Has The Bubble Burst On The Influencers?

Can They Recover Or Is This The Great Unfluencing?

The Great Unfluencing

This transcript is based on a segment from Episode 306 of the Beyond Social Media Show.

David Erickson: This is from a Vice article by Soraya Roberts about how the influencer economy and how the coronavirus has decimated it, basically. I'm going to quote a little bit from it.

"A woman with unwashed hair and a makeup-free face smiles awkwardly, iced coffee in hand, for a living room selfie. She has 142,000 followers. Another woman poses in a bikini eating pizza, houseplants standing in for a palm tree. She has 232,000 followers. Both of them are slightly better looking, slightly more stylish, with slightly nicer things than the rest of us. But otherwise, they aren't that different. This is what influencing looks like in a pandemic."

And then it goes on: "As brands drop sponsors, shed payments for links, and suspended product delivery. It's virtually impossible to predict what will become the influencers, just as it's impossible to predict what will become of any of of us. In the meantime, so much wealth sucked out of the market, so much luxury sector of our lives. Even the most privileged influencers in the world have slipped closer, if only slightly, to what they once were: People, just like the rest of us."

It's an interesting article because it doesn't say the bubble's burst on the influencer economy. Which kind of, it has. Not necessarily entirely, because the argument of the article is that you're getting a more real look at these people's lives, which you know, you should probably have been getting all along.

But traveler #influencers have no work; no nobody's traveling. Music influencers: there's no concerts. I guess you could work on, you know, these virtual concerts and everything but, but there's no festivals or anything. Foodies can't go to restaurants. So unless they know how to cook.

B.L. Ochman: A lot of people are doing that; they're cooking in Instagram and, you know. That's happening a lot. But, you know, this is a time that everybody's having a hard time. So I'm kind of not surprised.

The Difference Between "Influencers" & The Influential

DE: Well, it's kind of a good thing too, because that was...there was a lot of scamming going on, I think, in the influencer industry, quote-unquote. And we should say that there's a world of difference between the influencers, capital I, where there's beautiful people and beautiful places doing beautiful things that you can possibly ever have that experience. So completely aspirational and unrealistic.

And then there's influencers who are thought leaders, there are B2B influencers. There are you know, there are people who--PR people like us who have been reaching out to all the time, many years before the quote-unquote "influencers" came along and that still works.