This blog post has been a long time coming and with more and more Influencer shenanigans going on, the time is now.
Firstly, I have never been a fan of the word Influencer or what they represent, it may be my issue and me not following the herd but, I don’t want anyone trying to “influence” me, thanks. And, who decides who is an Influencer and who isn’t? Is there a membership club you need to get into by doing a seven-part ritual including shaving your head? Do you even get a t-shirt? I would want one!
Another issue of mine is that brands don’t do a good enough background check on the people they wish to work with, they don’t even check the numbers and it is simple maths. Surely, if you are paying an Influencer to sponsor your product then you would want to know that all 75k followers are real…surely? What is the point of paying out all that money and only 5k followers actually see it? Yes, it is still 5k but you’ve just paid for 75k to see it.
What these brands should do is work with people of a lesser following which would happily accept a smaller fee, probably do a great job and you know all 5k of their followers are seeing it.
I know for a fact that some of the big Influencers you see now paid to get to the top (as I interviewed a few for Bad Mum magazine back in the day) with fake followers and that never sits well with me.
And, this is where the system fails us all from the very beginning because it is fake from the get-go.
It is fake followers, fake opinions on a product, fake images and marketing at it’s best to make you believe you need that product in your life…and, maybe one day you’ll be just like them too…lucky you.
I have never had an issue with #ads, I have always said if the product was right for Bad Mum and I believed in it then I would consider it (I have never done an ad or been paid for anything since starting in 2016) but I would never do ad after ad so my squares are full of the bloody things or lie to my followers.
My main issue right now is Influencers are crossing the already blurred line and losing all sight of reality for the sake of a paycheck hitting the doormat, and when the shit hits the fan because they massively fucked up on their latest campaign, all you hear is ‘I am doing the best I can for me and my family, we all make mistakes and let's all stay blessed, love and hug each other’…blah blah….snooze off.
How hard is it to say SORRY I FUCKED UP and own it, take some bloody responsibility like an adult.
There has been Mother of Daughters who decided it would be an amazing idea to make up a fake account and start trolling her own friends, and even her husband, on a horrendous trolling website because, well, apparently she was trying to change their mind on their opinion of her and her family!?
This is a woman that HAD thousands of followers, doing #ad after #ad, a book deal and a husband also doing the exact same thing all while they both cash in on it and what did she do when she got caught out and the story was in every newspaper and magazine?
Fuck all, that’s what. No proper apologie or explanation of her actions to her huge following that had backed her, and given her the fame in the first place, then disappeared from social media until she realised there was no coming back from it so, poof, gone!
That apparently was an Influencer and someone we should look up to on social media when I wouldn’t ever want my child to behave in such an arrogant and privileged way. Her husband is still cracking on and the money is still coming in and she has her day job so their world keeps on turning happily when the nasty squares get deleted.
I could go on and on (like the disgusting #AldiPoorestDayChallenge that Aldi and Style me Sunday thought would be a cracking idea, to make most of the populations everyday circumstances into a fucking challenge and see on what pennies they can feed their family on!!) But, what is next? Getting paid to walk up to people and tell them they are ugly for the #YourUglyFaceChallenge to promote some miracle face cream?
Please take “Influencers” with a pinch of salt and realise most of what they are selling you is a fake dream to keep the cash flow coming in, and yes, while not all Influencers are the same they do need to keep you interested, keep coming back and the numbers rasing one way or another. While they are proud to be called social media Influencers then they should take the responsibility that comes with that title and we must remember they are mostly just people like you and I holding a phone with big numbers in their little social media boxes, it's not reality and when that phone gets switched off… they are alone just like you and me.
Written by Sophie Farrow (Founder of Bad Mum)