Has the world become too cynical for social media influencers?

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I often find myself browsing Instagram, seeing people the app suggests me to follow. When I see a profile that looks interesting, I take a quick look at the number of followers. Then look at the content – beach selfies, pensive photos of cityscapes and healthy-looking meals with shouts of other personal brands.

Then a million questions came to mind: What value does this person bring to his followers? How long did it take them to accumulate such a large number of followers? And perhaps most importantly, who is this person?

The internet and advanced mobile technology have brought a lot of changes in our lives, but social media influencers might be the strangest of them all. In the past, celebrities had to be born into wealthy families, start highly successful businesses, produce great works of art, star in blockbuster films, or reach new heights in their respective fields. Now, you just need a smartphone, opinions and initiative to turn yourself into a personal brand. Hence, there are now thousands upon thousands of influencers with millions of their fans and followers.

Related: Learn about 3 types of influencers

I hate to sound old-fashioned, but this somewhat distorted the whole concept of celebrity. In theory, social media allows anyone to become a celebrity. However, even if you are an influencer known by millions of people, you can still be unknown to the vast majority of the planet. If you ask a random person walking down the street in Beijing about Brad Pitt, they will probably know who you’re talking about. If you ask them about Jenna Marbles, there’s a very good chance they’ll look confused.

The knowledge that stardom is now more attainable than ever has created a very strong degree of cynicism among everyone. When anyone can become famous, it generates a certain kind of negativity about the way our society and culture operates. Why do we allow people to become famous for their opinions? How do we allow ourselves to succumb to a herd mentality and follow, and perhaps even worship, people who may or may not deserve it?

Of course, people were asking these kinds of questions long before influencers came along. Hollywood celebrities and sports stars have always been targets of animosity for not deserving of fame and fortune. Influencers have taken it one step further. Sometimes they make it hard to justify their fan base.

I would argue that being a successful influencer always requires some kind of skill – or at least the ability to turn attention into something marketable. This means that influencers are certainly business savvy, but does that make them worthy of worship? It’s hard to say one way or the other, but the tides seem to be turning against them.

a Survey 2019 outside the UK found that 96% of respondents do not trust influencers on social media, while a US-based survey found that almost 44% of social media users follow at least one influencer. Among those who follow an influencer, only a quarter have made a purchase based on the influencer’s recommendations. However, all signs point to more influencer-focused marketing strategies going forward Influencer marketing has grown over 10 times In the past five years only.

Why do I think the world has become so cynical about social media influencers? Because if there’s one thing time has shown, it’s that companies often stick to marketing concepts once they’re really on their way. Influencers may have been the “next big thing” a decade ago, but they’ve simply become too many and, judging by the numbers, are ineffective. Most people follow influencers because they want to see their posts, but most people don’t trust them enough to actually follow their recommendations.

That’s because we’re all in the game now. We all know that influencers do what they do to make money for themselves and promote their personal brands. Do you really think your favorite influencer is paying an expensive skin cream because they really think it will make your life better? No, they did it to improve their bottom line. at the time People crave authenticity online more than everInfluencers simply do not align with our inner desires.

Today, people prefer to be an influencer rather than follow an influencer. The rise of “unworthy” celebrities is somewhat in line with the rise of unpopular influencers. Thus, an increasing number of ‘known’ people fall into the realm of those who have a large following but are generally seen as unlikable, untalented or simply unworthy of their high position in society.

This attitude was fueled by a public cynicism that was already on the rise, particularly among young people. In a world where stagnant institutions and systems fail to address dire economic, social, and environmental problems, it is not surprising that my generation has become cynical, perhaps even hopeless. When we pick up our phones and see non-original influencers selling their brands and our affiliates, we simply don’t have the mental energy to put up with it anymore.

Related: How influencer marketing has gained power and what the future holds

Although influencers are probably not going anywhere at the moment, I think their actual ability to influence people will continue to deteriorate over time. The vast majority of influencers are just for the sake of getting paid, and companies have now found ways to create fully automated influencers, eroding the scant sense of authenticity they leave. As large corporations and brands seek to squeeze every last bit of value from influencers, they will eventually lose their residual appeal among the general public.


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