What happens when charismatic social influencers take a dark left-turn.
Just how influential can a social influencer be? Backslash, a 250-plus person collective that predicts cultural trends, released their 2018 pre-trends late last year. We’re taking a look at how trends have played out here in mid-2018, in particular, Insta-Cults.
Who Are The Social Influencers?
Insta-Cults are the extremely evolved form of a Social Influencer.
Social Influencers already have a mass, loyal following they can inspire into action, so what’s one more step to create an Insta-Cult?
According to Backslash’s analysis of culture tendencies, Insta-Cults may form because the unstable political, economic times lead people to seek stability in communities.
Social Influencers, the charismatic leaders of online communities, have the potential to make brands feel like subcultures and turn followers into hard-core fans.
What Can Brands Learn?
What can Brands learn from Insta-Cults? The goal of marketing for a long time has been to create loyal fans.
Traditionally, the goal would be for these loyal fans to love the service or product so much that they become brand ambassadors.
These brand ambassadors, official or unofficial, use the power of their social word of mouth to share an above-par product with their friends and family.
But what if the people representing your brand were raving, mindless fanatics?
It would be wise for brands to uphold moral and ethical standards, as having unthinking brand extremists would not reflect well on a company.
A world where we see Insta-Cults survive would be a dystopian world of irresponsible people in power.
We agree with Backslash that “Brands must ask themselves - 'What are the positives we can learn from influential personas their loyal fandoms to build relevance?”"
We think it’s better to empower people, rather than reduce them to their basic, tribal instincts. The fact that becoming self-actualized has become a new luxury is a good sign too.
The Truth About Insta-Cults?
While we don’t think Social Influencers won’t necessarily slide into cult leader territory, it’s a fun idea to entertain.
Several reasons for this. One, cults are, by definition, extreme groups. In contrast, majority of the most popular online communities are relatively harmless – fashion, travel, pet care, food. As far as we’re concerned, you can like dessert as extremely as you want, but at the end of the day, pictures of pudding can’t really be all that extreme.
As seen with the recent passing of GDPR, we see companies are increasingly being upheld as protectors of public trust. The influence of social platforms and social influencers have become so powerful that they must handle that power responsibility. Transparency is more important than ever. Sooner or later the truth comes out.
Word Up: The Content Lifestyle
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