France – What to think of influencers?

(ANS - Paris) - Social networks are central to the life of adolescents, and a post or a like can greatly affect their lives. Clothing brands have understood this for years. Four students from the "Notre Dame des Minimes" institute in Lyon - Victor, Mathieu, Gaspard and Martin - explain the role of influencers. And Sister Anne-Flore Magnan, 33-year-old Daughter of Mary Help of Christians, educator of the "Le Valdocco" Association in Lille, offers her point of view.

Influencer: what exactly is it?

An influencer is someone who is very active on social networks. Mathieu explains: “You become an important person for brands, because they only identify you to advertise and market for them when you have 50,000 or more subscribers to your profile. Some great influencers earn their living this way.” “With each post for a brand they can make between 500 and 1,000 euros,” adds Gaspard.

But are companies soliciting people or vice versa?

Victor clarifies: “First of all, you have to be popular on the networks.” And to do so, “you have to create a public account,” completes Martin. “The best way is a YouTube channel. So you need as many social networks as possible to be known,” says Gaspard.

It is also necessary to distinguish oneself from others to make oneself known: choose a field of activity (sport, fashion ...); “Beauty is also taken into consideration,” asserts Mathieu. You need to know how to show off. And then one hopes in the viral effect: that friends of friends sign up ...

So do brands, companies… count?

Yes, you have to be well-dressed, with designer clothes. Young people post photos of themselves with the hashtag # of the various brands. “Brands identify you and also choose you based on their criteria: beauty, popularity,” Gaspard says. “In the end, you have to know how to influence others. The popularity of the other influences us in our choices, in our way of being. This is what it means to be an influencer!”

And even if Mathieu argues that “among true friends what matters is esteem”, all four agree that “the weight of a brand is important ...”, that “it is difficult to resist” comments and influences, also because “it has become so obvious and normal to judge others ...”

For her part, Sister Magnan observes: “The phenomenon of influencers is similar to television and radio advertising. It aims at people to offer them a product they don't yet need, but will still want to buy. The difference here is that the influencer gathers a 'community' that is already linked to what it proposes: a young lover of sports shoes will follow the influencers who have this 'skill'. It is targeted advertising!

The danger, in educational terms, is when these influencers are teenagers or even children. They are transformed into commercial products. Advertising means, vehicles. They are not trying to bring people together to convey a message or value, but to promote products. Products they receive for free! Or for which they are paid ... Shouldn't we, as adults, be challenged by the fact that, for so many young people, the dream is 'to become an advertisement?'"


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

This site also uses third-party cookies to improve user experience and for statistical purposes. By scrolling through this page or by clicking on any of its elements, you consent to the use of cookies. To learn more or to opt out, click "Further Information".