Recipe for Disaster
We all have that one friend. She is excited as she recounts the evening – a lovely dinner, food and wine that you can barely pronounce. The kinds that have a story, nothing says fancy like a meal that comes with a story.
She is certain she has met her “The One”.
A few shopping trips and travels to exquisite places later, she finds out that he has a wife and children.
Social media influencers are the “she” in this story.
The “Social media influencers” topic is very slowly but surely becoming one of those “scary” topics – religion, politics, feminism to mention but a few. It’s usually safer to stay away unless you can trust the other party not to end your life prematurely. And yet here I am (mpozi who is my next of kin?)
When I read Pkahill’s post, I looked at myself in the mirror (on company time) and thought – “What Would Bikozulu Do?” and decided….
Okay, enough. I also get bored by my lies from time to time.
I won’t define who a social media influencer is. Granted social media influence did not exist until the other day but there has been enough time for social media influencers to at least create a manual/guide of sorts for those that might not really understand the concept but alas, here we are.
Pkahill’s definition of social media influencers (SMIs) does however mention that the purpose of SMIs is to build brand relationships. Let’s talk more about this – What is a brand relationship? What is the criteria for determining that brand relationship has been built?
Turns out that SMIs are equipped with an audience that can reach consumers on various social networks which brands may not be able to, and again I have questions – is there a way to know the actual reach/audience of a SMI? What stops a brand from building its social media presence and building their audience?
May be I am simply angry that no one thought my influence valuable enough to make me a SMI but here’s why I wouldn’t advise anyone to invest in SMIs:
1. SMIs have not taken the time to write a manual/guide/bible by which they live which implies that anything goes.
2. SMIs are not loyal to one brand therefore their endorsement rarely translates into actual sales. This is as result of the distrust that grows among the audience to whom it is inevitable to notice that the SMIs are simply hopping around brands in search for the brand with the best offer, and have thus sold their souls.
3. The failure by SMIs to humanize the brands and repetitive use of facts and statistics (that can be Googled) does not add any supu for the audience.
4. The “last minute” culture that has become a norm among SMIs because of their willingness to work on projects with minimal time to allow for planning and preparation thus continuously providing substandard quality of work is not worth the risk.
5. The lack of seriousness with which SMIs treat the brands/products for which they are hired to work, simply churning out the content as shared in the information pack leaves a sour taste in the mouth.
6. There is no formula for hiring SMIs. Every case is a Mike Ross which at the end of the day is too many unknowns for a brand that is looking to make profits. As such, this implies that there is no formula regarding compensation for services rendered which usually results in disgruntled SMIs bad mouthing the brand which is not worth the trouble.
7. Social media as a mode of communication is still fairly new and as such, its potential and limitations have not yet been fully put to test. Social media influence is a subset of social media which can only make sense if social media on its own makes sense.
In conclusion, SMIs want to be treated like any other employee/partner in different job sectors but will not even take the time to type out guidelines in Microsoft word, and upload to a FREE WordPress account or its equivalent but somehow you will trust them with your brand. I don’t know who’s playing who but 2pax.