BuzzFeed News published an article about a travel Instagrammer who purportedly scammed her followers with a $500 social media “master class.” According to the article, aspiring bloggers and influencers who paid for the class did not feel as if the instruction they received was worth the hefty price tag. Now their trust in that Instagrammer is broken.
As an influencer, your entire livelihood depends on your audience’s trust in you. If they don’t trust you, then your recommendations, advice, and other words are worthless. That’s why you must be extremely careful in maintaining a good relationship with your followers.
Only takes sponsorships from brands you’d still use if you weren’t being paid.
Recently, vloggers Tana Mongeau and Gabbie Hanna have come under fire for taking sponsorships with a company their fans say is a scam. After beauty vlogger Gabriel Zamora called them out on Snapchat, several YouTube drama channels made videos describing the situation in detail.
Before accepting a brand deal, stop and ask if yourself if you would use still use the product if you weren’t being paid to promote it. If you already use the product, then go ahead and take the sponsorship! However, if you haven’t heard of the company, get ready to do some research.
First, investigate the company on the Better Business Bureau website or a similar department in your country. Then, Google the company’s name with the word “scam.” If everything looks good so far, go to the company’s website and read reviews. If its products are for sale on Amazon, read those reviews as well. Finally, search the company’s name on YouTube and social media and look at the response to similar sponsored content.
If you want to go the extra mile, try out the company before accepting the sponsorship. If it’s something you need to order online, have a friend do it for you so no one at the company sees you’re ordering. Then, pay your friend back and test the products at home, no camera involved. If you like them, then go ahead and accept the brand deal.
Be extremely careful with clickbait.
Clickbait is another commonplace practice on YouTube nowadays. However, if viewers feel you’re misleading them, then they won’t return to your channel. They may even warn people who don’t watch you that your videos never live up to the hype.
Instead of using clickbait to trick your viewers into clicking play, only use it to catch their attention. For example, rather than blowing the title out of proportion, keep it vague, like Lisbug did in this video. While her video title and thumbnail may at first make viewers hope for news of an engagement, the announcement Lisa made was exciting without betraying the video’s title.
You can learn more about using clickbait responsibly in this post.
Build the reputation of being a kind, genuine person.
Perhaps the best way to build trust with your viewers is to let them hear it from the people who know you in real life. By building the reputation of being a kind, genuine person among your fellow vloggers, you can assure they’ll only have nice things to say about you to their own viewers.
You build that reputation by being a kind, genuine person. Though drama and scandals may seem like they can make a channel grow quickly, a career built on those things will never last. Eventually, viewers will grow older and get tired of immature antics and petty drama. However, if you treat your viewers the way a best friend would, then they will stick around for a very long time.
In this vlog, Louise Pentland took her newborn baby to meet her friends and fellow YouTubers Daniel Howell and Phil Lester. Towards the end of the vlog, when it’s just Louise and the camera, she tells her viewers that Dan and Phil are genuinely good people, despite their fame.
As a social media influencer, your career is only as successful as your audience makes it. Because you depend on them for so much, they should be able to depend on you.
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Kristen Harris enjoys listening to a wide range of music, from Taylor Swift to, on occasion, Celtic instrumental. She also spends her time writing, reading, and baking.