In 2016 when I started following @chloelovestoshop it was because she made shopping in H&M easy, being too lazy to go there and hunt for hidden gems myself. But as I ‘got to know her’ I found her likeable, relatable and fell in love with her style and taste. I then discovered @thefashion_lift @astylealbum and @thestyletrust and soon had all bases covered for beauty and fashion inspiration as well as a light hearted and happy daily dose of the sisterhood. My beach waves and love of long skirts and trainers are credit to @astylealbum, my obsession with Golden Goose thanks to the @thefashion_lift and my worn-more-than-any-other-item Top Shop red skirt with a simple T and denim jacket (and my renewed love of my denim jacket) and a more feminine style all credit to @chloelovestoshop. Almost 3 years later and I am still an avid follower of these awesome women.
However, along with the above, there were a couple of other ‘mum fashion bloggers’ that I followed and then un-followed…. and here’s why.
Over the last 2-3 years the most notable change in these hugely successful Instagram accounts has been the introduction/ramp up in influencer marketing. Initially subtle with the odd gift here and there but then increasingly obvious as daily, new ‘gifted items’ or ‘affiliate links’ started to appear in stories and on their much adored little squares.
The accounts I still follow are the ones who stay true to themselves; their personalities, tastes, style and lifestyle. They promote brands they would choose themselves and go on mini holidays you know they would pay for. The ones I un-followed went on holidays they clearly wouldn’t have paid for and seemed to randomly change their taste in clothes and products as and when they were asked to (daily).
Traditional advertising has been doing this for years with celebrities faux eating a sugar-laden yogurt that their clean and lean selves wouldn’t touch. But social media is less forgiving as we mostly follow accounts we can relate to. So when a blogger suddenly promotes something they wouldn’t normally use, eat or wear it stands out a mile and of course as their follower I’m not interested in the product either. So surely the loser in this game is the brand that placed the product in the first place? Or is it the ‘mum blogger’ or celebrity who isn’t growing a loyal following? Brands should be smarter and more targeted with product placement and choose influencer marketers who are a true reflection of their usual customer.
And in conclusion this brings me to the much-adored Love Island collective (this was my first series and I loved it!) whose social media accounts have already topped the million followers mark and who will be inundated with brands to promote. We say stay true to yourselves and only endorse brands you would genuinely use. Because one of the things we all love about this year’s contestants, especially the winners Dani & Jack are that they are genuine.
Written by Samantha Wright