The Rise of the Influencer – Be Careful Who You Listen To

All that glitters isn’t always gold. Many have been fooled over the years by iron pyrite (fool’s gold), and the same seems to be holding true for the online world of influencers.

What you see on the screen is a carefully crafted image that is worked on and formed. It’s show biz on a minor level rising from a new generation where many have the goal of being “Insta-famous”. While this is a valid undertaking in 2023 with so many affiliate program opportunities, brand sponsorships, and the ability to create online businesses, it is also becoming more and more difficult due the sheer volume of people online.

As of 2023 4.9 billion people are on social media. That accounts for more than half of the world’s population. That makes for a lot of potential customers and viewers, but also for a hell of a lot of competition.

Organic reach is the most valuable. Organic reach means people who found you on their own and decided to like or follow your account. They were not advertised to and did not opt in anywhere. This is an unpaid connection. One way to boost this is with a strategized SEO effort and coordinated social media campaigns.

The thing is organic reach takes time, consistent effort, and talent in creating content that people want to watch. We live in an instant society – ie. “ISTA-gram”. Many aren’t willing to wait and hope, so, they take the short cut and buy followers. Buying followers instantly jumps your number making it appear that you are beloved, popular, and someone to be listened to.

The problem is that these aren’t genuine followers who think you are amazing. These are accounts paid to like yours and who may never return to look at it once that like is auto clicked, if they are even real people at all to start with.

The fact is that according to Forbes Magazine a new study found that in 2021 a whopping 49% of followers on most large influencer accounts were fake.

We realize that the old adage “Fake it till you make it” can work, however the question definitely becomes “Who are you listening to?” is this really the stylish Felicia Falcone from France? Or is it really Doughty Dorothy Dinmore from Des Moine in a fancy dress?

More importantly, why are they influencing us? Is it for the love of humanity, others, and to genuinely help? This is the case for some. I am not by any means knocking all influencers. But most of the time the motivation I see is ego, money, and self-interest.

Best advice: Follow those you genuinely like and find value in – Dump the rest and stop feeding the egos. We all spend too much time online anyway.

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