While it’s been widely reported that approximately 90% of people trust peer recommendations, there’s has been some negative press of late when it comes to the use of influencers. However, like everything, there is always one or two who ruin it for everyone else.

Take for example the White Moose Cafe and their “BloggerGate” with blogger Elle Darby. However, before we get to that, let’s step back in time to 2015, and revisit “VeganGate“, where the owner of White Moose Cafe first told vegans he wanted 24 hours notice of their arrival so he could cater for their ‘idiosyncratic dietary requirements’ and then subsequently barred them all from his cafe. The backlash from this was seen across the globe, and in the end, he thanked everyone for all the exposure.

Fast forward to “BloggerGate”, and you see it unfold the same way after he “Exposes” the blogger’s requests, bars all bloggers from his establishment and regains footing on the global stage. It could be the cynic in me, but could it be reasonable to think that the blogger did her research, and knew that this guy as a bit of loose cannon… after all, any publicity is good publicity right? #Justsaying

Influencer marketing has its place, however, it is up to both parties to be vetting and practice due diligence. Are they the right fit? Do they have similar values? What are you wanting to achieve from the exercise? How many followers do they have, how engaged are the followers? Do they have stats on how their previous campaigns have worked for brands?

Be smart about how you do it. There are only a small handful people who will blindly buy something because ‘XYZ’ said so. You are paying for this, add a call to action, offer a discount code create something tangible to track the ROI. Otherwise, chalk it up to a brand exposure exercise. I suggest working with micro influencers (1000+10000 followers) as they are seen as a more trustworthy source, and relatable to the consumers, bigger is not always better.

Also think about if an influencer is the right fit for your brand, or are you doing it because someone said it was cool? If it doesn’t fit your brand, the DON’T DO IT. Always be true to your brand.