An amusing Instagram story has set the world social media alight this week, especially Twitter, starting a debate as to what really constitutes the power of influencers online.
The story everyone is talking about online is about the Instagram influencer Arrii. The 18-year old, who became a prominent influencer on Instagram with over 2 million followers, mostly through partnerships and brand endorsements for a variety of brands, revealed in a post that she had been unable to sell 36 shirts online.
Arii’s inability to be able to sell 36 t-shirts, despite her large following, has led many people to speculate on the reasons why she was unable to sell her own products.
In a now deleted post from Instagram, Arii explained that the launch of her own line of products had failed to be successful, being unable to sell any more than 36 t-shirts in total.
In part of her post she said ‘ The company that I’m working with goes based on your first drop sales. In order for them to order and make my products (even to keep working with them) I have to sell at least 36 pieces).
‘No one has kept their word so now the company won’t be able to send out the orders to people who actually bought’.
Soon after the influencer posted her confession about the failure of her brand, it went pretty much viral on social media, leading many to questions as to whether having millions of followers actually means anything if their output isn’t that interesting.
Engagement vs followers?
Others suggested that it was more of a case of lack of genuine engagement as opposed to followers. Some speculated as to whether her large legion of followers were in fact, all genuine ones, given the engagement to follower ratio.
Meanwhile, some people suggested the failure of her brand may have simply been down to the lack of promotion. One person on Twitter noted that she had not posted a single picture of herself with her product, and had only posted one promotional post in total before saying that the business had failed, 13 days later.
Matt Clerkin from youth marketing firm, ZAK agency commented: “Since its initial conception, it feels like a vast majority of people, consumers & industry alike, have been waiting for the influencer bubble to burst. Now, I don’t think this is necessarily the tipping point, but it clearly highlights the flaws in what are deemed as successful metrics. Engagement over volume is nothing new, we just need the occasional horror story to remind us of this.”