The “Influencer” Entitlement
The issue was brought up when finally a small or start-up business in the hospitality industry in Siargao Philippines posted in Social Media their stand against these entitled social media influencers looking for an x-deal. Banana Beach Club Siargao posted on March 26 of 2019 politely ask to stop sending them exchange deals (business exposure in exchange for free accommodation) that has no value but more of freeloaders hitching the perks from real influencers.
The resort acknowledges the importance of influencers (the real ones) to their business.
“There are real influencers [and] in [that] case, we contact and pay [them], or offer. But look, they’ve never contacted us [because from the] very [beginning], they don’t need us. We need them.”
The post stirs debate in social media and netizens, there’s a side for the influencers and “wanna be’s” versus the resort’s post.
Just a disclaimer, because I know you are probably reading this in my blog site and you might think that I am an influencer or one of the wannabe’s but just to clear things. I am not an influencer nor claiming that either. This blogging thing is just my hobby, my lab rat subject (sometimes), and my outlet as well. More of this on my FAQ page or About Me page. This blog post is my own opinion regarding this matter and I am not leaning to either side.
Where this “Influencer” entitlement came from?
I remember not so long ago that there were videos from real influencers sharing things like how they quit their job and start traveling around the world but are still being paid and sometimes getting perks that no normal corporate slaves can get; that it was a huge leap from their career and as an individual. It’s a very interesting story and very influencing too because as you can see some of the millennials are following the footsteps. It is not harmful to follow it, it’s actually a brave step! However, what the millennial followers forgot or maybe did not notice that not all are lucky. Let’s be real, maybe those real influencers sharing their story were just merely lucky, they took a gamble and bet on their selves. However, not all who did the brave jump will survive and will have the same fate. The followers only see them (the lucky ones) who survive but they did not saw the other people who also do the same leap but failed and now are miserable.
The reality is, most of the successful influencers right now are backed with an advertising company because the truth is, as an individual you cannot reach and become an “influencer” overnight by just posting curated Instagram feed with your OOTD pose with filter presets you purchased from other successful influencers. If you are doing that one, you are actually either a working hard freelance influencer or you are just their (real influencers) consumer/customer.
Okay, I mentioned “working hard freelance influencer” what do I mean by that? There’s nothing wrong about working hard but with this age?.. working hard is not enough, you need to be smart also. An “influencer” is a job, it’s not a title you can just grab and pin it to yourself because if you do that, you’re fooling yourself.. it’s like you are saying you are a doctor or an engineer or maybe a celebrity but you don’t even have a degree or intense experience or exposure to the field of work you are claiming. Again, it’s a job because it’s a business, that is under the wing of marketing and advertising. These successful influencers you are following right now are employed by these companies and only a few are the lucky ones who started as a freelance.
The advertising company who hired you for example as one of their influencers will first invest in your personality. They want you to possess these and that attributes, it’s like they are preparing you for a big role in a movie. If they want you to be an influencer of health and when you started you are the unhealthiest person ever, they want you or force you to become the sexiest and healthiest person after a year before they introduce you to the crowd. Though advertising companies will not do this or invest to you anymore (maybe some will still do though) but instead they will add that as their job requirement.
If you notice in Facebook you can see pages sharing good stuff like funny videos or inspirational quotes so people will like and share their page and build an audience and after a while, the page changes its flavor and color and become a supporter for an election candidate for example. That is a technique, by feeding good stuff first to their audience to gain their confidence and trust before applying whatever business they have in mind.
If being an influencer is your dream job now, you need to either apply (but make sure you are qualified) to the advertising company or become a hard working smart freelance social media influencer. Both of which needs time and perseverance before you can claim such title and reap the perks of it. Do not just barge-in and introduce yourself as an influencer when you are just a nobody.. you’ll end up being labeled as “bleggars” some netizen coined this term and it came from the words “beggar” and “blogger/vlogger”.