Choosing a career in social media is something that has only become the norm in recent years, especially after the pandemic. Many have realized that they can earn an income from the comfort of their home through social media simply by sharing and talking about things they love, buy or do.
Since building a career as an “influencer” came into being, a number of women and men have now grown their following on social media to millions. They wield unprecedented power to shape trends, lifestyles and consumer choices in the ever-changing social media landscape.
However, they often find themselves under the microscope of public opinion and are not always seen in a positive light. Let's not forget that such a career also comes at the expense of their private life.
Here are some reasons for the often harsh and unrelenting wave of negativity that influencers face in their quest for success online and why, in most cases, we really need to give them a break.
Perceived lack of authenticity
One of the reasons influencers face negativity is the perception of a lack of authenticity. Audiences may feel disillusioned if they think influencers are more focused on promoting products for profit rather than genuinely sharing their experiences.
While this may be true in some cases, the reality is that most influencers know that not being authentic is detrimental to their career, and they will soon be called out. Additionally, many brands have high budgets for influencer marketing, and most of the time, established influencers won't need to promote brands they don't really like.
Influencers who excessively self-promote may be seen as selfish or self-centered, leading to negative reactions from audiences who may find this behavior off-putting.
While this may be true, viewers should remember that influencers built their online following by talking about themselves and their experiences. After all, it’s their platform! Can we still say that they are egocentric if they make a living talking about their own lives?
Unrealistic depictions of lifestyle
Negative feelings often arise when influencers portray an unrealistic and aspirational lifestyle that is unattainable for most of their audience, contributing to feelings of inadequacy.
However, if an influencer brings up these feelings, prioritize your mental health and simply hit the unfollow button!
Influencers endorse or engage in unethical practices, such as promoting harmful products or participating in controversial events. They can attract significant negativity from followers and the general public.
As in all industries, there are always bad apples and scrupulous characters! This is not specific to those who work in social media.
Inconsistent brand alignments
If influencers frequently choose products that don't align with their established brand, it can create skepticism and contribute to negative perceptions about their authenticity and motivations.
If this brand of inauthenticity becomes too apparent, followers will start to catch on and unfollow, and the influencer's career will be short-lived anyway.
Insensitive or controversial statements
Public backlash often occurs when influencers make insensitive or controversial statements, especially on sensitive topics like social issues, politics, or health crises.
Regardless of the influencer's stance on such topics, they are likely to experience backlash either way – whether they comment on sensitive issues and share their opinion or avoid it altogether!
Content too organized
Audiences may grow tired of influencers whose content seems too curated and staged, as this can give the impression of a lack of real connection with their audience.
Authenticity is key! Take most of it with a pinch of salt; However, if it becomes a recurring problem, simply stop tracking it.
Law and behavior of the Diva
Influencers displaying entitled or diva-like behavior can alienate their audiences, who may perceive them as out of touch with the realities the average person faces.
Remember that everyone's reality is different, and the only reason we can judge the influencer's reality – no matter how legitimate it may seem – is because they choose to share it with the world. Our peers may have similar realities; however, we are simply not aware of it.
Some influencers resort to buying fake followers or engagement to inflate their popularity, which violates the platform's rules and undermines the trust of their real audience.
In some cases, it is particularly obvious that such practices are at play, and the public can see it from miles away. Again, these accounts will be short-lived anyway.
Jealousy and envy
Negativity can arise from jealousy and envy in individuals who may resent influencers for their glamorous lifestyle or financial success.
This may be understandable – however, instead of lashing out at the influencer, why not turn that urge into inspiration and use it as the motivation you need to work even harder to achieve your goals?
When influencers saturate their content with excessive ads and sponsored posts, audiences can feel bombarded, which can lead to unwanted reactions.
Influencers need to find the right balance between promoting products to earn income without irritating their audience.
Inability to respond to criticism
Influencers' failure to respond responsibly to valid criticism or controversy can further exacerbate negative sentiments and damage their reputation.
However, this is similar to talking about sensitive topics: some members of an influencer's followers would expect them to address controversies, while others may think it's best not to Commitment: it’s a double-edged sword.
Inconsistent offline behavior
Discrepancies between an influencer's online personality and their offline behavior can lead to accusations of hypocrisy and attract negativity. Once again, authenticity is essential! If you notice this, you know what to do!
Influencers who appropriate elements from different cultures without proper understanding and respect may face backlash due to their insensitivity and perpetuation of harmful stereotypes.
This could result from a genuine misunderstanding of the issues or a lack of knowledge that anyone could be prone to. Instead of adding fuel to the fire, simply try to educate by commenting constructively.
Involvement in online drama, conflicts or feuds with other influencers can generate negativity, as the public may find such behavior unprofessional and unnecessary. However, this applies to many industries, not just influencing!
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