What are the characteristics of a public influencer?


Table of Contents

  1. term
  2. features
  3. properties
  4. motivation
  5. The influencer communities


Influencers are people who, on their own initiative, publish content (text, image, audio, video) on a topic at high and regular frequency and thus initiate social interaction. This takes place via internet-based communication channels such as blogs and social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat or Twitter. Influencers stand out from the crowd of social media users because they achieve a high reach with their work. If such people have gained influence solely through their digital presence, they are also referred to in the narrower sense as digital, social or social media influencers.


Every social media user can become an influencer, regardless of their socio-demographic character, if they manage to build a wide-reaching community with an interesting topic and inspire them in the long term. Influencers are often experts in their subject area. They are enthusiastic about their job or their calling, they have a hobby or live out a passion for collecting. You are interested in lifestyle, fitness, sport, fashion, travel or nutrition.

Over time, influencers have become rather unplanned and unconscious multipliers and opinion leaders. Their multiplier function is based on the high reach and the viral effects of the information transfer within their community. They are opinion leaders because you exert a stronger influence on social media than other social media users through the quality of your communication and argumentation and through a high level of activity. Due to their virality, the network effects develop a momentum of their own that was not initially foreseen by the influencer.


Social media influencers are a) active on one or more communication channels and intuitively master their functions and tools; b) they have a high level of self-motivation and an altruistic need to pass on information, c) inspire themselves and their fan base with professional competence and expertise, d) communicate and interact promptly and regularly with their fans and e) enjoy a high level of recognition and social acceptance in their community.
The power of persuasion of an influencer is based on his personality and his positive character traits. Characteristics such as credibility, trust, authenticity and charisma are associated with the ideal image of an influencer.


At the beginning of the life cycle of an influencer there is the motivation to publish content in anticipation of positive network effects. If these network effects arise in the form of positive feedback and recommendations, this reinforces the desire to regularly offer the growing fan base additional information. The frequency and intensity of his communication leads to an exposed position within the social network, because a high reach means prestige and reputation. As a result, altruism, as the original driving force, is accompanied by a feeling of social recognition as the fan base is held in high esteem.

The influencer communities

Social media users follow an influencer if they show a pronounced interest in their topic or if they have been made aware of an influencer by their social environment, e.g. friends or work colleagues. Over time, a casual and informal community develops as a virtual community. Its members share the same interests, attitudes and values ​​and, depending on the social network, are referred to as friends, fans, followers, followers or subscribers to the influencer account (synonyms: virtual communities, online communities). They expect suggestions, ideas and advice. If your expectations are regularly confirmed positively, stable and long-term relationships are formed between influencers and your community. Some influencers tend to present themselves in order to realize themselves in their virtual existence. They use the internet as a megaphone to publicly present their lifestyle and consumption habits. Due to the nature of their very personal and entertaining communication, they allow deep insights into their private life with openness and extroversion and thus build an emotional closeness to their fan base.

An influencer's community has grown organically over time and has centered on him as a valued person. Through this central position as a node in a network, influencers exert influence on others by their actions leading to collective actions, e.g. the purchase of a product recommended by the influencer by a large number of his fans.