In the wake of the controversy surrounding internet personality Logan Paul, social media expert Becky Boyd believes that influencers need to be treated more like brands.
“Businesses have a lot more responsibility because whatever they put out there, they’re saying it on behalf of a company, which could be thousands of people potentially,” the Leeds-based social media expert told BusinessCloud.
But with the rise of internet celebrities and personal brands, it becomes more difficult to distinguish the difference between a single users opinion and that of an influential social media account.
“That line is becoming much more blurred. We’re seeing that with YouTube influencers who are saying and doing really stupid things, but then are surprised when they find that it has repercussions,” she said.
The comments were made with reference to YouTube’s decision to suspend the account of one its most famous users, Logan Paul.
After showing images of a dead body in one of his videos, the company decided to remove his ability to run advertisements.
“As much as he is a business, Logan Paul is clearly not much of a businessman. He doesn’t understand the long-term problems with what he’s doing,” said Boyd, who founded social media consultancy ‘The Social Media Geek’ in 2013.
“We’re going to have to build up guidelines for business and for brands on how they cope with such situations, particularly if they’re dealing influencers who could cause these controversies.”
Boyd was speaking at BusinessCloud’s ‘Social Media – Friend or Foe?’ event before appearing on a panel.
While the business founder believes that more needs to be done, she is hopeful that the procedure for regulating influencers will become clearer in time.
“It is very unclear, but we are the guinea pig generation and soon we’ll figure out these problems,” she concluded.
“It’s not going to end the world, but we quickly have to figure out how we approach these problems.”