Chances are, one out of every ten Angelenos is a self-proclaimed influencer.
Ahhh, the influencer economy: an industry driven by metrics, expanded audience reach, and high-quality photos. In most cases, it makes sense as to why business and brands partner up with certain social media stars in efforts to maintain their marketing goals. But for small businesses – like CVT’s Soft Serve – giving out freebies in exchange for online shout outs doesn’t make much sense.
Founder of the treats truck Joe Nicchi gets asked for free ice cream at least once a week, but one message in particular set him over the edge. An unknown influencer asked the CVT founder if he would cater a 300-person event… for free! Well, not entirely for free, but in the exchange for some photos in front of the truck.
View this post on Instagram
If it’s public knowledge that anyone can purchase followers and likes, then why does an “influencer” hold weight? Let’s make hard work “huge right now.” Let’s make not asking people to work for free “huge right now.” We are not impressed or influenced by your “following”…you probably bought them.
The business owner and father of three went viral after he posted a picture of his new company policy:
Influencers pay double.
Nicchi left a caption stating that he “decided to make this thing official with signage.”
“We truly don’t care if you’re an influencer, or how many followers you have. We will never give you a free ice cream in exchange for a post on your social media page. It’s literally a $4 item… well now it’s $8 for you.”
While influencers play an important role nowadays in regards to company campaigns, it’s important to remember that retail and service-industry companies are responsible for funding production expenses, labor, insurance, and much like CVT traveling mobile service, enough gas to get them around the city!
Also published on Medium.