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Ruby Media Group CEO Kris Ruby featured on CNN discussing the deinfluencer marketing trend.
The Rise Of The Deinfluencer & The Fall of Influencer Marketing
New Social-Media Movement Curbs Consumerism
Social Media Trend Alert: Deinfluencing TikTok Trend
Deinfluencers are influencing the market more than influencers are. Why the latest social media trend has marketers worried.
The ultimate insider’s guide to navigating the world of the deinfluencer movement on social media.
With influencers promoting wildly expensive products, it can be tough to know what’s actually worth buying, especially if you are on a budget. That’s where deinfluencers come in – they are on a mission to encourage consumers to think twice before splurging on the latest trendy product.
By exposing the truth about overhyped products and sharing their personal experiences with the products, deinfluencers are urging consumers to rethink what they buy.
But are they really exposing the truth, or is this just another form of influencing?
Kris Ruby, Social Media Analyst, President of Ruby Media Group, reports on the latest social media trend on CNN.
In a recent feature article in CNN, Social Media Analyst Kris Ruby provides an inside look at the rise of the deinfluencer.
What is deinfluencing?
Deinfluencing is a growing trend on TikTok where creators attempt to persuade audiences from overconsumption and falling victim to—oftentimes overpriced—social media trends, like dishing out over $400 for the viral Dyson blow dryer.
Deinfluencing is a new TikTok trend that discourages consumers from buying certain products that the influencer has personally used and found to be indulgent, ineffective, or not worth it. Deinfluencing is a particularly interesting trend in response to the wave of influencer marketing, which has been ripe for disruption.
Deinfluencing includes videos on popular items influencers regret buying with claims such as:
- “Do not waste your money”
- “Over hyped products”
- “Stop buying viral bestsellers”
What is the TikTok trend Deinfluencing?
The “Deinfluencing” movement is a trend that has emerged on social media platforms, especially on TikTok. It involves influencers referred to as “de-influencers,” encouraging others not to buy or use certain products or services. The movement is seen as a backlash to consumerism and a call for more responsible consumption and sustainability.
Deinflunecers urge fans to be more cautious with their purchases and to consider the impact their choices have on the environment and society.
What is the deinfluencing trend on TikTok?
New social media trend on TikTok called Deinfluencing gains popularity.
The movement has gained popularity, with the deinfluencing hashtag accumulating millions of views and followers across social media platforms.
As of June 2023, the hashtag #deinfluencing generated over 686.6M views on TikTok.
The hashtag #deinfluencer generated a total of 81.9M views on TikTok. The hashtag #influencer generated a total of 30.9B views.
Over the past year, there has been a surge of attention towards the latest TikTok trend of deinfluencing. TikTok creators produce deinfluencing videos on social media platforms. In the videos, the influencers assert to be deinfluencers and tell their viewers the most over hyped products they regret buying.
Often, the products are associated with influencer marketing culture, and to anyone outside of the platform, they may not even know what the products are to begin with.
What is the difference between a Deinfluencer and an Influencer?
Influencers try to get followers to purchase a product and typically say the product is useful to everyone.
Deinfluencers see that products may not be a perfect fit for all and try to show some alternatives — sometimes even less expensive ones.
What are the goals of the deinfluencer movement?
Goals of the Deinfluencer Movement:
Deinfluencers are impacting the market by promoting a more conscious and sustainable approach to consumerism. The movement has led many consumers to re-evaluate their purchasing habits and prioritize ethical and sustainable products.
As a result, brands are now adapting to the ever-evolving consumer landscape by incorporating new CSR strategies into their marketing plans.
The Deinfluencing movement:
- Aims to promote more mindful and responsible consumption among consumers.
- Encourages more mindful and responsible consumption.
To be deinfluenced, you have to be influenced to begin with.
The deinfluencing trend takes place within an echo chamber social media system where people are already part of that system/ platform and are familiar with the products mentioned that are being “deinfluenced.”
For many people watching these videos, they have never even heard of the viral TikTok products that are being deinfluenced if they aren’t active on TikTok to begin with. artificial intelligence and the nature of the algorithm on TikTok certainly plays a role in the products you see and what influences consumer spending and buying behavior on social media platforms.
The real deinfluencing flex would be not being on the social media platform in the first place so that you don’t need to be deinfluenced.
What is an example of deinfluencing?
- A dentist telling patients which dental products aren’t worth the hypeis an example of deinfluencing.
- A fitness instructor telling clients what supplements to avoid is an example of deinfluencing.
- A social media expert telling clients the worst SEO tools that are overpriced and not worth the price tag is an example of deinfluencing.
- A lifetime deal software buyer telling fans the worst lifetime deals they ever bought on AppSumo is an example of deinfluencing.
- A personal shopper telling consumers the worst buys at Saks is an example of deinfluencing.
Deinfluencing Explained: Social Media Expert Kris Ruby shares what you need to know
Deinfluencing is not category specific. Because there are influencers in every vertical from lifestyle to health, wellness, beauty, real estate and even software, the focus is on creating videos rejecting products and fan favorite tools that come with a high price tag.
Deinfluencing is still influencing. While deinfluencers claim to reject the products in favor of minimalism, the issue is that someone still purchased the products to begin with. And in many cases, that never includes the influencer who is now “deinfluencing” the expensive products they told people to buy.
Ethical questions about deinfluencing remain. Many of the influencers were gifted the products they deinfluenced, so they never really felt the high price tag. The idea of affordable dupes for fan favorite products is not new, rather, the trend towards minimalism represents a shift in influencer marketing culture, which typically revolves around abundance and excessive consumerism.
Deinfluencing is not political. There is also a fundamental misconception that the deinfluencing trend is political. On Twitter, people have asserted that the trend stems from liberals telling citizens they will “have nothing and be happy about it.” The deinfluencing trend has nothing to do with politics. As far as social media trends go, this one seems to be completely removed from politics.
Deinfluencing represents a cultural shift. The real story here that no one is covering is the fractures that exist within the social media ecosystem and what led to this point.
For years, social media influencers reigned supreme. They were considered the highest in the land of digital ecosystems, and received numerous perks associated with the influencing lifestyle. But influencers are aging, and their affinity for social media is slowing down.
Deinfluencing is a Marketing tactic that has brands and PR agencies worried. Here’s why:
What the anti-influencer movement means for the future of luxury
Ruby Media Group explores how luxury brands should respond to the latest social media marketing trend.
The deinfluencing movement will have dire consequences for brand partnerships and agency relationships. Agencies will be very hesitant to partner with an influencer who is involved in the deinfluencer movement. A quick cost analysis or risk assessment shows that the PR nightmare that could result if the influencer decides to deinfluence the product they were pitched is just too high. It is a risk clients and brands won’t want to take- at least those who are conservative when it comes to risk.
Influencers have played a critical component in digital public relations and social media campaigns. Many PR agencies and brands reach out to highly coveted influencers to obtain product placement and endorsement deals on social media platforms.
This social media trend of deinfluencing will disrupt the traditional PR agency relationship with influencers that was once seen as untouchable. An influencer was considered the safe choice for PR coverage and brand endorsement. But what was once seen as a PR win can quickly turn into a PR nightmare if the influencer decides to deinfluence a product that was promoted as part of an agreement with a social media or PR agency.
This can potentially make PR agencies more reluctant to engage with certain influencers who are part of this trend due to fear that a positive endorsement could very quickly turn into a negative PR nightmare.
PR Pro Tip: Brands should be intentional about who they partner with.
The legality of definfluencing
If the original product endorsement an influencer made was part of a brand endorsement deal with a third-party PR or influencer marketing agency. The terms of the contract are critical to make sure that if the contract creator decides to “deinfluence” what they originally endorsed – that they aren’t breaking the original contract. However, if the contract terms expired – that potentially opens up a whole new realm of possibilities of products the influencer may deinfluence in the future if they aren’t bound to specific terms.
This social media trend will change how people think about product endorsement, what to buy, and who to buy it from. People may be more likely to follow influencers who lead the deinfluencer trend because it instills trust in their followers rather than only telling them what to buy. By telling them what not to buy, they can grow their follower base.
However, it is still another form of influencing. Rather than saying buy this, they are saying- don’t buy this. Both are forms of influencing. It is no different than saying- vote for this candidate vs. here’s why you shouldn’t vote for this candidate. Perhaps influencers are taking a page out of the political playbook to try new tactics.
Influencers who deinfluence may have more credibility and more followers. Does this create a conundrum for brands — If deinfluencing brings followers, should brands partner with them?
Some influencers who deinfluence can potentially have more credibility and followers if people trust their advice to guide their purchasing decisions. But remember, you have to have money to begin with to actually purchase all of the products you see on TikTok. Many of the influencers are receiving these products in exchange for brand endorsement deals. So, who really loses in the deinfluencer trend movement? You do- the consumer. Because you are paying full price for the product- when many times- they aren’t.
WATCH: Kris Ruby on Fox News discussing deinfluencing
The deinfluencing trend isn’t particularly helpful to the current followers of the influencers who have already taken their original recommendations to pay full price for the products that they are now definfluencing. In this regard, the trend can actually upset current followers who bought the original products that were endorsed.
Can deinfluencing help influencers attract a new audience? Yes. But this specifically pertains to new followers who haven’t already shelled out cash for the products that are now being deinfluenced.
Obviously, the ones left holding the bag are the biggest losers in all of this. In that regard, they are more likely to lose trust in the original influencer who encouraged them to buy a product that is now being deinfluenced.
In terms of bringing in new followers- this pertains to new followers who didn’t already shell out cash for the products that are now being “deinfluenced.”
Move Over Influencers: ‘Deinfluencers’ Take the Lead in Shaping Consumer Trends
What the Deinfluencer Trend means for Influencer Marketing & how brands should adapt
Deinfluencers are having a greater impact on the market than influencers are. This latest trend has marketers worried about the future of influencer marketing.
How have brands responded to deinfluencers?
Brands have responded to deinfluencers in a variety of ways.
Here are a few examples of how brands are adapting:
- Reassessing influencer collaborations: Many brands have started collaborating with deinfluencers, recognizing their growing influence on social media. These collaborations often involve the deinfluencer promoting the brand’s products or services to their followers.
- Adapting social media marketing strategies: Some brands have changed their marketing strategies in response to the rise of deinfluencers. For example, they may focus more on promoting ethical and sustainable practices or on highlighting the quality and longevity of their products rather than encouraging consumers to buy more.
- Pushback: On the other hand, some brands have pushed back against the deinfluencer movement, arguing that it is too negative or that it threatens traditional marketing practices. They may continue to focus on more traditional approaches to marketing and advertising.
Do brands need to pay attention to this social media trend if they don’t work with influencers?
If you have never worked with influencers, it is still important to pay attention to the social media trend. Why? Consumers expect corporate social responsibility for brands, and the deinfluencer movement is one extension of this. While the correlation is not linear, it is still related.
Some of the products that are being deinfluenced are accused of not being environmentally friendly or using overpriced packaging materials. Even if you don’t work with an influencer, the key takeaway here is to be cognizant the increased pressure on brands to satisfy consumers needs in the realm of CSR.
According to Kris Ruby, the deinfluencer movement is a response to the excess and consumerism that has been prevalent in influencer marketing in recent years.
Deinfluencers reject the idea that more is better and instead promote a more mindful and sustainable approach to consumerism. The deinfluencer movement is gaining traction on social media, particularly on platforms like TikTok, where users are sharing tips on how to live a more sustainable and ethical lifestyle.
Ruby suggests that brands should pay attention to this trend and adjust their marketing strategies accordingly.
The rise of the deinfluencer movement represents a shift in consumer values and the way brands approach influencer marketing. By understanding this trend and adapting your marketing strategy, brands can stay ahead of the curve and appeal to the growing number of consumers who are looking for more mindful and sustainable options.
Public Relations Risks Associated with the Deinfluencer Movement
The deinfluencer movement creates a serious ethical and legal conundrum for brands.
PR Pro: The risks outweigh the benefits
Public relations (PR) firms will think twice about the influencers they form brand alliances with and which influencers they suggest to clients. If a PR firm suggests a brand partnership and the influencer then decides to deinfluence the product (the client of the PR firm) who is responsible?
The client will ultimately look to the agency for liability claims in that scenario. It is critical for PR firms to conduct due diligence when deciding which influencers or deinfluencers to partner with, and to conduct a thorough risk assessment prior to making any decisions.
No, not all press is good press, despite the popular adage. An influencer telling millions of followers that your product is not worth it can bring in short term buzz, but it’s not the type of buzz a brand wants long term. You do not want your product to be deinfluenced even if it brings in new followers.
Product visibility is not the same as product sustainability. Short term buzz that is negative is ultimately more of a publicity stunt than it is a winning PR strategy. The goal is to obtain respect, not attention. Your messaging should be in alignment with your brand ethos and mission. Just because someone can deinfluence you doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Some brands may hop on the deinfluencer bandwagon to hire influencers to trash their products for a quick spike in traffic. Don’t do this. This is a terrible idea. Long term, this is not the type of PR or attention your brand should want.
- Brands should be cautious of partnering with influencers who are new to your product to avoid the deinfluencing cycle.
Let them dislike you in private and love you in public. Make sure the influencer has used your product or service for at least six months to a year. If they don’t like it or think it’s not worth it- it doesn’t have to be broadcast in public on a world stage for all to see. Not all attention is good attention. Just because you can whip up negative attention doesn’t mean it’s the type of attention that is healthy for your brand.
Choose partners wisely. Brands should partner with followers who truly love the products and services they are endorsing and promoting. This helps to build community engagement and brings in the type of customers and users that lead to sustainable long-term community growth. Why build a community of people who hate you when you could just as easily invest time in a community that likes your product?
The Rise of the Deinfluencer and the Fall of Influencer Marketing:
A New Social Media Movement Curbs Consumerism- but at what cost?
Will influencers go away?
Is this the end of influencer marketing as we know it?
Influencer marketing is big business; it is not going away any time soon. However, the role of influencers in social media culture is rapidly shifting during economically challenging times.
Over the past ten years, we lived in a social media renaissance. But the party is over.
Consumers are waking up to the privacy nightmare that emerged from handing over data in exchange for posting videos and selfies. And for many, that price is simply too high.
While influencers won’t come out and say it, for many, this is a reckoning for the sins of their social media past.
The deinfluencer movement is an apology without an apology. #sorrynotsorry
While some content creators are taking advantage of it as a new form of influence, others are using it as a way to express regret for encouraging people to spend thousands of dollars on products they can’t afford.
Influencer marketing comes at a cost- the cost is not only what your viewers spend on the products or the affiliate income you rake in, it is also your soul.
At some point, people wake up to the damage they have caused others by encouraging them to spend recklessly for years and think, maybe I shouldn’t have done that.
The deinfluencer movement is the first time many of these influencers are realizing that their influence has consequences.
When you influence others to spend money they don’t have on products you never paid for to begin with, that weighs on you (if you are a decent human being).
Being public on social media platforms has pros and cons.
What is the value of your privacy and how much is that worth?
How much do you lose when you become a public figure?
What is the danger of spending too much time in public on social media platforms?
These are real areas of concerns that influencers need to discuss in addition to over spending. As far as over consumption, that is a sign of the time. Everyone is always looking to save money, and people are also particularly concerned with the rising threat of artificial intelligence on the economy.
I don’t think deinfluencers are truly distancing themselves from influencers- rather, they are becoming a new form of influencers known as deinfluencers- but both are influencers and influential.
If you are persuading someone to buy or not buy, to vote or not vote- you are an influencer.
At the center of the deinfluencing movement is a message of combatting over-consumption and over spending- but what many of the influencers fail to tell their followers is how much they actually spend to keep up the lifestyle of an influencer. It is not only about the products you buy or promote- it is also about the personal toll that the influencer lifestyle takes (and costs) for the influencer to keep up digital appearances.
Overspending is not only about the monetary cost- it should also include the value of your time. What is that worth? When you are doing 50 takes to get a 60 second post right- how much is that time worth?
For the social media deinfluencing movement to expand, it must incorporate how much time it costs the influencers to actually keep up appearances.
Too many millennials dream of becoming influencers without understanding the true cost benefit analysis of what is entailed.
You need to know what you are sacrificing to lead the life or career you want.
It would be interesting to see a “deinfluencer” video on deinfluencing the influencer lifestyle.
Avoid potential scams and approach the trend with caution
Deinfluencing is a popular new trend on social media where creators attempt to persuade their followers to avoid overconsumption.
However, it’s important to be aware that with any trend, there may be scams or fraudulent practices associated with the deinfluencing movement.
One common deinfluencing scam is when a creator promotes a product or service under the guise of deinfluencing, but in reality, they are receiving compensation from the company behind the product or service. This is known as a sponsored post or paid promotion, and it can be misleading if the creator does not disclose their relationship with the company.
Another potential scam is when a creator provides false or misleading information about a product or service to promote an alternative product or service that they are affiliated with by deinfluencing the competitive product. This can be harmful to consumers who rely on the creator’s advice.
Overpriced social media trends.
In recent years, influencers have gotten slammed for encouraging their audience to purchase products that are not actually effective or worth the price.
To avoid falling victim to deinfluencing scams, research the products your favorite creators are promoting and remain skeptical of any claims. Consumers should expect for transparency from content creators, including adherence to FTC disclosure guidelines of any relationships with companies or compensation for promoting products.
By remaining cautious, consumers can make informed purchasing decisions and avoid falling victim to deceitful marketing practices.
READ: Unethical marketing practices can result in legal trouble. Read the top 13 legal mistakes your business is making.
ABOUT KRIS RUBY
Kris Ruby is a social media expert who has spoken about the Deinfluencer movement in various media outlets including Fox 5 New York and CNN. As a social media analyst and President of Ruby Media Group, Kris Ruby is an expert in the world of influencer marketing and social media trends. In a recent radio interview, she provided further insights into the rise of the deinfluencer movement and what it means for brands and the future of influencer marketing.
Deinfluencing Explained: Social Media Analyst Kris Ruby Radio Interview on Deinfluencing.
Read More on Deinfluencers:
Consumers are developing a more critical view of influencers, reflected in social trends including ‘de-influencing’.
KRIS RUBY is the CEO of Ruby Media Group, an award-winning public relations and media relations agency in Westchester County, New York. Kris Ruby has more than 15 years of experience in the Media industry. She is a sought-after media relations strategist, content creator and public relations consultant. Kris Ruby is also a national television commentator and political pundit and she has appeared on national TV programs over 200 times covering big tech bias, politics and social media. She is a trusted media source and frequent on-air commentator on social media, tech trends and crisis communications and frequently speaks on FOX News and other TV networks. She has been featured as a published author in OBSERVER, ADWEEK, and countless other industry publications. Her research on brand activism and cancel culture is widely distributed and referenced. She graduated from Boston University’s College of Communication with a major in public relations and is a founding member of The Young Entrepreneurs Council. She is also the host of The Kris Ruby Podcast Show, a show focusing on the politics of big tech and the social media industry. Kris is focused on PR for SEO and leveraging content marketing strategies to help clients get the most out of their media coverage.