A scourge has descended upon the luxury hotels of the world, one that wears floppy straw hats, and drinks matcha, and always says things like, “Life is too short not to travel!” I’m talking, of course, about the Instagram influencer.
According to The Atlantic’s Taylor Lorenz, high-end hotel brands are now inundated with requests from A-, B-, C-, and (many, many) D-list influencers requesting all-expense paid trips in exchange for posting. Kate Jones, the marketing and communications manager for a five-star resort in the Maldives, told Lorenz that her hotel receives at least six requests a day from influencers, often in direct messages on Instagram.
“Everyone with a Facebook these days is an influencer. People say, ‘I want to come to the Maldives for ten days and will do two posts on Instagram to like 2,000 followers.’ It’s people with 600 Facebook friends saying, ‘Hi I’m an influencer, I want to stay in your hotel for 7 days,’” she said, adding that hotel staff only look into about 10 percent of the requests they receive.
Hotels have adapted to this new phenomenon in different ways. Some, like the Starwood Hotels, have introduced detailed Influencer application forms that ask you to share how many followers you have on various social-media platforms, and how frequently you’re willing to post on behalf of your hotel during the trip. Others, like the boutique hotel the White Moose Café in Dublin, Ireland, have banned bloggers and influencers altogether.
Professionals, like men’s lifestyle and travel blogger Joe Miragliotta, told Lorenz those other hacks are giving influencers a bad name.
“Have your demographics on lockdown,” he explained. “Have an elevator pitch. Know your audience … If you don’t know your audience, brands don’t know you. You could have 100 million followers, but they won’t know who you’re marketing to.”
It is unclear whether this process is more or less complicated when the influencer is computer generated.
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