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Big Influence – Bigger responsibility

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As Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben famously said to Peter Parker, “with great power comes great responsibility.” Truer words have never been spoken when it comes to influencer marketing. A successful influencer has a direct line of communication to the hearts and minds of their followers. Selecting an influencer that understands and respects this tremendous power is paramount to the success of your brand’s influencer campaign.

Impact
What those with influence do with their voice can impact audiences far and wide. It’s important your influencer understands that their platform has provided them with the ability to positively, or negatively, impact their followers. As marketers, we must be informed regarding all brand partnerships they have with an understanding that simply via collaboration with these individuals you are, in essence, becoming associated with the other products your influencer promotes.

Recently, Instagram and Facebook, in conjunction with body-positivity advocate Jameela Jamil, have decided to restrict or remove posts about diet/detox teas, lollipops and certain cosmetic procedures. As noted in an article on Cosmopolitan, Kim and Khloe Kardashian, Cardi B and Iggy Azaelea are just a few of the influencers that had promoted these diet products. They send the wrong message about weight and physical appearance, especially to young people who might look up to these personalities.

Jamil started the “I Weigh” body positivity movement, where people can post pictures of themselves with inspirational quotes and life achievements that don’t relate to their weight. As an influencer, Jamil is making a positive impact on her followers. 

Responsibility
Understanding the impact they make on others is just one facet of life as an influencer. What they present online, as well as their offline presence, should be considered before entering a promotional agreement. Is your influencer a responsible person? Do they have legal trouble? Do they present themselves authentically both online and in person? Your brand will be connected with this person, both on and offline, so it’s imperative that your influencers conduct themselves in a manner befitting the brand at all times.

Social Engagement
In today’s highly engaged social landscape, consumers are looking for brands that do more. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a highly effective way to connect with consumers that want to know their purchase is also putting good into the world. Your influencer will ideally already be engaged in a social issue that is important to them, and one that aligns with or can be incorporated into your brand’s CSR strategy. This form of social engagement will confirm, again, that your influencer understands the reach of their platform and that they want to make a positive impact on their followers and the community.  

The Power of Influence
With big influence comes bigger responsibility. Before your brand commits to working with an influencer, you’ll want to ensure that they understand the tremendous power they have. Are they making a positive impact? Are they responsible and will they reflect your brand’s values? Are they engaged socially and trying to make the world a better place? These are all key points to consider before entering a contract with any influencer.