There has been much in the press lately about the authenticity of bloggers when collaborating with brands. Apparently, many bloggers (many of them high profile) are not stating publicly when they have been paid by companies to promote their products. As a blogger myself, I have sometimes forgotten to put the word ‘AD’ or ‘SPONSORED POST’ in one of my posts but this is very rare and usually a genuine oversight (usually because I am in a rush or I have brain fog that day)
However, these high profile bloggers have no excuse as they usually have agents, publicists and P.A’s running round sorting out their life, which includes social media posts. Sadly many of these bloggers have huge followings, usually of the younger age group who are easily influenced. This lack of authenticity snowballs through the blogging community and in the end we all suffer, as our readers worry that we are not genuine.
For myself, being genuine is crucial, both in my personal and business life. I CANNOT recommend a product or service I don’t believe in, even if I am paid to do so. I honestly do not have the heart for it. I see bloggers all over social media promoting products that I KNOW they do not use. Do they honestly think that the overall public are fooled by their false promotion of a brand?
I believe brands should look seriously at who they employ to represent their products, as they too are responsible for authenticity. Surely it is in everyone’s best interests if they seek out genuine people to represent their brand, rather than a pretty, young girl with thousands of followers (unless of course this fits with their brand). For example customers who regularly buy clothes targeted at the over 50’s would much prefer to see an age appropriate model wearing the clothes, rather than a twenty something model, who, quite frankly looks awkward and uncomfortable in clothes not suited to her age.
Social media is full of professionally taken photographs, beaming smiles and perfect lives. Of course, we all know that this is NOT real life. Yes, I often post staged photos, but I always try and mix it up with real life photos to give a healthy balance. Sometimes I find the lack of authenticity on social media too overwhelming and I find myself looking for more genuine accounts to follow.
I think that 2019 will be the year that more people will start to recognise these ‘perfect’ accounts for what they really are, merely an imagined ‘fairy tale’ life that does not exist. In these difficult times in the UK, more of us are looking for an authentic life, one full of care and support for our fellow human beings. I worry that this ‘perfect life’ we see on social media is hiding the truth about the world. Mental health is still a major issue as we battle to make it less of a stigma. Surely creating these perfect lives on social media means those suffering with mental health feel even more isolated and inadequate? I worry that the younger generation who are easily influenced by social media could potentially be affected in a negative way.
As bloggers we all have a responsibility to be authentic and genuine and not to mislead people in any way, regardless of how fat the potential cheque is. In the last few months I have turned down more opportunities than I accepted, as I felt that I could not represent the brand in a fair and honest way. Basically if I did not believe in the product /service enough, then how could I write about it in an honest and genuine way?
I hope that as you read this, you are assured that I will always write about things, products, services I believe in and would use myself. I promise I will always be authentic and remain true to myself. What you see, is what you get with me and in 2019 I will be MORE true to myself than ever before.
Until next time dear friends.