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Now Even a Loser Like You Can Become An Influencer

Depending on how many followers you have (and how hot you are, let’s be real), you can make big money as an influencer. But the biggest paychecks, like earning $50,000 to $150,000 an Instagram post, are reserved for those who have millions of followers. And that’s just not fair! Unpopular hot people should also get to shill diet teas and appetite-suppressing lollipops on their Snapchats for quick cash!

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Have no fear, because now losers can be influencers too. The New York Times reports that “nanoinfluencers,” i.e. people who have as few as 1,000 followers, are a growing market in the influencer economy:

Their lack of fame is one of the qualities that make them approachable. When they recommend a shampoo or a lotion or a furniture brand on Instagram, their word seems as genuine as advice from a friend.

Brands enjoy working with them partly because they are easy to deal with. In exchange for free products or a small commission, nanos typically say whatever companies tell them to.

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Ah, so these peasants do have some value, especially since many of them have higher per post engagement than famous people with millions of followers.

But how much do these people get paid? Nothing, apparently, as most of these nanoinfluencers are content to just take free products in exchange for the ads. One influencer says that she got a free couch from a start-up and a trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C. through a beauty brand.

Personally, I’d need some cash to turn my personal Instagram feed into an infomercial channel, but to each her own. But if people with 1,000 followers are actually becoming influencers, how long until the machine comes for us all?

Pop Culture Reporter, Jezebel

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DISCUSSION

Dr Mrs The Monarch

As a person who sometimes helps coordinate social media campaigns, the idea that everyone deserves to be paid for the nano level product promotion makes me roll my eyes. People at the level of followers in the thousands aren’t advertising, that’s just consumer reviews. And while consumer reviews are a marketing strategy (see: the alcohol, beauty, and publishing industries) it’s not the same as a regular ad and should not be paid the same.

The reason people like the Kardashians get great paydays is that they have huge networks commiserate with traditional advertising. If the reach is equivalent, then that’s an ad. If it isn’t, it’s not. Sending out complimentary products to people for review is a tried and true marketing approach in a lot of industries, that doesn’t change just because the reviews are taking place on social media.