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Fyre Festival

The disaster that is unfolding at the Fyre Festival in the Bahamas has many taking to social media, critiquing festival organizers as well as the influencers who helped hype the event.  

Instagram models like Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid were paid to promote the music festival, sharing seemingly perfect photos of the luxury island experience.

It’s a common industry practice today: paying people who are deemed influential, to help promote a product or service. 

But the Instagram influencer fail that is the Frye Festival is calling into question the legitimacy of influencer marketing. Can influencer posts be trusted? With the rise of this type of marketing, are audiences becoming more dubious of the authenticity of #sponsored posts? 

There’s tremendous value in influencer marketing. 81% of companies who engage in influencer marketing say it’s effective.

What the Fyre Festival should remind all influencer marketers is this type of marketing is only effective if it’s authentic. 

You need to ensure the experience your influencer is touting is what a customer would get. 

A good influencer shouldn’t align with your brand, or tout your product or service if they didn’t truly like or feel satisfied with it, but it’s up to the brand to ensure they’re delivering on that quality too. 

The whole point of using influencer marketing is capitalizing on the trust that exists between influencer and audience. If that trust is broken, you’re damaging your company’s reputation, you’re damaging the influencer’s reputation, and no one is going to believe or buy into your service. 

Maybe we cut the Instagram models some slack. Maybe we don’t. They’re paying for it now anyway – having lost trust with their followers.

What we should expect to see going forward is an increased level of skepticism for influencer posts as audiences become more wary of how authentic the posts they’re reading truly are. That should make marketers and influencers strive to do better.

Because when it comes to influencer marketing, if there’s no trust, there’s no point. 

Interested in learning more about influencer marketing or need help planning your own influencer program? Digital Strategist Linda Hoang can help! Contact her to get started on an influencer marketing plan. 

About the author

Linda Hoang

Linda can navigate the complex, rapidly evolving world of social media and digital strategy like no one else. With sharp insights, she ensures every client makes real connections with their audience in real time  and she does it all with an infectious laugh.


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