With fake lips, fake assets, and at many times fake bags (CC: Kendall Jenner), it’s hard to find reality in all the fake crap we see everyday! Many if not most so-called “influencers” impose a picture perfect persona on their IG feeds, complete with intimate portraits (this explains the photographer & influencer romances) and sponsored endorsements. But what happens when your followers stop engaging and your content is too paid to come off as real to even the most obsessed Huda Beauty addict?
Enter the Bots.
As many companies have shifted their marketing strategies from 30 second Ads between 2 Broke Girls and The Late Late Show With James Corden, to 10-sec Snapchat stories, influencers (and even traditional media companies–hello, ITP Live!) are vying for their cut of the $83 billion dollar advertising revenue!
In efforts to minimize fraud practices, social media platforms, such as Twitter and Instagram, manage to conduct periodic “purges”, or spam cleanups to terminate fake accounts. The infamous purge of 2014 was Christmas come early, as “influencers” scrambled to go private until they could re-purchase their following, and humiliated brands and magazines were served digital humble pie.
The truth is, micro-influencers (those with just a few thousand) are getting more engagement, and have become the new recruits for streetstyle brands like, Puma and Gucci (sorry Alessandro, but that’s on you!) As they gain organic followers and participate in.
“I’d rather utilize an influencer who actually influences 200 people than a mass influencer who’s been endorse by 100 brands and has zero affect on anyone… which is basically what is happening these days,” says Marriam Mossalli, founder of communication consultancy, Niche Arabia. “Followers are desensitized to paid content and as a result you’ll see them like any selfie, but that’s as far as the interaction goes–they don’t care what she’s wearing, what’s he’s eating, or what’s she’s saying because they know it’s all paid for by some company willing to throw away 10,000 USD for a post.”