Sunday 7 September 2014

Fake It Till You Make It: The Buying Follower Trend

This year, it’s not about how red is going to dominate wardrobes, or how SS15 neutrals are making waves at NYFW. The trend seems to be buying followers. It’s a matter that has been bothering me for a while and here’s the reason why. I’m a social media strategist by day, fashion blogger come night. My job is to get the brand I work for noticed. It’s also my job to source bloggers to wear our pieces. Immersing myself in Instagram the majority of the day, it’s becoming more apparent that fashion blogging has changed a lot over the last six months.

Here’s the thing, when your follower count goes up, brands become interested in placing product on you in return for a blogpost. It’s every girls dream accepting free clothing and gifts. The brand gets exposure and the blogger gets great items to add to their wardrobe. Win win. But unfortunately, bloggers are becoming aware of this pattern and there are a large chunk of Instagram accounts that purchase fake followers and likes (for very little money) to boost their numbers. Brands are unaware of this, and when they see a profile has a substantial number of followers they flock to them, even though their real audience is more than likely to be non influential. 

I’ve come across a staggering amount of accounts through my work with this unrealistic following. Thankfully I can see the warning signs, so only work with the bloggers that have worked their butts off to get their audiences. And the scary thing is, some of the talent agents here in Sydney charge over a $1000 for product placement to brands that are unaware of this disturbing trend. It’s a real shame that the genuine bloggers get pushed to the bottom of the pile, even though their real engaged audience is probably larger. And it’s sad to see small start up brands are being ripped off due to a lack of social media knowledge, and not enough education behind spotting the warning signs. 

Fashion blogging is a way to educate and show girls what we’ll all be wearing next season. It’s important to set a good example to style savvy teens and remember that blogging isn’t about getting free items. It’s about loving the blogger meet ups, picture snapping and editing and the feeling that you could inspire a girls next outfit option. Yes, some bloggers want to make a small business out of it, but it takes time and effort. Bloggers need to be patient and learn the market. Understand what your readers want to see and know your niche. It’s very much the same pattern as the Tour De France and the blood doping cases. Cyclists that cheat ruin it for others, and it encourages the true athletes to partake out of desperation, to still be in with a chance of success.

I moved to Sydney from the UK five months ago to pursue my blog. With a passion for photography and style it seemed like the right move, even if it meant leaving my life behind in the UK. I’ve always believed if you want something enough, you work day and night to make it happen. This blog takes up a lot of my time, and I enjoy every minute of it, but the content wouldn’t be where it is today without support from my blogging friends here in Sydney. Especially Andrea and Alisha who regularly help take my pictures and vice versa. We have an insane amount of passion for what we do and always meet up to discuss new ideas and how we can mix things up a little for our posts. We actually have an exciting project coming up in the next 2 months, so keep your eyes peeled. We can’t wait to share it with you.

Now that I’ve expressed how I feel, onto my outfit! When it rains on shooting day, head to Carriageworks! It’s one of my favourite places that has industrial iron cladding to shelter from the downpours. My H&M trench is perfect for this kind of weather and stops the chill. Mesh detailing is still on high rotation in my wardrobe and will be sticking around for summer in Australia. Thankfully, August Street has the slickest range of awesome peek a boo pieces this season. Whether it be sheer camisoles or sports luxe structure, they’ll sort you out. Senso boots are a necessity after my haul at the recent warehouse sale in Sydney. Shoes for life literally! Even though the rain clouds were bearing over us, fellow blogger Alisha and I made it a fun day. Finished off with coffee and a hearty meal in Newtown. A great Saturday! 

Shop the look:

Top: August Street via Eclectic Edition(similar here)
Skirt: August Street via Eclectic Edition (similar here)
Trench Coat: H&M (similar here)
Boots: Senso

Photo Credit to Alisha Thornley from Alishayi blog

Helen-Jayne x

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