Who’s Being Influenced? The Beauty, The Ugly, The Questionable and The Myths About The Influencer World.
I started this blog less than a year ago with the intention to share with the world (or whoever was listening) my passion for fashion and things like traveling, food and self care. But looking back, did I really know what I was getting myself into? Did I really understand what being an influencer mean?
The short answer is no.
I thought I’d just share with people my finds and experiences and that I’d be just happy using my writing as creative outlet to express myself. That is, until I fell in rabbit hole of the influencer world. A world like any other has many different sides. From the beautiful to the ugly ones.
I think it’s also worth mentioning before I really get started that although I’m new to the blogging/influencer world first hand, I’ve been working on marketing side of it for quite a while, and that’s one of the reasons I decided to write this post.
So, let’s break the influencer world down into 3 categories: the beauty, the ugly and the questionable.
Through blogging, I’ve had the opportunity to meet amazing people and companies. There’re so many women out there who are so supportive and will become truly friends with you along the way.
It’s a fucking amazing boost of self-confidence to know that brands trust you enough to promote their products.
It’s also truly inspiring to know that there’s people out there who actually want to hear what you have to say and learn a lot from the things you write about (shoutout to all of the people out there who message myself and your favorite bloggers to let them know you’ve learned something from them).
Whoever says that they don’t enjoy being invited to events and/or getting free shit is lying. It’s so much fun!
People lie. Yep, I said it. People lie about everything, from how they edit their photos to accepting non-paid partnerships, to using bots, to giving you tips on how to use Instagram. I’ll talk a bit more about that last point later in this post.
Originality is less appreciated than a “cohesive feed” or sacrificing personal style to follow trends. Hear me out on this one, I get that while having cohesive feed might be really important to some, people have to stop using the same freaking presets for pictures. Be original! If you look at some really big bloggers out there, you’ll see that they’re not using the same orange filter most people are. In fact, Eva Chen, literally the boss of Instagram, said recently at a panel that your feed coherence matters very little, because only a small chunk of the likes you get come from profile views. So that’s just another wide spread lie that people created to sell you presets.
Still on originality, trust me, I get trends. I’ve studied about how they are created way before most people were able to write the word trend on Instagram. But my point is that social media is making trends get oversaturated a lot faster. Don’t buy a lemon print outfit or a Cult Gaia bag because everyone and their mothers have it and you need to feel cool. Buy it if it really fits your style, for your wallet’s sake and for the environment. If you want to know what is going to trending for the next season watch the shows during fashion week and learn, or at least read a report on them, so you can start wearing stuff before it gets “too trendy.”
Social media anxiety is a thing, and if you don’t suffer from it, please message me and teach me your ways. There’s always something that keeps us up at night. Sometimes it’s the lack of money to spend on clothes or that trip to that super Instagramable destination that everyone seems to be visiting, or the lack of content - because hey, a lot of us have day jobs or can’t afford a photographer - or maybe it’s the number of followers or engagement rates, or maybe it’s that everyone seems to be doing collabs when you’re not, even though you just had at four #sponsored posts last week. I’ve been through all of those stages, and it makes me feel super silly and superficial to just write about it.
I don’t know if this is just me, but I hate when people misuse words to refer to themselves: a YouTuber is not a blogger, a person who only posts outfits/lifestyle pictures on Instagram is not a blogger. They can be influencers, no question on that, but that doesn’t make them automatically a fashion blogger, because there’s a lot more that goes into actually creating and maintaining a blog. Please do yourself and everyone else a favor and don’t misuse your title.
Back to the lies, it bugs me a lot that people spread information about Instagram and its algorithm without doing proper research. If you read something out there, whether that’s tips or news or whatever else (including this post) do extra research on it before you pass the info along. Today I decided to demystify some of those informations I’ve been seeing around.
How much do influencers influence regular people? Because a lot of what I see is a cross influence between bloggers. It’s girls who see that you posted something cool from a brand collaboration and instead of buying the products from your link or discount code, go try and get a collaboration with the same brand. I’m not judging, just plainly stating a fact. Been there, done that!
Like I promised, here I some lies I’ve spotted on blogs and social media about Instagram and the algorithm and how you can use them in your favor.
“Hashtags on the comment section are going to get you shadowbanned” - Just plain false. You absolutely can and should add hashtags to your comments.
“You can’t use more than 30 hashtags” - While this is partially true, it’s not entirely and there’s a way around it. If you post hashtags with your caption, you’ll notice than Instagram doesn’t allow you to use more than 30. However, if you first add 30 hashtags to the comments section, then edit you caption to add 30 more, boom, you have 60 new chances of being found through hashtags search. I’ve been using this little trick for myself and all of my clients for over a year, and it works A LOT more than just using 30 hashtags.
“Copying and pasting your hashtags is going to get you shadowbanned” - Not true either, but I always suggest changing that last couple ones to things that are relevant to your specific post. Use your hashtags wisely, because they’re one of the best ways for you to be found.
“Bots will get you kicked out of Instagram” - You see, bots are one of those really controversial topics on Instagram, because most people condemn it and yet most people use it, which is pure hypocrisy. Yes, for Christ’s sake, don’t go around buying followers, because those are sure to be just a bunch of fake accounts that will just show numbers but zero engagement. However, there automation services out there that will engage for you (follow, comment, like and unfollow) that have very specific customizable settings that are guaranteed to get you engaging and targeted followers. Again, I’m not here to judge you whether you use those services or not.
“Instagram is cracking down on Pods” - There’s no factual basis for that. Instagram is going to start cracking down on follow/unfollow and comment bots this year - if you’re wondering how I know that, check out Facebook for Developers page - but really no word on pods. So… LIE.
“You have to reply to people’s comments within 60 minutes”- That one actually made me laugh out loud. Not sure who came up with that and why they did it, but it’s absolutely not true. That said, try and always reply to comments. It’s a polite thing to do. You can take your time though.
If you’re asking yourself why you should trust me of all people, don’t. Go do your own research on things. It’s the nature of my ~day~ job as social media manager to do a ton of research on all things social media, even if that means reading a lot of tech nerdy stuff from Facebook for Developers and other sites. So, yeah, at the end of the day I learn a lot about that stuff, but so should you.
After realizing all of the things I mentioned above, I decided that I’m always going to try and be as open and transparent as I can on social media, because I know that just like me, there might someone out there asking themselves the same questions and trying very hard not to give up on this “part time job” that started as a fun way to be more creative. I don’t call myself an influencer, because that just sounds to pretentious. But as far as being a blogger, I’ll always try my best to bring the best kind of honest content I can to this blog and my Instagram.
I don’t want to be here talking at you. I want to talk WITH you. So, feel free to join the conversation in the comment section, whether you have questions, thoughts or just want to call me a B*** for writing this post. Just try and keep it classy!