Influencers wield significant power over public opinion and consumer behavior. An influencer, by definition, is someone who has the ability to affect the decisions of others because of their authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with their audience. As these digital personalities become increasingly integral to marketing and public discourse, the importance of responsible influencing cannot be overstated.
1. Avoiding Controversial Political Views
Engaging in politics is a double-edged sword for influencers. While it’s important to be informed and opinionated, taking a stand on controversial political issues can alienate segments of the audience. Influencers need to strike a balance between expressing their beliefs and maintaining a broad appeal, ensuring their personal views do not overshadow their overarching message.
2. Steering Clear of Insensitive Remarks
In a world increasingly aware of social issues, making insensitive remarks, even unintentionally, can have severe repercussions. Influencers must understand the impact of discriminatory comments and strive for inclusive, respectful communication. This approach not only avoids offending audiences but also fosters a more accepting and diverse online community.
3. Not Promoting Unhealthy Lifestyles
Influencers often shape trends and lifestyles. Therefore, they must be cautious not to promote behaviors or habits that could negatively affect the health and well-being of their followers, especially those who are more impressionable or vulnerable. Promoting balanced, healthy lifestyle choices and realistic body images can have a positive impact on the mental and physical health of their audience. Influencers have the responsibility to use their platform to encourage positive habits, like regular exercise, healthy eating, and mental health awareness, rather than glorifying harmful or unrealistic standards.
4. Avoiding False Advertising and Misleading Content
Trust is a cornerstone of influence. False advertising and misleading content not only have legal repercussions but can also erode the trust between an influencer and their audience. Transparency in sponsorships and content is essential for building and maintaining this trust. Influencers should always be honest about the nature of their endorsements and avoid exaggerating or misrepresenting the benefits of a product or service. Additionally, adhering to regulatory guidelines and disclosing partnerships clearly helps maintain credibility and prevents any potential consumer deception.
5. Respecting Privacy
While sharing personal life is part of what makes influencers relatable, there is a fine line between openness and overexposure. It’s crucial to maintain a balance between personal and public information, not just for the influencer’s own privacy, but also out of respect for the privacy of those around them. Influencers should be mindful of not sharing sensitive information about others without consent, as it could lead to unintended consequences or violations of privacy rights. In addition, setting clear boundaries about what aspects of their life are shared online can help safeguard their own mental well-being and personal relationships.
6. Maintaining Content Authenticity
Originality is a major draw for followers. Influencers must avoid plagiarism and unoriginal content to maintain their unique voice and perspective. Authenticity not only enhances credibility but also ensures long-term engagement and loyalty from the audience. Influencers should invest time in creating content that reflects their true interests and values, as this genuineness resonates with followers more deeply than superficial posts. Furthermore, acknowledging inspiration and giving credit where it’s due can foster a culture of respect and integrity within the online community.
7. Avoiding Online Feuds
Professionalism should not be compromised in the face of online disputes or disagreements. Engaging in public feuds can appear unprofessional and petty. Instead, influencers should aim for constructive conflict resolution and maintain their decorum in public spaces. Influencers need to remember that their online behavior sets an example for their audience, and handling conflicts gracefully can enhance their reputation and credibility. Furthermore, seeking resolution through private channels whenever possible helps to de-escalate potential public confrontations and preserves the integrity of all parties involved.
8. Addressing Social Issues Responsibly
When speaking on social issues, influencers should be well-informed and sensitive. Advocacy is powerful, but it must be balanced with the influencer’s role and influence to avoid misinformation or insensitivity towards complex issues. Influencers need to engage in thorough research and consult credible sources before addressing such topics to ensure accuracy and depth in their discussions. Moreover, influencers can amplify voices from within the communities affected by these issues, thereby lending authenticity to their advocacy and fostering a more inclusive and informed dialogue.
9. Avoiding Overuse of Editing and Filters
Excessive use of editing tools and filters can promote unrealistic beauty and lifestyle standards. Influencers have a responsibility to portray a realistic image, which is crucial for the mental health and self-esteem of their followers. By embracing and showcasing natural and unfiltered content, influencers can foster a more positive and authentic online environment. Furthermore, this approach encourages a healthier, more realistic perception of beauty and success, helping to counteract the negative effects of social media on self-image.
10. Being Sensitive in Crisis Response
Responding to crises requires empathy and appropriateness. Influencers must avoid exploiting sensitive situations for personal gain and instead use their platform to provide support, information, or thoughtful commentary. Influencers need to recognize the impact of their words and actions during such times and choose a tone that is considerate and respectful. Also, they should strive to fact-check and verify information before sharing, to prevent the spread of misinformation and ensure they are a reliable source during critical moments.
11. Balancing Sponsored Content
While sponsored content is a significant part of an influencer’s livelihood, it’s important to balance it with authentic, non-sponsored content. This balance ensures that the influencer’s feed does not become overly commercialized, thus maintaining the trust and interest of the audience. Being selective about partnerships and ensuring that sponsored content aligns with personal values and audience interests is crucial. Clear disclosure of sponsored content demonstrates honesty and respect for the audience, further enhancing credibility and trustworthiness.
12. Neglecting Audience Engagement
Engaging with the audience is crucial for building a community and fostering loyalty. Influencers should value their followers’ feedback and interaction, as this engagement is the foundation of their influence and reach. Regular and meaningful interaction, such as responding to comments and messages, helps in understanding and catering to audience needs and preferences. Furthermore, it creates a sense of belonging and connection among followers, which is essential for building a dedicated and engaged community.
In conclusion, being an influencer comes with a responsibility to the audience and society at large. By avoiding these 12 key things, influencers can maintain their credibility, foster a positive online community, and ensure their influence is both responsible and impactful for long-term success. This mindful approach to influencing not only benefits the influencers in terms of sustained relevance and respect but also contributes positively to the digital ecosystem as a whole.
Meet the Author
Benj Hernandez is not a rookie in the influencer marketing industry. He has a proven track record of creating successful influencer campaigns for a wide range of clients, from small businesses to large corporations. He has a deep understanding of the ever-evolving influencer market & is well-versed in the latest trends and strategies. Benj is passionate about helping businesses connect with their target audiences through the use of influencer marketing & is dedicated to helping his clients achieve their marketing goals.