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.