By Hannah Arthur
Last week I focused on the level of trust we as an audience place in brand-marketing done by Social Media Influencers. This week, I’ll be shifting focus to just how empty and misplaced this trust can be.
First a foremost, it is important to understand a brands need for Influencer-Marketing. As explored in my last blog post, brands have become disconnected from their target audiences, and therefor have to reach out to Social Media Influencers who have earned the interest and trust of their followers, making their public opinion on a brand or product more valuable than a traditional advertising campaign.
It’s no secret that Media Influencers are paid to promote a brand or product to their followers. What is not as commonly recognised however, is that more often than not, Influencers will promote any brand that is willing to pay them the right amount of money.
This leaves us as their audiences particularly vulnerable toward purchasing and placing value in, fake, in-effective and misleading products.
A blatantly obvious example of a paid promotion (and failure), comes in the form of Scott Disick’s post for BooTeaUK, a weight-loss protein shake style product, back in early 2016. The photo shows Scott leaning against the kitchen counter behind the standard fad protein-shake style tub, with the brand clearly displayed; so far so good. The ‘fail’ of this promotion is contained in the caption which reads:
“Here you go , at 4pm est, write the below.
Caption: Keeping up with the summer workout routine with my morning @booteauk protein shake!”
Clearly a cut-and-paste caption of the message sent by this company to Scott with regards to the promotional post he was allegedly paid upward of $15,000 for, it is hard to tell whether it was a genuine mistake or intentionally done out of humour.
Regardless, it brings to the forefront the extensive and emotionless attitude toward paid promotions by Social Media Influencers, and procures the vital need for us as the audiences regularly subjected to these promotions, to be able to differentiate between them.