Why Influencers are ruining Instagram.
Instagram. You love it or you hate it. Either way, you've probably got it. Whilst the majority of people use it to share their personal experiences with friends and family, for some, it's their career. Instagram Influencers aren't new to the platform, however thanks to recent updates, in particular the 'shopping on Instagram' update, they're currently in their element.
It all began with brands, in need of exposure, initiating deals with celebrities to promote their product in the hope that their large followings would flock towards their idols' trends and purchase the product. In theory, a genius plan; far cheaper than a commercial advertisement deal. Without having to pay for the streaming costs or even the production costs of an ad, brands simply sent the product to the influencer to share footage of them using it in their 'everyday' lives.
However, just a few years after influencers began to pop up on our timelines, they've become a plague to our feeds. Influencers are no longer the celebs we know and love, but people who've paid their way to the top taking advantage of bots and unused accounts which can be purchased from unofficial and illegal websites. Instagram continues its attempts to monitor and penalize this sort of activity however it's too out of hand. Every 5th Instagram post is an ad now which, in my opinion, is already enough. So the last thing I want is to see product promotions, which I'm not interested in, all over my feed.
Now, this is bad news for small businesses. Thanks to the nature of the platform, it's always given them the perfect opportunity to advertise their brand and boast their products and services without having to forcefully market and sell them. But thanks to influencers it's pushed users into a negative mindset where they'll refuse to stop scrolling when shown any sort of brand or product promotion.
It's now almost a certainty that any attempt at sales on your business' Instagram page won't channel the traffic to your site that it would have done just a couple of years ago. Instead, small businesses are taking the longer approach when creating an Instagram page by doing it the right way. They're organically growing their followers with good quality and relevant content, engagement with followers and daily maintenance. When their followings are higher they can start to really embed sales posts into their page and only then will they begin to see leads come from it. However, the underlying issue is the fact that organically growing an Instagram account takes years of hard work and attention and influencers are there to cut this time literally by years for a cost, which small businesses cannot afford.
So next time you're scrolling through Instagram and see an ad, take a look. Is it a genuine advert or an influencer advertising a product? We can only hope that Instagram put their foot down and give us something better than their first attempt. Updates to follow on their activity so keep an eye out.
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