To my favorite bloggers turned influencers, I’ve missed you being you. I’ve missed you taking a candid photo on the subway and giving us live gist from people-watching during your morning commute. And oh have I missed you posting your outfit of the day, which you have now replaced by a professionally shot photo of an outfit that you claimed you wore to work on Monday. We find that hard to believe because… ta-da! You have on a glittering pair of evening heels and a fur-overloaded vest.
During your first pregnancy, you showed us fashionable clothes that you rocked with your cute little bump. You know how much we loved it because comment after comment was something like “oshey! hottest mama to-be”. Now that it’s your third, we are overwhelmed with photos of luxury strollers and baby gadgets that to be honest if I bought them, I’m not sure how I could afford to pay my newborn’s hospital bills. Oh and remind me, how many brands of those baby bottles have you recommended so far? I bet you too have lost count. Biko, my question is – which one of those exactly do you use for your baby? That’s the one I want you to tell us about, because honestly, I don’t care to use the one that pays you just because they paid you.
Okay, so Johnny baby is here, and you bounce back with some killer abs which we are all here for because team #fitfam and team #hotgirlsummer. But now you’re advertising coke to us? Really?! Coke? I’m pretty sure coke is not your go-to drink. Why “influence” us to drink it? Like, we see that little 20″ waist of yours, and we all know you drink seltzer water all day every day. So why? Why post a flaming hot picture of yourself in that red on red monochrome ‘fit, making us thirsty for a bottle of coke?
Do you now understand why we your audience are tayad? One day, a certain foundation is your favorite, and you swear by the angels in the sky that you have consistently used it for months. “Oh, and look! The bottle is almost done. That’s how much I love it, guys! It’s perfect for a matte, flawless finish.” We can see through that B.S. because the next day, it’s the same story for a whole ‘nother foundation from an entirety different brand. Aunty, which one exactly do you use for yourself when you’re off camera? Odikwa very confusing something.
To make all this worse, you all had the audacity to start trending the “Truthful Youtuber Tag”. You have got to be kidding me. There is nothing “truthful” about telling us that you are being dishonest when you continue to be dishonest. If you think I’m exaggerating, these were a few of the questions in the “Truthful Youtuber Tag” that our beloved influencers answered in the affirmative –
- Have you ever lied about a product to stay on good terms with the brand?
- Have you ever initially liked a product when you reviewed it and then changed your mind but didn’t let your audience know?
- Have you ever showed one product but were actually using another? (ha!)
- Have you ever not disclosed a sponsorship?
I’ll remind you – we started watching your videos, reading your cute little posts, and following you on social media way back in the day because we loved your honest feedback on the products that you used for yourself. So now that you don hammer, don’t tell us that something works if it doesn’t, and then push your coupon codes down our throats. That is called deceit. Also, ride on with not disclosing #ad when you know that’s the first thing we look for. Issokay, kontinu, God and the legal system are watching you in 3D. Bless your hearts, but we are just hanging in there with you because we love your charisma. Soon though, the charisma may not be enough to keep us.
Influencing is all about trust. Take out the trust factor, and you are no different than a TV commercial, which by the way, everyone skips through. I used to have a faaaaaavorite food blogger, and I loved her because she always provided helpful tips that would transform your cooking, like time-saving gadgets that she has tried and tested, or hacks for frying a perfectly-round puff-puff (even though mine still comes out looking disfigured). Now, all we get from her is maggi ad today, and knorr tomorrow. Which one of them she actually cooks with, we still don’t know.
I barely scratched the surface… there are other things I will spare you on for today, like the unboxing videos (bruh, we are literally hanging in there), the Instagram captions (because #engagement – I’m kuku in this struggle too), and the click-bait titles (of which I too am guilty as charged).
You can come up with some defensive excuses after reading this, but really, the key takeaway is that integrity matters in everything you do. Don’t influence us to buy a facial mask when it gave you kro-kro after using it. That’s called deceit. And yeah, the other takeaway is that we really have missed your original style of blogging 🙂
Proverbs 19:22 “…It is better to be poor than dishonest.”
P.S. if you’re an influencer, I’d love to see a response to this letter from your viewpoint. Title, “Dear Followers…”
Let me know what you think. Am I overreacting to the whole influencing saga?