Are Consumers The Next Influencers?

During these times of uncertainty, our level of trust has most certainly been tested. We are asking more questions, pushing for specific answers, and in need of clarity and direction. Our buying habits have changed and so has the way that brands are deciding to sell.

What used to work well on social media, is starting to shift when it comes to the results of an influencer. Consumers are more cautious. They want a deeper story.

Last season's socialite isn't resonating with a user the same way it did before lockdown. So much so that some brands are cutting out the influencer and heading straight to decision-maker; the consumer. Honest, real, and unfiltered answers are what the brands are expecting to get, only at a fraction of the price. Authentic reviews for social + more money saved on marketing. Win, win situation for all? Well, not really. The thing is, being an influencer is a skill. The good ones work hard at what they do and have built up a strong community that aspires to be part of their "personal brand journey" They know how to light the scene, look the part, present the product, and promote what needs to be shared on social. So when a regular social user, like you or me, is presented with this opportunity we need to prep the situation accordingly. Can we replace what it means to influence others? We need to determine if this is a job for a professional influencer or a job for the social user? We ALL have platforms for content now, so we all have a responsibility to act accordingly in the content world.

Too many times we let our ego lead the way with the decisions we are making over social.

If you have been offered an opportunity to talk about a product or service and are open to the benefits the company is offering then ask yourself these questions before going any further:

1. Have you ACTUALLY tested out the product?

2. Are you prepared to give your honest feedback?

3. Do you know how to share your authentic response in a way that will resonate with your community AND be the best version of yourself?

4. Does the brief fit with your values.

You may say, "Lucy, they have just asked me to share the name of a bikini company and ask people to tag themselves. How could this be so wrong? I'm supporting a business."

In some aspects, I agree with you, and in others, I don't.

I was asked to do the same thing- A brand reached out to me and asked me to share their story and promote a giveaway. All I had to do was ask my followers to tag themselves in a post and give the company a big shout out. I wasn't a customer of theirs. I had never even owned one of their swimsuits. I had never even heard of the brand. But in their eyes, this was free advertising with a niche group. My organic followers. I said no.

My exact response:

We need to remember that there are a group of talented, charismatic, and personable influencers who have what I call 'On-Camera Presence" They work hard at what they do, are authentic, real, and honest about their engagement with brands.

Are we really in the position to do their job for them?

In some cases, maybe we are. As consumers, we have more freedom to share our truth and in times like this, maybe that's what our new world really needs.

And in some cases, these reviews and product shares should be left to the professionals. The ones that sit between spokesperson and consumer. The personalities that influence. However, the ones that we listen to should be the ones that are focused on doing good, as well as being good.

Regardless... if you have the opportunity, or want to create an opportunity to share your truth, step in front of the camera and start sharing your experiences. But always make sure it involves #GoodComms Because you owe it to yourself to be the best version of yourself.

Find out more at OCP.

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