Instagram, a platform that has taken the world by storm. With social media becoming the new e-commerce marketplace, Instagram has established a place in several lives. Growing trends and needs have led to people showcasing their products on Instagram because of its reach. Everything is now available at the simple touch of a button.
But how can one trust what’s selling online without the touch and feel experience? Here’s where Instagram “influencers” and “content creators” take the center-stage. Wait, who is an Instagram influencer? Allow me to explain. They are people just like us but with a passion for fashion, food, luxury products, and beauty. These are people who glorify the product to showcase its reality and not mislead the public at large. People follow them for their suggestions and often jump onto the bandwagon of buying products that meet their needs. But are Instagram influencers really influencing people to shop?
Instagram has over 500,000 active influencers, 28,100 being from India. With an average attention span of mere 7 seconds of a human, an influencer has to put their best foot forward. It is these mere 7 seconds that can make their viewer, their follower else; they lose the chance. However, the biggest mistake being made is putting these influencers on a pedestal. They do not call out influencers who use this platform for personal gain. Several influencers put out their heart and soul to bring relevant, affordable, and ethically correct content. They do not market a product unless it resonates with their ideology and beliefs. Sure, they charge you for it, but then again, it is not for the product. It is their dedication, effort, thinking, and passion with which they put themselves out there. By putting them on a pedestal, we are unduly pressuring them. Who is putting them on a pedestal? They are none other than “pseudo” influencers.
It is because of such people, real influencers are facing a hard time capturing the attention of the audience. Loss of authenticity is influencing people to buy from malls again. Not everyone can be an influencer or content creator. I am not saying one should not dream. But; know that to call yourself an influencer, you must live up to it. To be true to the world, you first need to be true to yourself. People have several options available. Hence, only put your heart and soul in the forte or genre you have chosen, rather than putting your feet in everything you find enticing.
There are many influencers whose bread and butter is influencing and guiding people towards the right product. They review products and highlight the benefits. Many of them also call out brands on social media who are trying to mislead people. However, there are a few influencers who allow success to get to them, changing for the worse. They promote products for their personal gain.
Instagram influencers who deviate from their forte often; lose the sanctity of their purpose and their identity. There have been people in this industry who have an established place because of their experience, mistakes, and constant hard work. However, with everyone wanting to be an influencer, the profession has led to many people feeling cheated. It leaves people with nothing but distrust towards the real influencers. It is like saying; I am a doctor, but I want to fight in court. You cannot mix two professions just because you chase attention and money. That’s the very first step you are taking towards your downfall. Today, influencers are not influencing people to shop but giving false hope and painting a happy picture. Though it is not their fault. It is people like us who have given them the right to.
It takes constant dedication to reach an audience digitally. Putting influencers on a pedestal has made this whole industry lose its charm. They are human, after all. Life is not always great for them. But, for their audience, what we see on screen is often rosy. It has led to many influencers juggle many roles at one time, leading to shortcomings in their work and loss of followers. Exposing yourself to millions of people worldwide is quite a feat. However, today everyone considers them an influencer or content creator. With no prior knowledge and a few paid followers, they put themselves on a pedestal, often leading to a celebrity complex.
It’s a myth that only if you have a certain number of followers, likes, shares on Instagram can you be an influencer. How can the number of likes, follows, shares and comments, define the truth and effort you have put behind a post or a story? Sadly, life is being judged by how happy you look on your Instagram feed. Buying decisions and trends are being assessed by how well one carries the product, paying little to no heed to the price and budgets. A small entrepreneur with just an idea can influence millions of people with a single post only if they believe in themselves. If your work reaches even a single person, you have done your job right.
Whatever work you do, and put out there, put it with your heart and soul. Do not defame influencers and content creators; who are in this field for years simply because you want to be them? Sure, you can be them, but you need to give in those many years and know who you are. People trust these influencers. Let us not allow our celebrity complexes to come into the way of genuine passion and love for their work. They are here to influence you for the right things. Undue pressure and everyone calling themselves an influencer is throwing them off their track, harming us in the future. It’s defeating the purpose of an influencer, i.e. to influence people to shop.
Vocal Every Pal