Many things have been altered within the past year and while the concept of influencers is not necessarily new, the way in which consumers — and social media users — utilize the power of an influencer has evolved. The shift in priority of newer marketing tactics such as the optimization of influencers are necessary for the long term success and stability of a business — global pandemic or not. Consumers have extensive access to resources and information so while marketing that meets visual and informative expectations is good, giving marketing tools a voice is better. This is the bases of the increased use of marketing via influencers.
The growth of influencer marketing has been so substantial that it is now possible for influencers to become their own brand rather than simply using their platform to market a secondary product or business. With widespread power like that, influencer marketing is a strong enough operation to avoid large-scale disruption by a global pandemic, right? Wrong.
Being an influencer of any kind, there is one attribute that you must embody: the ability to connect with the audience. This is seen in many forms, but if you are unable to properly and effectively communicate with your followers — whether that be a message, a vibe, a certain personality, etc. — than you will be unsuccessful in representing your brand or your affiliate brands. During the current social climate of the pandemic, influencers have more of an opportunity than ever to prove their authenticity and credibility or just as easily the lack thereof.
The term tone deaf is the last thing that any business, brand, or individual wants to be referred to as, especially in a time of great loss, crisis, and uncertainty. In the influencer world, tone deaf is highly recognizable and often feared as it usually leads to your brand becoming a victim of cancel culture; a concept popular on social media specifically where the public encourages the lack of support and following of a public figure or business usually related to some controversial or offensive act. When discussing COVID-19 marketing, there are simple things to remember to avoid becoming a tone deaf victim of cancel culture, many of which include compassion, awareness and not only practicing, but showcasing basic standard social safety guidelines.
A common mistake for a brand or business is to steer away from social issues with the hope of avoiding hate, judgement, or aligning themselves with a negative stigma. While these are appropriate concerns when dealing with marketing — especially in the dog-eat-dog world of social media — an easier and far more dangerous label to be given is unaware and tone deaf. The reasoning for this is that it is often times more largely agreed upon regardless of values or political and/or social views because if you are not acknowledging something, you are simply not acknowledging it. Active reminders that you as an influencer are always wearing a mask in public and are clearly practicing social distancing will accomplish a few things:
1. That you are engaging with your audience and the general public virtually and physically with safe and promising values
2. Your affiliated brands are inspiring these same safe and promising values
3. That your followers should be doing the same thing
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