The power of para-social interaction

Para-social interaction are one sided relationships where an audience bonds with a person through media. Examples of this are celebrities like Kim Kardashian, or vloggers on YouTuber who share their lives with their followers in a very one-sided way.

By letting people in on their lives through content they have created themselves, interviews and media stories, the audience gets to know them in such a way where they know very personal details about the person they are watching, when that person knows next to nothing about the individuals in their audience. The audience feels like they know, and trust, the person they consume content from on a daily or weekly basis.  It creates an illusion of intimacy even though the information provided is filtered.

When the celebrity then endorses a product, normally by integrating it seamlessly into the content they create, their audience trusts their advice, exponentially more than an ad. It feels like a friend recommending a product to you.

This is why rules such as adding #Ad to videos and posts are beginning to be enforced by platforms and in some instances country laws, so that the audience realises they are being sold to. It is also why brands are so willing to work with content creators across the world to spread their brand, and to hire influencers to be in their ads or fashion shows.

 

What does this mean for your business?

If you’re a solopreneur or there are a few people within your business who don’t mind showing their faces on social media, regularly show yourself and them on your Instagram stories, videos, live content and more to create a face or faces for your business and talk about yourself and your team in what you do within the business, or outside the business. This just means that your audience gets to know you and will be more inclined to want to work with you or buy your products. This could involve Instagram takeovers or creating live video content.

If you are considering advertising, think about whether an influencer could add to your campaign. Even if your budget is small, you could get in touch with influencers with a small following, tell them what you’re about and see if they’d be a good fit. Some are willing to help you to simply for product as they start to increase their following. Influencers of this size often don’t work with agencies, or you’d need to pay an additional finder's fee, so get googling.