Social media influencers have taken the world by storm. There are about 37.8 to 50 million influencers worldwide, ranging from 1,000 to 600 million followers. As of 2022, the influencer industry has a net value of $16.8 billion and is constantly rising. This number has doubled since the pandemic in 2019.
According to a survey by Rakuten, around 62% of the people in India follow at least one influencer over any social media platform.
They have a significant impact on our daily lives. From what we should eat, drink, wear, go, spend, and even earn. Of course, they do provide very interesting financial insights and unique perspectives about personal finance, but it is best not to trust them blindly.
For example, a swamp of content out there claims to make me a millionaire within a day or a week without any investment. But let's give a second thought to it before investing or even watching it. How is that even remotely possible?
Still, content creators can attract an audience with their clickbaity hooks and with their mindblowing numbers.
But why? Let's understand why we listen to them.
Social listening, which is the practice of actively monitoring and analysing conversations on social media related to your products, brand, and industry, can help identify influencers with brand affinity and track competitor activity.
Whether or not to listen to influencers depends on the context and purpose. They can provide valuable insights about a product, service, or experience. But trusting them with things that require personal insights can sometimes be dangerous.
Forbes suggests that influencer marketing can effectively access audiences that explicitly want to listen and appeal to people in deeply personal ways.
But it is important to understand the potential for the halo effect and to prioritise and trust influencers at levels that mirror real friends.
Ultimately, it is up to you to evaluate the relevance and value of the influencers and their content concerning their goals and target audience.
Finance influencers in India hold a strong grip on the network of financial products on Social Media. There is no accurate number of finance influencers per se, as most influencers don’t have a niche to address their content. That is where it gets tricky. Whom to trust, whom to not.
Extending the concern, our Finance Minister also cautioned against advice from finance influencers. While it may be best in their interests, some fin-influencers do not hold any valid qualifications to be represented as financial advisors. It might lead to a conflict of interest.
Recently, SEBI has reportedly been planning to limit the use of influencers under their marketing strategy. SEBI issues no regulations per se.
However, the Advertising Standard Council of India (ASCI) prescribes that influencers must make prominent disclosures on brand collaborations, advertisements, and promotional content on crypto-assets.
Before considering any suggestion from influencers, always conduct primary due diligence and consider the following aspects, among many others:
Taking financial advice from an influencer might be an easy and convenient option, but it comes with many risks. It is better to rely on certified financial advisors for your investments. However, this doesn’t mean financial influencers should be ruled at all. They provide a depth of knowledge, which your advisor might not suggest at times. But, conduct proper due diligence before following the advice of any influencer. Match it with your personal circumstances and goals to prepare a proper investment strategy for the future.
Ultimately, it's essential to approach financial planning with a personalised and cautious approach, seeking professional advice when necessary and making informed decisions that align with your financial goals.
So, take charge of your investment journey and make the right decision for your portfolio. Sign up on Grip to discover exciting investment opportunities and select the one that best aligns with your investment goals.
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