The following is a guest post by Diana Beyer. Diana Beyer is an experienced and self-driven media expert who is passionate about writing. Her purpose is to share values amid those interested. She is always seeking to discover new ways for personal and professional growth. Connect with Diana through Twitter.
You probably figured out that when you see one of your social media stars standing around perfectly lit, with just that right bit of skin showing and that product perfectly placed to catch that glint of sunlight, they’re getting paid. The question is, do you have any idea how much it is? Well, today we’re going to live up the curtain, reveal the inner workings and let you see the dollar signs behind the curtain.
But first, a little bit of background on social media marketing.
Social media marketing is a gray area
The social media explosion in marketing probably won’t last. You see, there are a lot of laws in place that makes it that you have to announce it when you advertise a product – particularly if that product has side effects.
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For that reason, Kim Kardashian got into trouble for advertising a morning sickness medicine, without informing users of the side effects. And that is only one such case. There will certainly be more in the years to come. The problem is that social media marketing in large parts works because it comes in under the radar. People kind of know that the pictures they’re seeing are paid for, but it hasn’t fully registered yet. The moment that social influencers do have to start revealing that information, however, they effectiveness of this form of marketing will drop dramatically.
And so, we’re basically waiting for the other shoe to drop.
In the meantime, however, expect social media stars to go full tilt and try to get every dime they can from this advertising form. Because soon their golden goose will be dead.
Who is guilty?
There seem to be two groups, those that have become famous as a result of social media and now make their living there on the one end and the no longer famous reality show and television stars on the other end.
Both groups peddle a social media ‘truthiness’ that suckers fans into believing that what they’re seeing as actually what there is, with these stars pretending to let fans see into their lives and by giving an ‘honest’ picture of how they live. This creates a ‘connect’ that then has their fans purchasing product so that these people can maintain an exorbitant lifestyle.
The interesting thing is that both groups are hurrying their own demise. Sooner or later there will be serious outrage and their whole system of making money will unravel.
So what do people actually make?
It really depends on how famous you are and even then there seem to be quite some different prices quoted. For example, Victoria Secret’s Miranda Kerr charges $50,000 dollars for one of her posts.
You think that is a lot? Well, you ain’t seen nothing yet! Kim Kardashian West charges a staggering 750,000 to 1,000,000 dollars to attach her name to a product, while her sis Khloe Kardashian apparently was paid 13,000 dollars for a single tweet in 2013! I wonder how much that works out to per character?
But we’re only just getting started. The Italian Fashion Blogger Chiara Ferragni, who has a blog entitled ‘blonde salad’ apparently earns a stunning $8 million a year through her Instagram alone.
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At the other end of the spectrum, there are the B and C stars we talked about earlier. They were approached by the website Jezebel to find out how much they cost. They asked for between $700 dollars for a picture (by JoJo McCarthy) to $20,000 dollars by such stars as Scott Disick.
Who are those two people you ask? Well, JoJo McCarthy claims to be a ‘celebrity makeup artist’ but in truth, it would seem that she just rides on the shoulders of Jenny McCarthy. Because why make your own career and name if you’ve already got a famous sister, right? Indeed, the top online media skills of 2016 seem to be being born into the right family.
Scott Disick, on the other hand, is the Kourtney Kardashian’s boyfriend, or at least they were together but broke up last year. Hey, at least he went and got his the person that was famous, rather than just having to have had the same parents.
Also, he is smart enough to delete the pictures of the brands he’s formerly supported, which seems wise. Though the truth is that most of their fans will probably never figure out that many of these stars are about as brand loyal as weather vanes. They just want to bask in these ‘stars’ reflective glory (or should that be reflective glory?) by buying the same products they do.
How well do they know their products?
What was interesting was that only one star turned down the product that was being offered, even though they had absolutely no familiarity with it. And the star that did turn it down only did so because they were already promoting something similar. The moment they were to be done with that, however, they would gladly switch over to the product that was being pushed.
So will people figure it out? Probably not. After all, television advertisements are obvious and clear advertising and yet there are numerous advertising groups that maintain that this is still the most effective form of advertising out there. And influencer advertising is far more subtle than that.
The only thing that might change is the faces, as one star goes too far and gets turned on by their fans. The thing is, there are always new stars in the making that will be even better at walking the walk and talking the talk to take their places.
And besides, there is a sucker born every minute.
What will happen now?
Well, according to businessesgrow.com the FTC is starting to crack down, which doesn’t really come as a surprise, as there have been plenty of warning signs for a while now, with them making clear that it is not alright to present sponsored content as if it hasn’t been sponsored.
They’ve also started to take action, with Lord & Taylor just having reached a settlement with the FTC for not making it clear that they were advertising something when they were. And we’re bound to see more of those cases in the months and years to come.
Does that mean this is the end of an era? We can only hope so, though no doubt somebody somewhere will find some way to stay just inside the law and continue this form of advertisement. Hopefully, they will manage to do so without using those B rated stars so that they might finally learn what a real job is.