Influencers authenticity is being questioned now more than ever before. Whether it be a national newspaper, a journalist who wants a good story, or a glossy magazine, we are quite often ridiculed and our intentions are deemed less than genuine.
I pride myself on producing content that my followers can trust, but I’ll admit, I see plenty of influencers in the blogosphere I don’t trust. I know my reasons for not believing in what they say, but I was intrigued to find out if my reasons were the same as others….
So….. a few weeks ago I asked my followers on Instagram Stories 3 questions around trusting influencers. I received over 300 answers back, so I soon realised that this was a topic that people had strong opinions on!
The answers were given by a mix of the general public and other bloggers/ influencers.
Now, this survey has by no means has been conducted in a statistically accurate way. Only my followers have been surveyed for starters, but with over 300 responses that have taken me weeks to go through and group together, I think it gives us a good steer. In fact, I think if we surveyed another sample of 300 people elsewhere I think the answers would be pretty similar…..
Below I’ve listed the questions and detailed the top 5 answers with no. 1 being the most popular.
P.S Any Influencers reading this please don’t shoot the messenger – these are not my thoughts, but the thoughts of my followers.
Do You Trust Influencers?
1. Celebrities and Reality TV Stars are not trusted “Influencers”
I’m not surprised that this was the highest response to the question. You can predict that as soon as Love Island finishes our Instagram feeds will be pumped full of weight loss shakes, teeth whitening and some other toot just because their management has agreed it, and they’ve seen the pound signs! Celebrities have also been under the spotlight for not declaring Ads.
2. No, if it’s an ‘Ad’
I suspected this one too…… I quite often hear influencers say that the engagement on paid posts is always lower than their organic content. Sadly, this is a result of so many content creators producing ads that are not authentic and don’t fit their brand. Just like the reality tv stars, this has made people be wary of any ads full stop. A lot of the responses I got were “You can’t trust bloggers if they are being paid for it” or “when money is involved you can’t trust them”.
3. Depends who it is
A very common answer was that it depends on the individual influencer – some they trust, and some they don’t.
4. Straight up “No”
Some people just don’t trust influencers/ bloggers/ content creators.
If You Don’t Trust Influencers, Then Why Don’t You?
1.Too many Ads
The number one reason people don’t trust influencers is if they accept too many ads on Instagram and/ or Instagram stories. What is classified as “too many” will be personal to each person but some people said every day, and some said every week.
2. Type of product/ service they do Ads for
I’ve mentioned this before in a post of mine about the integrity of blogging as it’s a big bugbear of mine. It seems it is for others too, as people don’t trust influencers who take ads which don’t sit well with their brand/ feed. You know the types……fashion/ beauty bloggers who suddenly post about cereal, chicken nuggets, razors, yogurts, female hygiene products etc.. the list goes on – you know straight away it’s an ad without reading any of the text. I can usually spot an ad a mile off, and there are very few influencers that I feel fit can integrate ads seamlessly into their content.
3. Everything is “Amazing”
Influencers that say everything is “amazing” or “I’m obsessed” with X, Y, Z and never mention any negatives about products/ services are another reason they aren’t trusted.
Some people felt that influencers that were gifted lots of products couldn’t be trusted.
What Is It About The Influencers That You Do Trust, That Makes You Trust Them?
The biggest response to this was “They are genuine”. What would be interesting to know is, what is it about someone that makes them come across as genuine or disingenuous?
2. Buy Their Own Products
People trust influencers a lot more when they are seen buying their own products…. A Beauty Blogger only showing gifted/ paid ad beauty products aren’t trusted as much as those that are seen putting their hand in their pocket and buying their own beauty products too.
3. Share Negative Thoughts
This goes hand in hand with the answer above on the previous question, but the Influencers that are seen just giving positive comments aren’t trusted as not everything we try in life can be “amazing”. People trust Influencers who also share negative thoughts – especially when the products have been gifted.
4. No Ads or not many of them
Influencers that don’t do any Ads, or many of them, are trusted more than those that do.
5. Real Life
Followers want to see behind the scenes real life footage. They want to see the everyday “mundane” life. It seems that relatability equals more trust.
So there you have it…. if you are an Influencer or not, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this survey in the comments below.
Also, I’d like to add that transparency with declaring Ads and gifted products was mentioned throughout the answers I received, but it was never high enough to feature in the top 5 in any of them.
Photography by: Morgane Maurice
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