In 2019, everyone wants to be an Instagram influencer. Well, everything we do is for the ‘gram’. So the idea of quitting your job, and leveraging your social media account to jet-set around the world is the ultimate dream. That’s why an ever-growing class of Insta-influencers has emerged. Luxury resorts are also exploiting this niche market too, and often invite these wanderlusts to breathtaking places for free, in exchange for social posts.
This new brand of luxury marketing is a game-changer, and it seems win-win. However, with the rise of these elite marketers, it seems like every wannabe influencer is also scrambling to get in on the action. So, luxury resorts have been flooded with a deluge of requests from these social climbers too. And some are pretty demanding. Now, some resorts are finally speaking out about how social wannabes are driving the resorts so crazy.
The Wannabe Requests
Kate Jones, a marketing manager at a five-star resort in the Maldives, relents how “everyone with a Facebook these days is an influencer.” In fact, she is flooded with requests every single day, from these ‘self-entitled’ influencers. Most influencers also demand an all-expenses-paid trip to the luxury destinations for between 5 and 10 days. In return, they can only offer 1 or 2 social media posts.
Jack Bedwani, a PR professional for luxury resorts, relayed how there are also cases of ‘freeloading wannabes’ who stay for free and didn’t even post pictures. Others didn’t even post the location or hashtags on their photos, so they could have been anywhere. Some of these requests also come from ‘influencers’ with only 600 Facebook friends, or Instagram accounts with bots or bought followers.
Bedwani explains that the reason for the confusion may be because “the net is so wide, and the term ‘influencer’ is so loose.” So his luxury resorts often receive an onslaught of cold-call requests. Some of these are vague emails, asking to collaborate with no details. Others are badly written, with colloquial language, like they are texting a friend to demand a free holiday.
Part of the reason that some of these requests are denied, is because these influencers don’t give clear reasons why these luxury resorts should invest in them, and fly them around the world to stay for free. These vague requests, mean most brands have to filter through and separate the ‘amateurs’ from the ‘pros.’ They also help give the elite bloggers a bad rep.
An Influencer Ban?
Most resorts have recognized the social power of these influencers, and many even design their resorts and restaurants with Instagram worthy photoshoots in mind. However, one luxury boutique hotel in Ireland made headlines when they banned Influencers from staying at their hotel for free. That goes for budding YouTube Stars, as well as Instagram hopefuls.
The owner of that hotel explained on Facebook that, “If I let you stay here in return for a feature in a video, who is going to pay the staff who look after you?” While this might be true, these resorts can’t deny the fact that Instagram is big business, with 800 million users each month. Many of these users follow bloggers for inspiration for travel destinations. This means Instagram can help instantly connect these hotels to a new audience.