pages dedicated to helping micro influencers grow, anybody can decide to become involved. Pages like cfashionista and micro-influencing queen showcase those who engage with the page often.

One influencer is a friend of mine @chazlyn.yvonne. She began her influencer journey in the fall of 2020 and went from having 3,000 followers to having almost 19,800 followers in a mere two years. She has worked with big brands including Kate Spade, Selkie and Lulus. She has made over $16,000 on brand collaborations alone since she began her journey.

Another influencer friend I inspired to get started on Instagram and TikTok was my friend @madiluuu. She has worked with big brands including Skims, Isle of Paradise and the Girlfriend Collective. She has made over $100 on brand collaborations on TikTok and Instagram. She went viral multiple times on TikTok for her body positivity outfits and confidence in her videos.

A whole world opened up during the pandemic that allows fashion forward or beauty interested individuals to get compensated for sharing what they love. The pandemic revolutionized the way we use social media for ourselves outside of comparison. Modeling became a realm that was no longer kept exclusive. Advertisements began to use actual consumers of their products in exchange for compensation and body positivity became the new normal. College students changed the way instagram was seen in a way that improved their well-being by creating a community of like-minded individuals focused on spreading their fashion style to the globe.

5 thoughts on “Why are College Students becoming Microinfluencers in the Age of COVID-19? 

  1. Hi Hayley! This is a great post! I agree with your assessment that since the pandemic the micro-influencer industry has experiences a boom. TikTok especially has become a mirco-influencer haven because of their fyp algorithm. I would say that about 70% of the creators I follow on TikTok have 15,000 followers or less. The accessibility of TikTok has been what made it so appealing to people. It also has a more authentic quality to it than Instagram which I also think is a substantial reason why it has garnered so many niche communities.

  2. Hi Hayley, this was such an informative and fun piece to read! I find the world of influencers at all levels very interesting and fun to learn about and I enjoyed learning more about your personal experiences as well as some of your friends’ experiences as micro-influencers. I have definitely seen the rise of micro-influencers on my personal social media feeds and it’s been great to see them get recognized and given more opportunities that they may not have had access to in the past.

  3. Hi Hayley! Awesome blog post! I have always been intrigued with influencing and find it so itriguing to watch friends and acquaintances do so and earn some money through their social platforms. I love that you included a typical email brands use to reach out to potential influencers. I wonder how much of a role COVID-19 truly played on the rise of influencing and social media brand deals.

  4. Interesting article! I think college-age micro-influencers can be great because they come across as relatable. Watching college students can be more fun and feel more personal than a millionaire that you have nothing in common with.

  5. Hi!
    What an interesting topic to choose for your blog. I think it’s a good thing to take a look at. I also believe that college-age micro-influencers are really important. I think especially in this day and age when everything is so centered around our age group. When it comes to influence, I think the people in their 20s have the most pull.

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