Putting the Influencer Industry In Perspective

Let’s put things in perspective when it comes to social media. For starters, influencers! They’re just like us! I wanted to share a few topics of conversation with my public relations hat ON and through an influencer’s train of thought. While this post is mostly geared towards other influencers, I think anyone who follows an “influencer” would find this interesting as it provides some context behind the space and why what we do what we do.

Why Should I “Like” Your Post?

It’s so interesting to see the influencer space continue to transform. It’s a handful of both positive and negative conversation topics. Recently, Instagram decided to take away the like feature in the United States. It will be rolling out slowly but ultimately aims at keeping Instagram true to it’s core: a platform to create and share with others. A like is a like, so what?! At the end of the day, it is nothing BUT on the other end, it also affects influencer’s engagement and brands/ agencies do consider this metric when looking to partner with influencers on campaigns. *What I have found is agencies who do not have access to third party platforms still recommend influencers for partnerships based on this metric. The good news? This metric is small (!!) yet again because there are other more valued metrics then a “like.” Yes, likes are an engagement but what brands are (and should be) looking for are real impressions. This is something influencers have access to when they switch their Instagram profile to a business platform and a lot of time are contractually obligated to share these metrics with brands as a part of their partnership.

Being completely transparent, when I see a high impression number for a photo I posted (think above 10,000 impressions!) but my photo only received 500 likes, I consistently wonder why somebody viewed my photo (maybe even more than once!) but was against “liking” my photo. You don’t have to “like” my post if you don’t want to, but I do wonder why follow me if you don’t support my content? Regardless, I love that Instagram is hiding this feature because ultimately it’s a sigh of relief and it continues to push people to be creative for the right reasons, beyond a like.

Be Inspired, Stay Original

There are so many influencers who inspire me day in and day out. And something that makes me really happy is a lot of the ones who inspire me aren’t doing a sponsored post each time they post a photo. They are posting a photo because they genuinely love content creation and choose to express themselves through imagery and video content.

It’s tough because Instagram is a platform that is definitely meant to inspire others as it does for me, but when does one draw a line if someone is trying to be like someone else? Sometimes I see content that doesn’t look like that person’s content at all, and it’s as though they are trying to be someone they aren’t. It’s always disappointing to see because at the end of the day it’s a front and it’s not the real you. Like my headline says, be inspired but stay original.

Your followers are getting tired of #Ad and #Sponsored

This one is tough to address, but it’s true. If you are reading this out of curiousity, you are a smart cookie because you know when an influencer is taking on a partnership just for the money and not because they actually enjoy and stand by the product. If you are an influencer, it’s a good reminder to think about why you choose to influence others. I notice sometimes my sponsored posts don’t do as well as my daily posts and when I go back to look at the post, I notice it sometimes looks too staged or even slightly forced! I have learned that I MUST push my creativity to new limits to make my posts intriguing to others and I have to ensure I stand by these products in real life.

While I run my brand like a business, I am not in it for the money. Why? I work full time and don’t need to. Is the extra money nice? Of course. But this last year I have had to turn down partnerships (both paid and exchanges) because either 1. they weren’t a fit or 2. financially it did not make sense to take on a project due to the time and commitment it would take to create the content. Saying no is never fun but I have learned that saying no is OK and in the end it sets me up for success because I don’t look like a walking ad, I remain true to who I am, and it grounds me in patience for when other, bigger opportunities appear down the line. When I take on a paid partnership, I know I am going to have to put forth maximum effort into my post because I want you to trust me and I want you to see that I care enough to create unique content and ultimately gets your stamp of approval!

With these topics, I have a question for you (yes, you!). What’s your perspective on the influencer industry? Leave a comment and let me know!

XO.

Lex

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