As social media marketing continues to evolve and grow, one of the questions hotel owners/managers consistently ask me is whether or not it makes sense to work with influencers.
Personally, I strongly believe that social media is not good for your physical or mental health. I follow a strict “post it, log out” strategy. This is particularly relevant when I am trying to promote a speaking gig or share a new comedy tidbit. I don’t read comments, don’t follow, and don’t stay on social media beyond the time it takes me to post and quickly log out. Instead of citing dozens of studies that have been done on this subject, I like citing my own personal experience: My life is better since I deleted Facebook. That is just a fact.
You cannot talk about social media without talking about Facebook (which I often refer to as Miserybook). You simply cannot escape it. They own Instagram and WhatsApp, and I use both apps respectively for research and communication. But you can break free from posting your deepest thoughts on an online platform and then waiting for other people to validate you.
Facebook has weaponized everyone’s personal data to sell ads, and it has been extremely profitable for them. What really stands out for me are the penalties imposed on Facebook for selling your data: it is a drop in their ocean of revenue. There is simply too much cash to be made by sharing your data with advertisers. For example:
- Facebook earned $16.6 billion in ad revenue in the second quarter of 2019 (a 28% increase year-over-year)! They made their biggest gains in the US and APAC markets.
- Remember the much talked about five billion dollar privacy violation fine from the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) in July 2019? It is easy to see that $5 billion USD is a small fine when you clear over $16 billion in one quarter.
For those not familiar with the FTC, it is an independent agency of the US government in charge of consumer protection and antitrust laws. Here is a brief summary from their website on what they do:
“protecting consumers and competition by preventing anticompetitive, deceptive, and unfair business practices through law enforcement, advocacy, and education without unduly burdening legitimate business activity”
Keep this handy, as we will be calling on our friends from the FTC again.
The Pursuit of Permanent Perfection
Why am I talking about Facebook? It is the senior citizen of social media channels. I often call it the AARP of social media channels. The thing is, they own Instagram: that’s where the “influencers” come from!
Instagram has caused much general unhappiness and suffering to young(er) folks, with its relentless emphasis on influencers living the perfect life. Here are some distinctly negative features of Instagram: