Is social media just dirty commercial bubble?
10 years ago only celebrities whom face were familiar from People.com or The Hills “reality” for instance were able to provide social visibility for brands and services through Paparazzi captures and TV-interviews. When the blogs started to stand out in internet world in the late last century, it allowed that also normal people were able to start manage their own self-brand business directly from their laptops.
When Instagram made its big breakthrough in couple of years back, the individually held commercial platforms started to grow in digital world rapidly. Now when I go to explore Instagram, I can find easily almost like millions and millions commercial Instagram accounts. They are not companies, they are individual people with any kind of talent that inspires their followers. No matter are you taking sexy selfies, fancy cupcake pictures or epic animal captures — you might have an audience who can start to pay your salary indirectly by taking influence of your content that you are sharing.
Social media’s original idea used to be engaging with others in digital way rather than use it as a commercial platform. Well, I agree that it has become the new television. It’s Place where we take inspiration about what we are going to wear next, where are we going to travel in next summer or where should we go to have date night with our new mistress. When earlier Desperate Housewives commercial break were the place where we made our decision that what we are going to buy next — now we are following our favourite Instagrammers and bloggers and take the influence from them. I don’t see it as a bad thing at all. Contrarily I see it as a amazing thing that has made my own career as a travel blogger also possible. There is also an opposite side which may distort the idea of influencers.
Last couple of years I have also noticed one very growing phenomenon online — buying and gaining your follower amount with controversial ways. That has raised the question in my head: Are we living in fake commercial bubble?
I’m member of many international fb-groups that gather together wide range of social media influencers from all over the globe. Earlier I really thought that many of those people with 100k followers or more have earned their followers with great content, hard work and good luck — well not anymore. After seeing many conversations and threads of how people are either buying their numbers up or then gathering passive followers, I have actually noticed how easy it really is to make your number looks better than they actually are.
Companies who are using influencers as their collaboration partners sometimes even can’t doubt that the numbers what they are seeing on Instagram, Twitter of Facebook are not maybe true. But the fact is that those numbers are very easy to edit. Place where companies should pay more attention now is engagement. How many comments influencers have, how many likes they are getting their pics and who are those persons who like and comment their pics first. If you have 100k followers but only 500 likes on your picture from yesterday, it is alarming. As Hectic Media wrote in their own blog about this same topic: Companies should stalk influencers accounts few days first before making decision of collaboration. When they are adding new pic, companies should pay attention for who are those people who are liking the pics first. If they are constantly accounts with 1–10 followers and zero pic, that influencer may fool you around.
Social media has became our new world’s bank. More you have followers — more money you have on your account. Amount of followers can make your dreams come true but as it is with real money as well — some people may get greedy. Social media literacy is always good to have with you in business purposes. Don’t doubt everyone because most of the influencers are still here with good motives. However, place in your mind that social is one serious game.