Blog #4 – Out of the Box

These days, there are so many influencers on social media, especially on Instagram, trying to gain new followers as well as product endorsements. But there seems to be a downside to this world. It seems that the more followers you have, the more “haters” you will have as well. One must not take anything for granted because it can be gone in an instant. The world of online marketing and social media can be quite fickle at times.

Recently, news broke of a college admissions cheating scandal, that saw parents pay huge sums of money in order to get their children into top-notch universities in the United States. One such parent who paid over $500,000 US to get her two daughters into the University of Southern California is actress Lori Laughlin. Olivia Jade Giannulli, one of Loughlin’s daughters, is a social media influencer and had cut deals with many partners to showcase their products on her Instagram feed and Youtube channel while bringing in extra revenue to companies but while also getting paid in return.

However, since the scandal broke, Giannulli has not updated her Instagram account and has lost major partnerships with companies including Amazon, Dolce & Gabbana and Too Faced Cosmetics. Her Instagram account is also loaded with angry comments from her followers. These companies had to protect their reputation and brand and did not want to be associated in any way with such a big scandal.

At this rate, there are a dime a dozen of the type of influencer Giannulli is, so from an online marketing standpoint, these companies will just pick the latest popular influencer with whom to market their products. Giannulli, now 19, has had an active social media presence since she was 14, almost 5 years. So it can be easy to see how things that took years to build can come crumbling down like a house of cards. Another twist in this story is that Loughlin herself was fired from the Hallmark Channel, where she acted in several series and movies.

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