Difference Between Celebrity and Influencer

The main difference between celebrity and influencer is that celebrities become famous through traditional channels such as television, radio and magazines while influencers become famous through social media platforms.  

Celebrities and influencers have a huge following on social media platforms, and many companies use them for promoting their products. This article looks at the difference between celebrity and influencer, especially in terms of promotion and marketing.

Key Areas Covered

1. Who is a Celebrity 
     – Definition, Following
2. Who is an Influencer
     – Definition, Features, Types
3. What is the Difference Between Celebrity and Influencer
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

Celebrity, Influencer, Social Media MarketingDifference Between Celebrity and Influencer - Comparison Summary

Who is a Celebrity

A celebrity is someone who is famous, especially in areas of entertainment such as films, sport, music, or writing. Actors, singers, sportsmen, TV anchors, famous politicians, novelists, are some examples of celebrities. Celebrities gain their fame and success because people admire their talent and enjoy their work.

Main Difference - Celebrity vs Influencer

Celebrity status is usually associated with wealth. According to Forbes, the highest-paid celebrities of 2019 include Taylor Swift, Kayne West, Kylie Jenner, Lionel Messi, Ed Sheeran, Canelo Alvarez, The Eagles, Cristiano Renaldo, Neymar and Dr Phil McGraw. Some celebrities also act as influencers (explained in the next section) and have huge fan followings in social media. Selena Gomez, Kim Kardashian, and Kylie Jenner are celebrity influencers on social media platforms. 

Who is an Influencer

An influencer is a person who has the ability to influence potential buyers of a product or service by promoting or recommending the items on social media. Influencers have built a reputation for their knowledge and expertise on a certain topic, and people look up to influencers to guide them with their decisions. Artists, athletes, pop culture stars, industry experts, thought leaders, bloggers, YouTubers and other content creators, and individuals with an impact on social media like Instagram and Facebook are some examples of influencers. The main two characteristic features of influencers is that

  • They actively engage in a distinct niche and have a big following
  • They have the power to influence the purchasing decisions of others

Difference Between Celebrity and Influencer

It is possible to categorize influencers into different groups according to different factors like their follow numbers, the content they post, and the level of influence.

Types of Influencers

Mega-influencers – These are influencers a vast number of following. They are generally considered to have more than 1 million followers on at least one social media platform. They are usually celebrities, and only major brands approach mega-influencers for advertising.

Macro-influencers – Macro-influencers have a lesser following than mega-influencers, typically between 40,000 – 1 million. This category usually includes B-grade celebrities and successful online experts who have built a vast following.

Micro-influencers – This category includes ordinary people who have become known for their expertise in some specialist niche. They usually have a 1,000 to 40,000 followers. Micro-influencers have a strong relationship with their followers and are known as opinion leaders on a specialist subject matter.

Nano-influencers – This is a relatively new category, including influencers with a small number of followers, typically less than 1,000. However, these influencers tend to be experts in a highly specialized field.

Difference Between Celebrity and Influencer

Definition

A celebrity is someone who is famous, especially in areas of entertainment such as films, sport, music, or writing. In contrast, an influencer is a person who has the ability to influence potential buyers of a product or service by promoting or recommending them on social media.

Fame

Celebrities become famous through traditional channels such as television, radio and magazines while influencers become famous through social media platforms. 

Following

Moreover, celebrities gain social media following because people admire their talent and enjoy their work in traditional media. Influencers gain their following in a particular niche by creating content relevant to that niche.

Relationship with Followers

Celebrities may seem distant and aloof while influencers are usually regular people and are relatable to the followers.

Type of Following

Generally, celebrities have a varied social media following, consisting of many age groups, income levels and geographic locations while influencers usually have a less varied following as they usually specialize in a niche.

Size of Following

Celebrities usually have a massive following while influencers have a lesser following.

Conclusion

The main difference between celebrity and influencer is that celebrities become famous through traditional channels such as television, radio and magazines while influencers become famous through social media platforms. In addition, celebrities have a bigger following than non-celebrity influencers. However, people tend to find non-celebrity influencers more relatable and less distant and aloof when compared to celebrities.

Reference:

1. “What Is an Influencer? – Social Media Influencers Defined.” Influencer Marketing Hub, 29 Feb. 2020, Available here.
2. “The Celebrity 100: The World’s Highest-Paid Entertainers 2019.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, Available here.

Image Courtesy:

1. “Fiasco Magazine cover featuring Daniel Radcliffe” By Stellur Inc –  (CC0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “4492841” (CC0) via Pixabay

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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