Who are these people delivering your news, destination insights, and influencing your buying power? What does that follower count really mean?
These are some of the questions Shebs Alom (better known as Shebs The Wanderer) found himself asking when interviewing an influencer with a staggering number of followers.
Shebs thought he landed a household name influence. Yet, Shebs had never hear of him...
...read more on the blog. Link in bio
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That is because his numbers were, in fact, too good to be true. His followers were greatly inflated due to bots, assumed to be purchased, and intended to buy him credibility online.
Over a series of months, an unhealthy stalking obsession and a hefty amount of phone call verifications, Shebs was saddened and disappointed. He was the victim of a bad actor in the influencer community. His video podcast attracted a fame seeking opportunist and Shebs took the bait.
This is how we bonded. We both work hard to offer insightful and credentialed guests. Our hopes are to create resources for travelers, writers and travel planners. Often we succeed. Sometimes we are duped. Shebs article on this experience may make you scratch your head and even start running your favorite influencers profiles through such software as grin.co. I went down that rabbit hole and checked the accounts of everyone requesting an audience on Travel Radio Podcast. I dodged some bullets but mostly found my guests are amazing.
Shebs and I take very different stands on regulation, if she should have it and what the penalties should be. He believes people and basically good and understands why they would inflate their numbers.
I take the opposite position. People are fundamentally selfish. We have to work everyday to put others needs in front of our own and, to that extent, present a truthful picture of our capabilities and reach. I'd rather have an honest guest with a small reach than create free advertising for a disingenuous person.
It's a struggle to find good guests but the effort is worth it. Make sure you consume reliable and journalistic content. I can recommend Shebs programming and processes!
The first 20 mins of the episode released tomorrow, 07.15.21, will feature Shebs encounter and motivation to write this article. Please listen (here when published) and stay for the rest of the interview on his time as the only tourist in Turkey during the age of the virus.