Influencers: Authenticity Is Key

By Hannah Blair | February 2, 2019

Social media is filled with influencers for just about anything. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about, especially when there are advertisements between almost every post you see as you’re scrolling down your feed. I did not realize the effect influencers had on me until we were discussing them in my Strategic Social Media class. I would like to think that I’m not one to jump to buy something the minute I see someone else with it, but I have found that I have learned to trust the influencers I follow. I listen to their advice on fashion, life, beauty, and health.

Some of my favorite Instagram influencers are Sivan Ayla, Olivia Rink, and Amber Lancaster. They’re all lifestyle and beauty influencers that I feel as if I know on a personal level because I connect with their content. Sivan has done a story and blog on how she chooses the products she advertises and how she never sponsors anything that she has not personally tried or believes in. I have followed Olivia Rink before she was famous, so I’ve gotten to follow along with her influencer journey, and she is someone I have always respected and looked up to as a cheerleader and person. I stumbled upon Amber Lancaster from one of Sivan’s posts, and I absolutely love her and her content.

All of the influencers I listed never sponsor the cliché products that many celebrity influencers tend to sponsor to make money rather than educate their followers. Their posts stay true to their cores and values, and I respect that as a follower. I also have similar likes and interests and that is why I relate to them so well. I obliviously love when they do giveaways too, and I have actually won one!

When I am looking to follow an influencer, the authenticity of their posts is the first thing I search for. Honestly, if I feel like this person is just trying to make money and sell me anything, I’ll click the “unfollow” button rather quickly. As an influencer, you have to stay true to your values.

The reality of today’s world is that if an influencer strays from their cores and beliefs, you better believe someone is going to point out their mistakes. For example, when an influencer is known for being vegan and advertises vegan foods or meals and then posts stories eating meat, their followers are going to know they are full of it.             

Due to Instagram striving to keep things authentic, when there is a partnership, it should be disclosed in the post. I have noticed that I trust products more when an influencer is advertising them for free. I automatically think that they must really believe in the product and trust it to advertise without compensation.

Sometimes when influencers bring attention to a product without compensation, brands pick up on their follower engagement and take advantage of the opportunity to partner with the influencers. I still find this authentic because they believed in the product before they were being paid to advertise it. Instagram has made it more accessible for companies to pair with influencers with tags and direct links to purchase the products.

I think it’s important to know that the influencers you follow are authentic. Be aware of the red flags when it comes to sponsored content, and be skeptical if brands and beliefs don’t align. You have the ability to control who you follow, so follow wisely.

  

Instagram: @hannahliz15

Twitter: @hannahliz15

Website: hannaheblair.com

This Article Has 6 Comments
  1. Bodie Crist says:

    This is so true! Authenticity is the best way to engage your audience while also generating trust and strengthening your relationship with them. Maintaining consistency with your core values allows your audience to gain a clearer picture of who you are and what they can come to expect from you. Authenticity is a trait that should not only be exemplified by influencers but by all brands!

  2. Kirbi Campbell says:

    Great post! I agree that with all of the chaos and B.S. on social media now that authenticity is so crucial to remain your audience. I know that I feel the same and have influencers that I follow only because they have not changed up their style or brands they promote to fit the mold of what a lot of other influencers do. I hope that that idea of authenticity becomes more of a popular one and we as consumers can start to see a little change in what is being advertised and how.

  3. Tj McCourt says:

    I really enjoyed reading this post! I as well agree with that I like to see authenticity in an influencer’s posts and it is sometimes the main reason I follow them. It is nice to know that although they may have thousands/millions of followers, they can still be true to what they believe in. I also have bought multiple items from influencers that I feel have been authentic in their posts and truly believe in the product they are advertising.

  4. Carly Grossman says:

    I totally agree with everything you said in this post! I’ve followed Sivan for a while now and am constantly looking into the products she endorses. I love that she is authentic, real, and very open about what she likes and what she doesn’t. I never thought I’d be one to buy something just because someone on Instagram says that I “need” it, but they have a way of making you feel like you may actually need it in your life. I appreciate authenticity when it comes to influencers, which is the first thing I look for when looking to follow different influencers.

  5. Arianna Rassouli says:

    I like this blog post a lot especially because we have focused heavily on influencers. I too look for authenticity in the posts but I also go into it knowing that most of these influencers are being compensated for the products they share with their followers. I wonder how many other people go into following an influencer with the same mindset as I do. I do not let myself get tricked into buying things but most of the influencers that I follow are for personal inspiration on where to shop and whatnot.

  6. Natalie Stone says:

    Hi Hannah,
    I loved the overall tone of your blog post! I completely agree that I never really understood the effect these influencers had over me quite literally until we started discussing their sway in class. In the age of social media, I can only assume these influencers are going to continue to dictate public opinions on brands and products for years to come. It’s crazy to think about how much power these influencers have over the online conversation of these brands, and how their thoughts and opinions can drive or decline the overall sales. I believe that an influencers authenticity around sponsorships and ads are what make me want to purchase the products.

    P.S. I know you mentioned you’ve won an influencer’s give away so which one was it? I recently won a small brush set, which I still thought was awesome because it was from one of my favorite YouTubers, but I have seen luxury giveaways as well before.

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