Vices drive social media engagement. It is defined as a dopamine hit; social media has created billions of addicts addicted to their social status through the endorphin release of likes, shares and notifications.
Social Media And The Seven Deadly Sins explore the relationships between the original cardinal sins and our addiction to the likes of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google. They are not the only dealers in town. But the ones who have come to dominate. Have we sold our souls searching for the next dopamine hit, and how far will we go for the subsequent notification or like? Order here.
CHAPTER GREED focuses a lot on social media influencer marketing, why it is bad marketing and how it does little to build brands, sell products and connect with audiences.
Influencers personify greed. Greed is the primary motivation for their gain. They were acting as surrogates for brands and advertising, trying to persuade the masses to consume more. Influencer greed has reached its peak in 2019 and into 2020. There has now started to be a genuine backlash against influencer personalities. Whereas “social media consultancies” and “social data trends agencies” had been espousing the notion of “Influencer Marketing” for some years to sell their simplistic data insights, they were very out of touch with how the real audiences and everyday people felt. As the world went into strict COVID-19 lockdowns and travel restrictions were put into place, the only saving grace would be that “travel bloggers” and “travel influencers” would have nothing more to do and say. At last, a timeline free of travel influencer marketing.
Elle Darby was from the UK and described herself as a ‘social media influencer’ with as little a following as eighty-seven thousand YouTube subscribers and seventy-six thousand Instagram followers. There are inanimate objects with more followers on Instagram than that. Non the less it didn’t stop the 22-year-old from using her social media following to try and demand five nights free stay at a luxury five-star hotel, The White Moose Cafe in Dublin.
Ms Darby wrote an email to the hotel stating, “I work as a social media influencer, mainly lifestyle, beauty & travel based. My partner and I are planning to come to Dublin for an early Valentine’s Day weekend from Feb 8th to 12th to explore the area. As I was searching for places to stay, I came across your stunning hotel and would love to feature you in my YouTube videos/dedicated Instagram stories/posts to bring traffic to your hotel and recommend others to book up in return for free accommodation.”
The White Moose Cafe didn’t take kindly to her requests and decided to use their social media to respond publicly. Writing on their Facebook page, they replied.
“Dear Social Influencer (I know your name but apparently, it’s not important to use names. Thank you for your email looking for free accommodation in return for exposure. It takes a lot of balls to send an email like that, if not much self-respect and dignity. If I let you stay here in return for a feature in a video, who is going to pay the staff who look after you? Who is going to pay the housekeepers who clean your room? The waiters who serve you breakfast? The receptionist who checks you in? Who is going to pay for the light and heat you use during your stay? Maybe I should tell my staff they will be featured in your video in lieu of receiving payment for work carried out while you’re in residence?”.
The message concludes: “P.S. The answer is no.”
The post went viral, gaining mainstream attention and thousands of messages of support from the general public and other hospitality business many who were also fed up with the greed of so-called influencers.
Elle Darby crying on YouTube.
Ms Darby was so upset by the rejection and humiliation that she took to her YouTube channel and uploaded a 17-minute tearful video describing her humiliation, embarrassment and anger. The video has since been removed and deleted by Ms Darby but not before it was shared globally by mass media news outlets. Ms Darby had become a global influencer – if only to be the poster child representing the backlash against influencer marketing and influencer lifestyles.
This is a short extract from Social Media And The Seven Deadly Sins by Rory Wilmer.
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