Influencers who take short-cuts should raise red flags
By Ted Wright March 18, 2019
By Ted Wright
On a long trip to Oman I had a chance to catch up with the news and read about the college entry scandal. An article by Ashely Reece chronicled the social media journey of influencer Olivia Jade Giannulli, daughter of actress Lori Laughlin. A few findings:
Olivia was already the subject of college-related controversy in August 2018 when she posted a video in which she said she didn’t care about school and only wanted to go to college to party.
“I don’t know how much of school I’m gonna attend,” she shared with her nearly 2 million subscribers, after explaining her extensive work schedule. “But I’m gonna go in and talk to my deans and everyone, and hope that I can try and balance it all. But I do want the experience of like game days, partying…I don’t really care about school, as you guys all know.”
Olivia’s viewers responded with mixed opinions — although the overwhelming majority were bashed her “privileged” and “ignorant” attitude towards education.
In early September 2018, Olivia uploaded a college dorm tour video chock-full of Amazon products (she claimed the video was not sponsored by Amazon, however).
A couple of weeks later, Olivia made an Instagram post from her college dorm room in collaboration with Amazon. The caption says: “Officially a college student! It’s been a few weeks since I moved into my dorm and I absolutely love it. I got everything I needed from Amazon with @primestudent and had it all shipped to me in just two-days. #ad #primestudent #allonamazon.”
Influencers who take short-cuts
People who take short cuts in one part of their lives (“Hey everyone, I’m an ‘Influencer'”) will take them in others (“One student sat on a rowing machine to pass herself off as a rower.” – NYT) and now you’re burned.
Working with real Influencers is hard, time consuming and hugely rewarding for your brand. Working with frauds is easier, faster and will blow up on you eventually.
Ted Wright is the founder of Fizz, the world’s leading word of mouth marketing (WOMM) agency. Ted is also an acclaimed WOMM keynote speaker and the author of Fizz: Harness the Power of Word of Mouth Marketing to Drive Brand Growth.