Social media has created a whole new kind of celebrity: the influencer. Some influencers gained fame through reality TV or other avenues and then turned to platforms like Instagram and Twitter to engage more directly with their fan base. However, many influencers built their following online by creating beautiful, relatable, or humorous content. Young people often feel more of a connection with these influencers than they do with traditional celebs. And according to scam experts Funds-Back, these relationships can be exploited by scammers.
The Many Faces of Influencer Scams
Influencers can peddle a variety of scams, often without even realizing that what they’re promoting is a scam. Influencers are approached by many brands looking to partner for sponsored content; some influencers carefully vet these requests, whereas others focus only on whether the product fits their brand image, or whether the payment is large enough.
Perhaps the most well-known influencer scam is Fyre Festival, the disastrous music festival that was promoted as an exciting tropical getaway but resulted in people broiling in hastily erected tents while eating cheese sandwiches, nary an entertainer in sight.
But much smaller scams take place every day. Gorgeous models promote “skinny tea” and waist trainers as the secret to their slender figures, rather than crediting their trainers, strict diets, and good genetics. Jetsetters promise that you can lead their same lifestyle if you take this course on crypto investing or forex trading. Etc etc.
Exploiting Viral Tweets
The newest social media influencer marketing trend is to pay for a sponsored tweet underneath a viral tweet. The marketers and scammers who use this technique take advantage of Twitter users who have a smaller follower count and aren’t normally considered influencers. When these people have the good fortune to have a tweet go viral, the marketer offers to pay them to add a response to their viral tweet promoting their product.
These viral tweet add-ons aren’t always scams. Sometimes they’re simply drop-shippers promoting a cute item that they hope people will buy impulsively. However, even when the item is actually as advertised and actually gets shipped to the buyer, it is usually overpriced and of poor quality. Funds-Back suggests being wary of any link attached to a viral tweet, especially if it is not the original poster’s Patreon or Bandcamp.
Funds-Back Says Resist the FOMO
Whether it’s Fyre Festival, a cute bathing suit, or the secret to generating passive income, influencer marketing plays on FOMO, the Fear Of Missing Out. Influencers and marketers alike know that you want to be cool, rich, and beautiful. They’re ready to sell you that dream, or at least promise you that dream and leave you a little poorer or a little wiser. Funds-Back recommends never impulsively clicking on an Instagram link. Sleep on the decision. Decide if what the influencer is promising you seems too good to be true, or too steep a price.