The trend to reduce influence reflects a growing desire for authenticity online

Jul 11, 2023
The trend to reduce influence reflects a growing desire for authenticity online

A new social media trend has recently emerged in response to the materialistic nature of influencer culture: influencer neutralization. In this trend, influencers discourage their followers from buying overpriced or ineffective products.

Influence is a highly profitable form of marketing, with a market value that will reach US$16.4 billion in 2022. But by its very nature, influencing can also be insidious. Influencers often promote products they don’t believe in, or that don’t align with their follower base.

Neutralization trends are shaking up this model. The trend has quickly picked up pace, with nearly 730 million views on TikTok as of 7 July. There are a few reasons for its growing popularity, including a desire for authenticity, social media burnout, and a shift in values.

desire for authenticity

The growing demand for authentic and unfiltered content online has given rise to both micro-influencers and the de-influencer trend.

Micro-influencers usually have a follower base between 10,000 and 100,000. They form a close community with their followers and can have a significant impact on their purchasing decisions.

NBC News reports on the growing trend of influencers on TikTok.

In response to the desire for authenticity, D-influencers prioritize genuine content and genuine engagement over the carefully crafted content and business partnerships that are common in traditional influencer culture.

social media burnout

Social media burnout refers to emotional exhaustion caused by the constant pressure of maintaining a perfect image on digital platforms. This issue affects both influencers and their followers.

The journey from being an ordinary consumer to becoming a brand influencer involves a significant shift in mindset, as influencers must maintain brand consistency in order to ensure a positive image. This pressure often leads to irritation over time.

On the other hand, a large number of consumers get exposed to the ideal lifestyle through influencers. This often compels individuals to attempt to mimic or adapt to these lifestyles, leading to fatigue and potential mental health challenges in the long run.

Deinfluencing addresses these challenges for both consumers and influencers by encouraging influencers to break away from the constant pressure of maintaining an idealized image and supporting better mental health.

For consumers, deinfluencing provides a more balanced and realistic outlook on life, resulting in individuals feeling less pressure to live up to unrealistic standards.

change in prices

The evolution of social values ​​towards transparency, honesty and genuine connection aligns with a greater awareness of sustainability.

In a recent paper, my colleagues and I examined more than 440,000 YouTube comments from 2011 to 2021 and found an increase in conversations about sustainable fashion.

The anti-influencer movement lies at this crossroads, a stark contrast to traditional influencer culture that often promotes rampant consumerism and wasteful habits.

Social media influencers have a significant impact on consumers and the purchasing choices they make. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Deinfluencers are in a unique position to promote a more sustainable approach to consumption. Rather than promoting the latest products or trends, they highlight the importance of conscious consumption, sustainability and making thoughtful choices.

This approach is an important response to the excessive consumption often seen in traditional dominant culture, which can lead to unnecessary waste and contribute to environmental degradation over time.

Is it only positive?

While the trend of reducing effects may be positive, there are also some side effects that need to be carefully examined.

One concern is the emergence of pseudo-authenticity, where the search for authenticity is exploited for commercial gain. Influencers may project an image of authenticity while actually being motivated by financial interests.

Another challenge is the risk of misinformation, particularly with regard to sustainability. Although many D-influencers may advocate for sustainable practices, they may lack the expertise to provide accurate information. This can mislead his followers who rely on him for information and guidance.

Additionally, an emphasis on authenticity and openness can lead to oversharing. Deinfluencers may feel compelled to share intimate details of their personal lives in a quest to be real with their audience. However, this may cross privacy boundaries, potentially causing more harm than good.

For the sake of mental health, it is important for disinfluencers to strike a balance between being relatable and maintaining their personal boundaries.

What does this mean for businesses?

The influencer trend presents new dynamics for businesses in the digital landscape. While this may disrupt traditional marketing approaches that rely on flashy images and celebrity endorsements, it also provides an opportunity to connect with customers on a more genuine level.

By adopting influencer practices, businesses can take advantage of the authentic relationships created by influencers with their followers, potentially driving trust and engagement.

The emphasis on sustainability among DInfluencers is also in line with growing consumer demand for responsible practices, providing an opportunity for businesses to demonstrate their commitment to these values.

However, businesses must ensure that their collaborations truly reflect their values ​​to avoid the trap of pseudo-authenticity, which can damage their reputation and result in accusations of greenwashing.

Source: crast