Instagram influencers have been on a meteoric rise over the last few years. Companies have been fighting to cozy up to the latest social media darling in order to boost their reach and increase their followers. But as with any major trend, the backlash has begun.
Influencers, once seen as the hip ambassadors to everything cool and Instagram-worthy, have seen their reputations begin to tarnish lately. While there are still plenty of very professional, hard-working influencers, some have gotten the reputation of being nothing but talentless, greedy, freeloaders. What happened?
As influencer culture grew, more and more people began posting with one goal in mind – gain followers and become an influencer. Freebies in exchange for publicity have always been one of the perks of the influencer game, but some have taken it too far. Businesses are reporting being inundated with requests (or demands!) for free products and services from small-time influencers. We’re talking requests like, “I’d like a free 10-day stay in your exotic resort in exchange for two Instagram posts to my 2,000 followers.” Some companies have had enough.
Several businesses have been in the news lately for banning influencers altogether! From resorts, to restaurants, to ice cream shops, business owners are saying, “no thanks,” and “get a real job” to influencers. So, is this the end of influencer culture?
It’s hard to predict exactly how the influencer trend will go. Mega-influencers certainly hold a great deal of sway over audiences, and businesses aren’t likely to stop pairing with the celebrities of social media any time soon. Micro-influencers still have their place as well. They might not have millions of followers, but they still have thousands of highly-engaged followers that value their opinions and flock to the products they promote. But nano-influencers and aspiring influencers might see a drop in their popularity if the influencer backlash continues.
What does this mean for your business? Should you try to build relationships with influencers, or wait for the next big trend? Here are some tips to consider when potentially partnering with influencers:
- Choose influencers that are known for being trustworthy and only promoting products and services that they use and believe in.
- Avoid influencers that promote anything and everything. It’s hard to trust someone who’s willing to shill anything just to get a payout.
- Vet your influencers carefully. Do they have a history of bad behavior or demanding freebies? That’s not a name you want linked with your brand.
- Choose influencers that have a real-world connection to your brand rather than somebody that merely has a lot of followers. You want your relationship to make sense to your audience.
If you’re ready to build your brand and expand your reach – no influencers required – SophieZo can help! Book a call today to up your social media marketing game.