The question of the week that I tried to answer with my presentation was Who controls the network? I gave this question a lot of thought and was confused about what direction to take it in at first. The question is really broad and I didn’t wasn’t really sure how to answer it. The first thing that came to mind was to talk about the FCC or FTC but I wanted to do something that I thought would be more creative. Then I started watching a TV show while also scrolling through social media and noticed many “social media influencers” were popping up in commercials and promoted posts and it gave me an idea to talk about social media influencers for my case study. My claim was that social media influencers come from a new wave of technology and increased use of social media. That as regular internet and social media users we constantly see these “influencers” using their big social media following and brand deals to influence the products and websites that we use everyday. I discussed what it meant to be an influencer and what we as viewers expect from them. As I was researching, I found out that most people look for influencers that are genuine and real and relatable and honest. Seeing these qualities I then wanted to go find out more about specific influencers. I ended up researching MannyMUA, a “makeup guru,” and Jake Paul a YouTuber. I showed their social media numbers and the brands that they were involved with even showing some news clips of Jake Paul and his fans. At the end of my presentation I asked the class whether a post with a #AD or someone saying they were partnering with X company would make a difference in the way they saw a review, everyone that answered responded no, and said that if they trusted that person it didn’t matter whether it was a sponsored post or not. This further reinforces the trust quality mentioned above. In the end, social media influencers can control the network with their big social media presence by influencing consumers on what products to buy, clothes to get, and even what events we might go to.
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