Disclaimer: The opinions shared in this article is that only of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of WhenInManila.com as a whole.
Why are influencers getting so much flak?
A few weeks ago, a resort in Siargao released a statement on its Facebook page expressing that they have no interest in collaborating with “self-proclaimed influencers”. And though they cleared it up in a subsequent post saying that they are only calling out “freeloaders” and not “real influencers”, the post still went viral on social media and made headlines in publications. And, on top of those, it also caused the inevitable—it started a war on social media.
The post itself garnered over a thousand comments, and while some people called out the resort for its actions, many emerged with harsh words directed towards influencers. And it wasn’t long after when even individuals sharing their opinions on their own social media started getting attacked, too. Celebrities started chiming in on the issue as well.
But with all the rather unkind remarks and reactions that social media influencers usually get, it makes me wonder—why do people dislike influencers so much?
People are so easy to throw the word “freeloaders” around to refer to influencers, but what most of them don’t seem to understand is that a collaboration between an influencer and an establishment or brand is an exchange of service. An ex-deal. No one’s getting anything for free, because both parties are putting out work for their partnership. An establishment, for example, like a hotel, would be providing their services—lodging, food, etc., but the influencer would be writing, taking pictures, posting, and promoting the establishment through his/her platforms. The services provided by both parties have actual monetary values, and are therefore not free.
When people say, “influencers should try to actually work” — well, that is work. Some influencers actually earn money for each photo they post online, and some of them earn really well, enough for it to be a full-time job.
But personally, I get it. It’s so easy to hate on what we don’t understand, especially when we’re looking at these seemingly amazing lives lived by these influencers while we sit at home looking at their beach photos through our phones.
But I’ve been to projects now where I had to work with some influencers, so I’ve seen some of them beyond the pretty pictures on Instagram. And I’ve seen them work, follow their job orders, and deliver the content they were commissioned to do.
I mean, I get it. Perhaps some influencers have delivered services that didn’t seem worth the “collaboration” with an establishment, or perhaps some of them did not deliver at all, but that doesn’t mean that all influencers would deliver the same unprofessional services. Personally, I see it just the same as I see people in offices. Some would be more hardworking than the others, while some would just be there working the bare minimum (or less). Same thing, just a different setting.
And in the case of influencers, the setting would be hotels, airplanes, and nice resorts by the beach.
What do you think about influencers? Tell us what you think in the comments!