The latest social media trend to take TikTok by storm is de-influencing – the act of telling followers what not to buy from social media apps. But why is it so popular, and how does it affect businesses? Read on to find out.
De-influencing is ultimately the opposite of Influencing. Influencers and content creators are responding to wastefulness and overindulging, by redirecting followers away from (rather than towards) popular products and services.
Flipping to honest and personal perspectives helps influencers to grow trust with their followers, especially with Gen Z who value relatability and being accurately represented.
Why is De-influencing Popular?
Over 60% of British consumers have lost respect for influencers that are driven by commercial gain, and with a world centred around consumerism, it seems that you need the newest, hyped product every day.
Over-consumerism has been on the rise over the last few years, but with the cost of living crisis ever present, it seems that consumers are at their wits end with the current barrage of ‘must-have’ trends. De-influencing is a way to help this – it encourages consumers to live within their means, rather than beyond it.
What’s more, consumers are reclaiming control over their feeds – deciding what content they want to see and who they want to see it from.
The movement seems to be working, with the TikTok hashtag #Deinfluencing currently having over 196.4M views – huge. A great example of de-influencing is the Dyson Airwrap. Chances are, that if you’ve logged onto social media over the past 6 months (especially before Christmas), you’ve seen a video of someone raving about this product. However, it is now coming to light, within the de-influencing atmosphere, that it may not be worth the hype at all. With a popular product like this being so easily de-influenced, it makes you wonder what other products may not be worth the hype.
Focus on Authenticity
Acknowledging that not every product is for everyone, and building trust and honesty with followers, helps people to build authentic relationships with their followers. The aim of user-generated content is to share thoughts on things people have purchased themselves with no connection to a brand, and they are taking power back by doing just this – being honest and giving genuine reviews to connect with followers. This alone can increase long-term reach as they gain a reputation for being trustworthy.
Encouraging users to take a moment to reflect and decide if they really need a product, or if they are simply being influenced because the product is popular or trending, helps influencers to build a trusting relationship with followers, and also helps consumers to question before they buy – making better, more informed decisions.
If you find your products in a de-influenced list, it may be tempting to create reactive content to convince people otherwise. However, if you have a loyal fan base, they will defend you – and sometimes it’s better to let things play out and be authentic.
Is De-Influencing Here to Stay?
Influencing has been around for some years now, but is de-influencing here to stay? Although the movement has shown benefits so far, it may not have longevity – once the next viral product hits, people will want to share their views.
However, that doesn’t mean to say that there aren’t long-term benefits to this short-term trend. De-influencing is encouraging consumers to be more mindful of their purchases, making better choices and not buying excess products. Not only does it help people’s pockets and the environment, but it has also shown benefits to consumers’ mental health – reaffirming that not everyone needs to have the same products, and that you don’t need to be part of a cult that shares the same characteristics from buying a certain product.
Whether it is a passing trend, or a movement that may be around for years, it puts the focus back on authenticity online, which can only be a positive thing.