De-Influencing Explained

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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.

De-Influencing 101

De-influencing is the opposite of Influencing. De-influencers respond to wastefulness and overindulging by redirecting followers away from (rather than towards) popular products and services.

Flipping to honest and personal perspectives helps de-influencers grow trust with their followers, especially with members of Gen Z who typically value relatability and being accurate representations of a product.

Why is De-Influencing Popular?

Over 60% of British consumers have lost respect for influencers who are driven by commercial gain, and with a world centered 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 them.

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, 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 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. It also helps consumers to question before they buy – allowing them to make better, more informed decisions.

Business De-Influenced

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, your fans 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, helping them to make better choices and to not buying too many products. Not only does it help people’s pockets and the environment, but it has also shown benefits for 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.