Wednesday, 13 February 2019

The Positive Impact of Social Media Influencers

This week I tweeted that there aren't many jobs which are hated as much as Social Media Influencers or Bloggers (I prefer the latter term). I feel like the mainstream media do not know how to cope with this new wave of online content so their instant reaction is to try and break us (not all of the media is like this, but in my opinion, the majority are).



Scrolling the #BBCPanarama hashtag during their documentary on influencers this week, we were called parasites and ugly and if you just look at the media coverage of Fyre Festival, you will see that a lot of it focusses on a handful of influencers who posted one or two Instagram posts about the festival rather than the actual devastation the festival organisers caused and how they took advantage of a beautiful island and it's people. See here, here and here. If you've read any of the news around Fyre Festival, you'll no doubt have heard about how it was the fault of influencers. Yes, they should have been more careful and disclosed etc... but how can the actions of a handful of influencers in a field where there are hundreds of thousands of us out there doing a good job, create such a backlash in the press and on social media?

I can't remember the last time I read a post which was positive about blogging, bloggers or influencers so I decided to write my own and try to balance all of this negativity. Bloggers are followed by millions of people - they're not going to follow someone they hate? I think a little perspective is needed. Here's a quick look at some of the positive impact social media influencers can have:

1 - We raise awareness 


Bloggers can have huge audiences and we often use this to promote charity work, start campaigns, share messages we're passionate about and more. I reckon bloggers have raised millions for charity over the years. We're not looking for recognition - that's not why we do it but rather than seeing a news story about how 12 influencers have broken the rules, I'd rather read a story about how 500 bloggers joined together and raised £10,000 (or at least I'd like to see them both).

2 - We're always happy to chat 


The world is a lonely place. When I was watching the BBC Panorama documentary, it kind of felt like it was mocking our readers/followers by saying they 'thought' we were their friends. Well can I set the record straight - there's no 'thought' about it and I would actually count my core readers and followers as my friends now. There's no tricking them into thinking we're friends - I genuinely believe we do have a real relationship. The way we make friends and socialise has changed so much over the past few years but I probably chat to people on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter more than my actual real friends. Just because we're not face to face does not mean the friendship isn't valid.

Bloggers and social media influencers are ALWAYS online. If you're a first time parent, parent bloggers who have been there and done that are always there to chat and guide you through if you're having a wobble. If I need some makeup, skincare of fashion advice, I'll always tweet my go-to bloggers in this area. It's like having a whole host of experts and helpers inside of my phone and I love that there's always somebody I can chat with online.

3 - We create communities 

Bloggers and influencers tend to have a niche. So for me, I tend to write about parenting tweens, family travel and life in North East England. I would expect that 90% of the people who follow me have an interest in the above and over time, we've created a lush little community around this. I love it when a follower will comment on another follower's question on my post and we all help each other out. It's great! It's lush being able to talk about your interests with so many like-minded people.

I love, love, love it when a reader messages me to say they've tried somewhere on our recommendation and loved it. There's no greater feeling. This sense of community and inspiring others is what blogging is all about for most of us and why we all do it.


4 - We provide FREE entertainment 

Unlike a magazine, newspaper, netflix subscription or TV programme, you don't have to pay a penny to read a blog or follow a social media account. It's all completely FREE! There are millions of blogs out there all providing tonnes of FREE content for us all to consume around everything from the latest high street trends to holiday ideas, parenting woes and recipes. This should be celebrated and more credit should be given to all of those who share their passions online to help and inspire others.

It blows my mind that I can search a geotag on Instagram for a destination I'm planning on visiting and can see the quality and range of the photographs on there - Instagram shows me so much more of a destination than Tripadvisor or a holiday brochure ever could and it's all thanks to content creators doing what they do (free of charge to the consumer).



5 - We're normal people 

I think people often forget that most social media influencers and bloggers are just normal people and words can really hurt us. Most of us are trying to juggle careers, life, parenting AND work hard on our blog because we love it. We get really tired of people saying we're freeloaders or blaggers or that they might start a blog so they can get a free holiday. There is SO much more to it than that and most of us have worked for years before we ever see any perks or payment through our blogs. 99% of us do not do it for the money, we do it because we're passionate about writing, inspiring people, photography and building communities.

I'm into my 4th year of blogging full time now and it is tough. But blogging is a fantastic career option for parents like me who perhaps don't have much help with childcare and need a flexible career whilst their kids are at school. I'd love to see more support for blogging and the fact that there are so many amazing men and women working their socks off, being proactive and working around their kids or lives. It baffles me that a lot of the general public don't want to see us being proactive and creating a life we want and works for us. I'd love to see more support.

What do you think? Do you think there should be more focus on the positive impact bloggers can have? 

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The Positive Impact of Social Media Influencers

3 comments

  1. Great post Sam! i'd never thought about the fact we create free entertainment before-what a great way of looking at it! i watched the documentary and think that the show implied that consumers or readers were too stupid to see that something was an advert! We have been consuming adverts for years and years whether that in newspapers, radio and tv for years....it doesn't mean that the consumer will automatically rush out and buy that product. It's just a new way of doing things! the online world isn't going anywhere soon

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  2. I'd never considered that either and it's definitely relevant! Great post.

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  3. Well said Samantha! Something needed to be said as I thought the Panorama documentary was negative and one-sided. The conspiracy theorist in me had me thinking it was funded by the big, traditional advertisers (most likely fronted by the Milk Tray Man)

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