Have you heard about the influencer marketing fiasco that occurred leading up to the 2017 Fyre Festival in the Bahamas? Probably not, but it’s something you need to know about if your company relies on influencer marketing to get the word out.

Brought to light in a new Netflix documentary, the Fyre Festival was a flop for the ages. It all started with rapper Ja Rule, who was brought in to be the star power behind the festival, encouraging famous social media influencers to post positive things about the event on their personal accounts.

The rapper said this was “going to create a small buzz, and that can be a big buzz, and it’s free press. You can’t pay for that kind of press.” Unfortunately, it was anything but free. Social media superstar and model Kendall Jenner was allegedly paid $250,000 for one post promoting the event on Instagram.

It got even worse. Everything about the Fyre Festival that was promised by prominent social media influencers turned out to be a farce. Instead of flying to paradise, people who attended the festival found themselves in a dump. That’s putting it lightly. The founder of the Fyre Festival, Billy McFarland, ended up in jail. Ja Rule, after the release of the Netflix documentary, said he was “bamboozled” by the event’s organizers.

What did this event teach us? Should we not rely on influencer marketing so much to get our messages across? Or, should we rethink the idea entirely?

Influencer Marketing Under the Microscope

The goal of influencer marketing has always been to get your company’s message across to your consumers and customers with help of influencers who have a large following, specifically on social media. In ENX2 Marketing’s case, it would be a law firm’s message that we would want to get across.

Your consumers and customers, who aren’t necessarily knowledgeable about your company and what you’re trying to advertise, may be more inclined to react to your message if it was coming from a celebrity rather than an ad you spent hundreds or thousands of dollars on. Maybe paying a celebrity or well-known influencer may not be a bad idea? Well, only if you aren’t giving the influencer a false message to spread like what happened with Ja Rule and the Fyre Festival.

That incident wasn’t solely responsible for putting influence marketers under the microscope though. Companies trying to pitch false narratives isn’t something new. New businesses sometimes try to overpromise in the beginning and end up falling short. When an influence marketer becomes involved, they could spread the company’s false message to millions of people. The company may not be prepared for something like that, even though their message made it seem like they were. This could lead to a very negative consumer experience and lots of trouble for your brand.

Small businesses, start-up companies, and brands as a whole should be cautious when it comes to reaching out to an influencer for marketing help. Not because it’s a bad idea, but because you may not be ready for the boom that might come with instant success. Never promise what you can’t guarantee.

Start with ENX2 Marketing

At ENX2 Marketing, we will take your digital marketing all the way to the top. Our agency will ensure your social media doesn’t need an influencer to get noticed. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about any of the problems mentioned above. Contact our digital marketing experts today!