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20 · MONEY

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regarding the issue of authenticity and the collaboration between the household brands she works with. “To be honest, in my case it was always being authentic with whom I am primarily, meaning that I love collaborating with brands that fit in with my lifestyle. It all happened so quickly. I've never imagined this could ever be something you can get paid for. Having said so, it is a lot of work. You must be dedicated and above all passionate to share and create content. I have grown to understand what my followers aka “Queens” love to follow. Ultimately, I'm incredibly glad that they love to follow what I also enjoy following. I can come across as a real-life series on Instagram — that's what I do. I share my life with all the obstacles I might face.” Essentially, transparency across the board is key; consumers must understand when they're absorbing an advertorial rather than editorial content. This notion is particularly important when applied to the social media accounts of individuals who may use their account for a mixture of personal posts (at the gym, dining out, or humble-bragging) and paid-for posts. A company should also be wary of fake followers. An influencer can purchase fake followers, making them appear to have a much larger fan base than they do. When picking an influencer, first ensure their followers were obtained organically. Although this can be done manually, it is much easier to use a tool that checks for you, such as InstaCheck. The tool is designed to detect fake accounts by analysing their engagement, spam and overall activity. He adds: “One pivotal issue with influencer marketing is that the commercial relationship is not always appropriately disclosed, making it difficult for consumers to distinguish between editorial content and advertising. In response to this, within the UK, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an investigation into the failure of influencers to properly declare the promotional or paid-for nature of some of their social media posts. Within the Maltese islands, it is not apparent if any such regulation is currently in place. Tamara Webb shared her opinion

Equally, social influencers have a considerable level of responsibility in maintaining honesty in their partnerships and upholding an image in line with a given brand goal. In most instances, they are expected to sign a contract of terms with the brand in question. So, if you are considering using an influencer for your brand, demand greater authenticity and invest in influencers only if you are confident that they will bring about results. Ensure the influencer’s content aligns with your overall image. Don't forget to prepare alternative ways to attract more customers to enhance your campaigns.

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MONEY MAY 2019 ISSUE 54