March 22, 2023

the essential
More and more French people, subscribers to influencers, are victims of scams when buying products promoted by their favorite personalities. Stéphanie Lukasik, social media specialist, takes stock.

They are famous, beautiful, and share their “real life” on social networks. Many influencers, customary product placements are part of the daily life of the French. But who are they? And how does influencer marketing work? Answers with Stéphanie Lukasik, social media specialist.

How did the phenomenon of “influencers” come about?

This all goes back to the movement of YouTubers, who then renewed themselves as influencers. It was in the early 2000s that these content creators began to share their daily lives and their areas of interest. Then they tried to create a community around him.

Are influencers “all the same”?

No. We must distinguish two types of influencers. Those who create content to sell products, typically reality TV stars who share their daily life and try to tell a story around the product. Their only goal is to do product placement and make a living from it. And then there are the influencers whose primary goal is really content creation first, with them product placement comes after. But currently, it’s influencers who only sell products that are the subject of complaints.

How do they manage to sell their products?

They will reuse the mechanisms that are already at work in our traditional social networks. That is to say, they will play on persuasion. They will convince their community to buy a product by playing on feelings. For example, an influencer who is a new mother will be particularly persuasive in selling products related to motherhood. We will trust because we will find that the influencer looks like us. To do this, they will identify common interests with members of their community and choose products likely to interest them. Moreover, most of the time, they even go so far as to survey the members of their community by asking them what content they would like.

How is it that justice does not further regulate the excesses linked to these sales?

Socio-digital networks have a short time frame, so legislators have trouble reconciling it with justice, which is done over a long period. We still have a legal framework in France which is present in the consumer code to regulate online influence practices. It is article 20 of the law of June 21, 2004 for confidence in…

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