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