Instagram Influencers Hacked
This young industry makes the wild west look like vacation resort. The concept of an influencer is not a new one, however the method of influencing along with the ease of access of entry for new players are new. Along with that comes the scams, hackers, and other bs.
Yes, it’s easy to make fun of influencers and not many tears will be shed when their business gets up ended. Some will even celebrate it. Regardless, this industry is real and getting hacked is never fun.
If you are making money by using social media, take note of these incidents. The earlier you learn the realities of operating on these networks, the more prepared you will be in the event you have to deal with something like this. This isn’t just about influencers either. Any size business or an individual putting in the work to building a following, should consider a few things.
Instagram doesn’t care. Really, they don’t.
As influencer Cassie Gallegos-Moore explained: “My Instagram was hacked, held for ransom, and deleted (and Instagram doesn’t care!)”
Think about this..
Influencer is making money from promoting a product, yet Instagram is not cut in on that transaction. They’re profiting off of a free platform. They get hacked. Obviously it’s an urgent matter for the influencer. Not an urgent one to Instagram.
Regardless of the procedure Instagram has in place to recover a hacked account, it will not be a handled with a “code red” approach. Your world stopped, not theirs. Make sense?
Remember this is a business. Bottom line.
When you have one, you have none.
It applies to any business and making money on social media is no different. It puts you in a vulnerable position when most of your sales are coming from one source. If something happens to that one source, it can be devastating. It’s critical to make sure you are building elsewhere.
You leave yourself in a vulnerable spot when you blow up on one platform, and one platform only.
It’s a reality that one platform delivers greater results than others, depending on the niche. A political writer might have their best success on Twitter, where a beauty blogger focuses in on Instagram. That being said, having a significant presence on other networks is important in the event something happens to the primary platform.
Get first party data early.
Yes social media is a great way to connect to others, though you will always be at the mercy of that platform. If you are seriously looking to make money over the long haul, make an investment in your own website. Build that email list early.
If your Instagram account gets hacked and destroyed, you have a point of contact directly with the your audience. You can explain what happened and ask them to follow you on a new account. Speaking of which..
Have a backup account.
When you’re running your own website, there are plenty of options to back the site up in the event something happens to it. Assuming you’ve built it on a quality platform and host, that is. That’s not the case on social media. Again, you are at the mercy of the network. If you get hacked and they permanently deleted the account, it may be gone for good.
With that being a real possibility, once you start to build an audience consider building a backup account. Especially if you have demonstrated an ability to move products and brands are paying you. In the event the primary one gets hacked, the rebuilding process will be much easier. Hey, nobody said this lifestyle was going to be easy.
Know that brands will bail on you.
The internet is evolving quick. Gone for too long and brands will bounce. They may feel bad, they may sympathize with you, they may even work with you again in the future, but until you get things resolved they will move on. Not much they can do about it, just a reality of the business these days.
Same goes for your audience or customers. If you disappear for too long, the out of sight, out of mind thing becomes a very real thing. Again, having that diversity beyond one platform is critical.
Be vigilant of scams.
As The Atlantic reported, one publicist fell for a phishing tactic used by scammers. They were asked to log in to a commonly used Instagram analytics tool called Iconosquare. Turns out the domain extension was a .biz instead of .com and the website was a clone set up by the scammers to gain control of an Instagram account. Log in credential provided, account hacked.
Seems easy enough to fall for. You handed your account right over to the bad guys. Next thing you know, you’re negotiating with someone and sending them bitcoin to get your account back. Not a good situation to be in.
Before you provide your account info over to anyone on any level, take your time and do some research on who is asking. Take a close look at the actual domain address. Look for references. Search the name of the company that is asking.
Influencers have given too much power to social media.
There was a time where we used to go directly to websites to get information. Now we go to social media networks first, websites second. In the influencer world, people were moving products through their own blogs. Now the move products through YouTube and Instagram.
Yes the networks has the audience but it seems many stop there. They’ve become content with leaving their audience on whatever platform they are hot on, at that moment. Eventually they get cold and those moments end.
Aim to build a brand stronger than the network.
It’s entirely possible to become a strong enough presence, in which your followers seek you out. If people are only seeing your content when you happen to scroll across their screen, then something is missing. Become so valuable, they are seeking you out.
It’s a sign your audience truly values you and you’re not a flavor of the moment. It demonstrates you’ve earned their trust, attention, and time. They look to you not just for entertainment but for knowledge and wisdom. That makes for a strong brand built on a real foundation. One that can beat out a hack.
Thank you for reading!
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