• May 25, 2018
Social media influencers are often asked to advertise products for free. Photo: Amelia Finlayson.
Social media influencers say the expectation for them to promote products for free must end.
Instagram is used by businesses in collaboration with social media influencers as a way of advertising companies.
Influencers post content of themselves alongside the product, event, or business in exchange for a gift or collaboration of service.
But influencers say they want to be compensated for their work promoting products.
Sophie Burnside, an Instagram influencer with over 700,000 followers, wants to remind businesses and new influencers that this is advertising so there should be a fee.
“Getting sent gifts is always nice and it is definitely a luxury and sometimes a burden when you know that whoever has sent it has expectations that you will hopefully love it," she says.
"Gifts do not pay my mortgage, put food on the table, pay my power bill or put gas in my car."
"Like anyone, my time is valuable and comes at a cost. When influencers agree to do free wall posts it is literally killing the online market because it says to companies that our posts aren’t worth anything, when they are."
Annie Wilson, a Social Media Executive from 1Above performance hydration company, says working with social media influencers is very beneficial for businesses.
"Social media influencers are a cheaper way for marketing rather than an expensive billboard, TV advert or magazine that not many people will notice or read," says Ms Wilson.
Ms Wilson says, 1Above is often approached by influencers with 2000 – 10,000 followers who want to trial products in exchange for posts.
"We do enjoy collaborating. Paid posts are something we do every now and then when we launch a new product."
Health and fashion influencer Hannah Rogers says she is often overwhelmed with how many gifts she is sent.
"Gifts do help me, but more in the way in which I don't have to pay for a movie I will see anyway and I never have to worry about buying shampoo and conditioner.
“At the same time, however, they do come with expectations and it can be a burden."
Ms Rogers says, Instagram stories and Instagram posts have different results in how effective they are.
"For me it comes down to the gift. If it is something I love and a brand I use anyway then I will happily share it, usually on my Instagram stories."
Ms Rogers says almost one hundred per cent of collaborations benefit both parties but it does come down to who the influencer is and where they are based.
"Influencers work much like magazines and/or digital marketing, both services in which we pay for. So, we should respect influencers for building an audience and a community of their own.”