Social media influencers often leverage their influence to gain more lucrative deals, like being paid to create a line of clothing, launch a product, or even promote a product on social media. Some of them use the services of the likes of Mato & Hash to come up with their own lines of merchandise, otherwise referred to as “merch”. The internet is full of companies looking to cash in on brand followers, and marketers are continuing to push social media to the forefront of marketing and marketing communications.
In a recent survey, 82 percent of marketers said that social media is one of the top influencers they rely on to reach their target audiences. But, social media is not always free of conflicts of interest or poor practices, particularly when the influencers are promoting other brands.
Being a social media influencer isn’t the glamorous job many assume it to be. For the rest of the month, a social media influencer can be exhausted, struggling to get one or two quality posts up and maintain their brand presence. For some influencers, promoting a competitor or brand creates conflict of interest, and they’re required to be friends and part of a branded social media crew. Other times the influencers to “jobs” such online testing, which are a great way to earn money, but if you’re an influencer you probably want to focus more on content creation that what is effectively remote work.
Social media influencers can create their own platform that provides them with the freedom to create and post about whatever they want, but these platforms do not allow influencers to accept money or gifts from brands in exchange for promoting them on social media.
Here are two social media influencers who are making some money off brand promotion:
Elle Deacon is the social media manager for Express, L’Oreal Paris, and Jaguar. She has over 500,000 followers on Instagram. She posts about beauty products, home decor items, travel plans, and more. She’s not selling social media followers for sponsorship, but she does post about brands that she’s hired to promote on social media. She’s also been paid by L’Oreal Paris and JetSmarter for promoting the brands, and has received various bonuses for advertising brands on her social media accounts.
Lorenzo Santolino is the founder of Locomotive Creative, an interactive and creative agency in Los Angeles. Locomotive offers a range of services, including public relations, graphic design, web design, and social media marketing. Locomotive develops marketing campaigns for clients, including Nike, Lowe’s, Ikea, Express, Purina, Kroger, and Rockstar Energy. Locomotive posts about deals for themselves and other brands, and posts about deals for other brands.
Elle Deacon’s work creates a conflict of interest, and in most cases brands shouldn’t pay influencers to promote their products. In addition to being paid by brands, some of Elle Deacon’s clients have paid her to write content, promote their brand on social media, and even create campaigns for them.
Social media influencers must take a strict ethical stance if they’re going to promote brands, working with those which they actually endorse genuinely, like the range of products on this website. Brands need to do their due diligence to ensure influencers are truly promoting a brand for the right reasons, because a social media influencer could have ulterior motives. Some social media influencers want to gain followers and build their brand, and they’re expecting payment for promoting brands, especially when brands pay to promote the influencer.
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