Dan Carter, ShaanXO and LORDE all have a loyal band of followers on Instagram. They also may have six-figure paychecks just for posting a picture with a product. Social media influencer advertising isn’t new. However the tried-and-true methods of this advertising may be facing a big change.
Incase you missed it, here’s what social media influencer advertising is
Just like in the real world, a few people seem to hold all the social power. And I don’t mean your Facebook friend who always seems to get likes in the triple digits. I mean celebrities, cyber or other, who have a large engaged following. Part of this following is companies eager to send these influencers freebies.
And everyone loves a good freebie. In exchange for the freebie and maybe some moolah under the table, the celebrity posts about the product on Instagram. This business has gotten so big that there are a few agencies in New Zealand dedicated to social media influencer advertising.
Here’s how the industry is in big trouble…
Influencers are getting mistreated
Believe it or not, this deal doesn’t always benefit influencers. Serious influencers don’t just put up a half-assed selfie on Instagram every other day. They spend hours getting the perfect shot. They are professionals at Photoshop. They might rely on their social influence as their main form of pay.
But how much does it actually pay? Social influencer Rachel Klaver told Stuff she used to get freebies daily but couldn’t afford to pay rent.
Consumers are getting mistreated
Most social influencers don’t disclose that their freebies were gifts as opposed to a product they genuinely love. This deception leads to consumers placing undeserved trust in a product or brand.
So what’s being done?
So far, nothing is being done. A few marketing agencies in New Zealand are using social media influencer advertising. Some of these are ethical and some aren’t. The call isn’t to banish these agencies. Rather it’s to get more regulations and transparency in the agencies.