So yes there is Visa Bae, the lovely lady in the UK who spoke for 30 minutes with tears and all talking about how hard life is and how it was so difficult for her since she could not go to Barbados or France for school trips etc when she was a kid. Life is hard isn’t it? The video of course ends with Visa Bae asking for donations towards her visa application fee.
All this is not a problem. The challenge was the contradiction between the teary Rutendo (Visa Bae is called Rutendo) and the previous image of a glamorous chic who wore designer clothes and designer handbags and designer…. Teary Rutendo explained that all this stuff wasn’t hers, she got these as a collaboration partnership with brands that were eager to reach her followers on social.
Reminds me of another girl in the UK who also made a video recently
So another lovely girl, not Zimbo this time wrote a luxury hotel in Dublin asking to have an early Valentine’s weekend in February this year. Of course she and her boyfriend would stay for free and she would then pay by reaching out to her followers telling her of her experience. The hotel owner posted the email screenshot onto the hotel facebook page. He had the decency of pasting over her name:
The hotel guy was brutal in the caption that accompanied the screenshot:
Dear Social Influencer (I know your name but apparently it’s not important to use names),
Thank you for your email looking for free accommodation in return for exposure. It takes a lot of balls to send an email like that, if not much self-respect and dignity.
If I let you stay here in return for a feature in your video, who is going to pay the staff who look after you? Who is going to pay the housekeepers who clean your room? The waiters who serve you breakfast? The receptionist who checks you in? Who is going to pay for the light and heat you use during your stay? The laundering of your bed sheets? The water rates? Maybe I should tell my staff they will be featured in your video in lieu of receiving payment for work carried out while you’re in residence?
Lucky for us, we too have a significant social media following. We have 186k followers on our two Facebook pages, an estimated 80k on our Snapchat, 32k on Instagram and a paltry 12k on our Twitter, but Jesus Christ, I would never in a million years ask anyone for anything for free. I also blog a bit (www.paulvstenson.com), which as far as I’m aware is another way of saying “write stuff on the internet”. The above stats do not make me any better than anyone else or afford me the right to not pay for something everyone else has to pay for.
In future, I’d advise you to offer to pay your way like everyone else, and if the hotel in question believes your coverage will help them, maybe they’ll give you a complimentary upgrade to a suite. This would show more self-respect on your part and, let’s face it, it would be less embarrassing for you. Here is a little video I produced which you may learn from: http://bit.ly/2mKTDTD
P.S. The answer is no.
The whole thing went viral. The girl also helped it go viral by doing a video. All of us who were not aware who the influncer in question was when the hotelier facebooked then got to know her from her video which was titled, “I was exposed, so embarrassing.”
There was a lot of noise all over the internet. Some were attacking the influencer and making fun of her and some were saying the hotelier didn’t have to take this to Facebook. The hotel guy got pissed off by all this and he issued a ban for all bloggers at his hotel. Yes he did! He also got a video made that mocks social media influencers.
Enough with the drama, what are social media influncers?
Well, these are people with a huge following on social media and they get into partnerships with brands that want to reach that following. Yes it’s a thing…
Do they have influence?
Yes and no. It’s hard to say.
Is it a real job?
Yes and no. It’s hard to say.
Are brands not simply gullible?
Yes and no. It’s hard to say….