Who Are Australia’s Top Social Media Influencers?

Posted on: October 28th, 2019 by Pat Mesiti No Comments

I read an article about social media influencers in The Australian newspaper a few weeks ago written by Sara McCorquodale. Sara was a journalist for many years but then set up a company in London called CORQ, which helps companies identify social media influencers to promote their companies. She is now opening an office in Australia.

I blogged about social media influencers a couple of weeks ago. According to Sara, influencers are people who create – and often monetise – social media content about their lives. Their priority is entertaining and informing their many followers by sharing helpful tips and chatty videos rich with personal detail. Their followers come to know them intimately, as influencers post several times a day. Fans can follow their lives and communicate with them in the comments section below their posts.

Sara also argued that many companies, which once would have advertised on television and in magazines, are now devoting much of their budgets to paying influencers. She refers to Estée Lauder which spends almost 75 per cent of its marketing budget on ‘highly productive influencers’. Sara explains that in exchange for a fee, influencers promote brands’ products to their thousands – if not millions – of followers. The influencer’s audience knows them, trusts them and will take a recommendation from them seriously.

And ‘traditional’ celebrities (actors, models and TV personalities) who already have fans through conventional media (TV, radio, film) are now also trying to set themselves up as influencers so they can get a share of all the advertising revenue being spent on social media influencers. For example, Nigella Lawson has 1.7 million followers on Instagram.

Sara McCorquodale recently put together a list of Australia’s top influencers for The Australian, and I thought you might like to see it as it will give you an idea how diverse influencers are and what their specialty areas are.

Celeste Barber

Celeste used to be an actress on shows like ‘Home and Away’ and ‘All Saints’ then on her Instagram account she started making fun of unrealistic advertising images. She now has 6.1 million followers! She has published a book and taken her stand-up comedy show on tour through Europe.

Lachlan Ross Power

Wait for it … Power makes videos of himself playing video games and puts them on YouTube. He now has 12.1 million followers. He focuses on the game Fortnight, but used to play Battle Royale, Minecraft, Battlefield and Call of Duty. He now also has his own brand of clothing and accessories.

Ryan Williams

Ryan Williams or R Willy is a professional scooterist (!!!) and BMX rider from the Sunshine Coast. He gets video and photos of himself performing stunts and posts them on  Instagram (1.4m followers) and YouTube (1.2m subscribers). He is signed to Nitro Circus and travels the world creating content and performing.

I think I have aged about 20 years just writing about these hip-multimedia youngsters!

Nikki Thot and Jamie Perkins

Nikki Thot is what is called a “lifestyle vlogger”. She ‘covers’ parenting, fashion and beauty on YouTube and Instagram. In 2012 her boyfriend, Jamie Perkins, posted a video of him proposing to her online, which went viral. The couple have shared their wedding (12.6m views), married life and raising two children on social media, but separated in August. Melbourne-based Nikki has worked as a model in New York.

 Margaret Zhang

Margaret Zhang is a creative director and blogger who started her fashion website Shine By Three in 2009 when she was 16 years. On this site she shares ‘style inspiration’. She also has one million Instagram followers and has worked with Harper’s Bazaar and Gucci. She is also the creative director for UK magazine The Face and divides her time between Sydney and New York.

Elle Ferguson

Elle Ferguson is a blogger who started the website They All Hate Us, with fashion buyer Tash Sefton. It became a global sensation but is now rarely updated, as Elle now uses Instagram (671K followers) and focuses on her vegan beauty and accessories brand Elle Effect, which she launched in 2018. Within three days, the brand’s Instagram account had 30,000 followers.

Kayla Itsines and Tobi Pearce

A personal trainer and fitness entrepreneur, Itsines published pictures of her clients’ physical transformations after her exercise and nutrition programs on Instagram. She and fiancé Tobi Pearce devised the Bikini Body Guides and became known for their 28-minute workouts and their app, Sweat, which has weekly meal plans, recipes and exercise routines. Their followers, mainly on Instagram (11.8m), use the hashtag #BBG. The pair has made millions.

Lauren Curtis

Another lifestyle vlogger (video blogger), podcaster and entrepreneur. Curtis produces fashion and beauty content for Instagram (1.3m followers) and her YouTube channel (3.53m subscribers). She is the founder of a clothing company and produces a podcast about relationships, spirituality and careers called Mental Makeover. She is also a keen nature photographer with a second Instagram account of her wildlife shots. She started vlogging in 2011 while studying photography. It became her full-time job the next year.

Michael Finch

Based in Brisbane, Finch is a beauty vlogger. He has makeup tutorials and product reviews on his YouTube channel, which he launched in 2016. He shares candid pictures, memes and humorous out-takes on Instagram. He has also vlogged about seeking treatment for depression and alcohol addiction to raise awareness about mental health.

I have blogged a lot about social media in the past. The basics are: have high quality content (videos, photos, blogs, cartoons), constantly publish fresh, quality content and make sure you have a point of difference with others.

You also need to promote yourself – that will take up most of your time. Reach out and connect with influencers who have made it, and try to get into their community.

Finally, remember Rome was not built in a day. If you want to be an influencer, remember it will take time! You will need to stick with it. Many of the influencers on Sara McCorquodale’s list set up their social media accounts seven years ago, but there are also people who were overnight sensations!


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Pat Mesiti is a best-selling author, coach and educator in the area of personal development. Having built some of Australia’s largest people-driven organisations, Pat understands the power of harnessing human potential. He has shared the stage with some of the world’s great business minds and has sold over millions of copies of his books and materials.


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