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Using Instagram to make money – and help others make money as well – is no real surprise to anyone who has followed the development of the social media platform.
In particular, so-called “influencers” with huge followings can probably be a real boon for some companies.
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But not everyone is interested and, indeed, most people find “requests” for free stuff in return for a post on Instagram to be somewhat insulting.
That’s how the White Banana Beach Club Siargao in the Philippines feels about the issue, at least.
Reaching out to its followers in a now-viral post, the club said: “Help out there. We are receiving many messages regarding collaborations with influencers, Instagram influencers. We kindly would like to announce that White Banana is not interested to ‘collaborate’ with self-proclaimed ‘influencers.’ And we would like to suggest to try another way to eat, drink, or sleep for free. Or try to actually work.”
According to PetaPixel, the requests began pouring in as soon as the bar opened back in May 2018.
What’s even more ridiculous about the requests is that the “influencers” often have tiny, insignificant followings – most are below 2000 followers.
The owner of the White Banana Beach Club Siargao, Gianluca Casaccia, puts it bluntly, “How can you help me if you are no one?”
Since opening, the bar has received 100 requests for free food, drinks, and even a place to stay in exchange for pretty pictures and a good review.
If only all international travel were that easy and affordable.
One comment on Casaccia’s post that PetaPixel found noteworthy shows a different perspective on the influencer marketing scheme.
Jamielyn Ladra, marketing manager for a resort, writes, “As someone who works in marketing and also manages a small resort, I can attest to the fact that the big influencers don’t ask for freebies…They ask for permission to film and take photos but they usually offer to pay (or send a business proposal instead of asking for free things). …The ones who ask for freebies are often the ones with almost no real following because they think they are soooo worth it and have a ‘notice me’ mentality.”
After going viral, Casaccia posted a clarifying Tweet that left open the idea for an influencer to come to visit the White Banana Beach Club Siargao in the future but noted that his threshold for an influencer was a minimum following of 500.000.