By 2020 the influencer marketing is said to rise above any other forms of marketing. And so now everybody who eats has become food influencer, everybody who travels has become a travel influencer, everybody who wears clothes has become a fashion influencer! And why not? It is the most common term now to call each other influencer and try to collaborate with brands for their advantage. Just the other day I saw a post in a media forum that read, “Popular influencer visiting Goa this summer. Calling all brands pertaining to mobile, dresses, accessories, resorts, cameras and others to collaborate.” Yeah! Every influencer feels privileged like a queen/king that they now call out to serve them. But, you as an audience/ follower, are you watching an influencer grow and wonder how are they managing to get stuff for free? How are they able to travel to exotic places? How are they getting so many collaborations? Well, not everything that shines is gold. Worse, if you believe in them and decide to live a similar lifestyle just because your famous influencer is doing so. I might be burning bridges by writing this piece of article. But most important I want the audience/ readers who follow the many Instagram accounts and other social media accounts to be wary of behind the scenes. Here are the most common lies that influencers tell you and what you need to watch out for!
Number of Followers
One of the most common lies that you will see is the number of followers following an influencer. Influencers who created their account when the social media platform started made it big. Otherwise, it is pretty difficult to increase your follower count unless you are Beyonce or Ariana Grande. The way to increase your followership is to engage with your audience and build a readership. However, to appear like a great big most wanted influencer the pretentious thing to have is a big follower count in XX.XK while they would be following a few hundred. And to attain the follower count an influencer can always buy followers. There are many ways to buy followers, they can use bots, there are sellers who sell followers geographical wise, age-wise, niche-wise, facebook groups that can help you increase count, etc. But once you buy followers and you are in 50K, 20k the crowd would believe that you are a big influencer and would start to follow. The common way to identify is the number of likes on a post as opposed to the follower count. But the number of likes on a post can also be bought! So don’t get carried away. Always look for quality content that resonates with you over big numbers.
No Transparency about Sponsored Posts
Influencers are paid in money or kind to influence you. And it is the responsibility of the influencer to tell you that this review or product that they are showcasing to you is a paid promotion or sponsored posts. However, influencers don’t mention that the post is sponsored, thereby clouding your judgment. Some of the influencers are even paid extra money to not showcase it as a sponsored post. So when you see an influencer promoting a product, don’t blindly believe that that is how their skin is smooth, or that is the best shoes to trek, or that is the best whey protein to drink. Google it up and read multiple reviews. Many influencers get a cut in the sales made through their site, so they will market it such that you are convinced to buy. Did you know that influencers are paid to write reviews on platforms like Amazon, Zomato, Trip Advisor, Google reviews 🙂 Always lookout for the #sponsored or #ad hashtag and if it is not there, you have all the right to ask if it is a sponsored post or promotional post when you see them promoting something.
Using Fad Terms
Staying in trend is important for an influencer cos a trending hashtag fetches them more viewership. But just to stay in trend, they would use the fad terms. Am tired of seeing women traveling with families calling themselves solo female travelers because the term “solo traveling” has become a big thing, it has become a pride! Quit your job to travel, hitchhike to travel, does it work for you because it worked for them? What goes behind their decision?! Are they really doing it? I was shocked to know one of the famous influencers that I was following was not really doing solo travel. It was with her friends or boyfriend but the world was/is believing it to be solo travel. Switching from Keto to Paleo to Intermittent Fasting without proper research or what works for whom. This helps to be in trend and get the limelight. But they are neither true to you nor to themselves.
Highly Jazzed up Picture
Many of us travel to a place looking at the pictures projected by the influencers. Photo editing tools make it extremely easy to edit even the dullest pictures. But would the sky be really purple or even for that matter extremely clear blue! No!! And then there is always photoshop and there is also the craziness of removing people from the picture. This can be done with photoshop where you impose multiple pics together to get just the background. So the place looks like there is no crowd. It is also provided as a paid service online, to remove people from the picture so that it looks all serene and beautiful. Ever seen a picture of an influencer posing in front of a non-crowded Taj Mahal and wondered how did they manage it, what time did they reach, etc? Well, people were just removed. Now if you look at these pictures and believe the destination to be the same, you are going to be disappointed. Anyways, Instagram has spoiled the way we travel, most of us want to recreate pictures and travel for the sake of same.
Not being Honest
Influencers are under the pressure to say all that glitters is gold. When they get a product to promote or a property to review, they seldom show what is wrong with it, what are the cons of using it, is it really that good? Some of the influencers just because they got paid, they would give a good review or leave a good review on online platforms. When an influencer steps in to promote a restaurant, hotel, product or whatever, only the best of the best is shown to them because the brand wants to be marketed as the best. And in spite of that if an influencer has a bad experience then definitely something is screwed up with the brand and the influencer is supposed to stand up and be true to their audience. But instead, the influencers tend to paint a rosy picture, mostly to be in good books of brand and PRs and to get more assignment. But in this game, the readers are the one to get misled.
Not being Authentic
Not being authentic is something very few people can spot in an influencer. In order to get work, influencers often portray that they are in high demand and they have been sponsored by resorts or restaurants, while in reality, they are not!! They check into a resort, take videos and say they were invited. Well!! What can I say?! And then you can always download pics from copyright free websites and post it on your feed and write something philosophical. This is another common way to fill the feed. People post photos of places that they have not been to. A vegan influencer was caught eating fish and later she had to post a tearful video of why she had to eat! And then there are weight watchers who claim to have lost weight without stretch marks and loose skin!
With too many people hungry and
But hey, am the most genuine influencer, follow me on Instagram here 😉 – MasalaBox Travel
Really nice from your side great writing skills. Thanks
Thanks a lot. happy reading 🙂
I just love to read your posts. Often I am too lazy to comment but I read and I go like “Boy I second that!”
I am not exactly an influencer worshiper as I really cannot stand anything fake. I especially loathe the Indian fashion influencers clan. I mean, lame much?
p.s. I LOVED your post on online dating. Been there, done that sister! 😀
Thank you so much Kay Dee 🙂 Am glad to know you read my posts 😀 Keep popping in often, encourages and motivates me to write
I read it again and again all the points which you mentioned . Infact, what happens sometimes I feel that some of them starts genuine but slowly fall prey to the ongoing trend of catching up with the influencers way . Happens with Instagram also, when they see what sells , they eventually look into that and get swayed heavily in order to match up with the demand . It’s sad but it’s true .
I wonder if brands are really getting aware about real influencers and fake ones ?
Well written post on the farce which social media has created
Yup, like I said, with too less food and too many to eat that is what happens. Influencers make their way to the top, and I just want the audience to be informed about it and not get carried away
So true! Every word of it.
Doesn’t seem like this trend will end… sadly.
Yup! And it only seems to gonna get bigger this way
All excellent points. But what I like the most is your selection of photos. They are spot on and brilliant!
thank you thank you.. picked and handcrafted by me 😀
hahah good one! been talking about this with a lot of people off late…
Recently a travel blogger got under the microscope for promoting a property which infact has been misbehaving/being rude/taking bookings but not going through with it …. There was a debate on “was he right in promoting the place without really checking how they are with other general guests… and then another influencer said he is ok to promote it any way he deems right and wont really know how the place will be with others…its not his responsibility”
It is definitely the responsibility of the travel blogger/influencer. He/She needs to do research on the property before taking in such assignments. Not just land up on assignments because it is taking them to new destinations. And always always portray what they see.
This is so true chitra..Instagram ruins everything and now a days PR wants more influencers than bloggers and those so called influencers don’t showcase real world to us.
Sad truth 🙁 hope the consumers are wary enough and stop following such people
You have just ripped apart the Pandora’s box! Kudos to you, Chittra! Not just bridges, let’s burn down these farce influencers.
Thank you Niranjan 🙂 Fake the way to top needs to go away!