Published on April 4th, 2018 | by Senchoo


Influencers: Is it really just fans?

So let’s start getting down into the statistics of everything. I usually see a lot of statistics and people boasting about numbers of visits etc.

But the more i need to present them myself i know more of what is important.

“I have over 10k unique users every month!”, but they don’t mention that only 400 are returning during that month, bounce rate is over 90% and sessions usually last less than my attention span when people start talking about what lunch place has the best pea soup. So there is a lot more than the first numbers that matter (especially if they don’t filter out the Russian spam/scan bots that do their spider thingy).

There are for websites different matching websites that score in between the two. But they are not always very accurate since they base the info on what they can see which is not always the full picture. Some get the info from ISP:s, vendors and other hosting sources, but then some get their info from some not as legit places (ever wonder what keeps your adblocker free and updated? Yea, thought so, and bet you’re angry at Cambridge analytica.). The only way to actually show what matters is the own sites analytics (preferably Googles own) and show the key amount of numbers together with growth. A retailer will always need to check the conversion of users (people visiting and how many actually bought something) and from where they came from (Social, referral or direct. Organic search usually says fuck all unless you have paid advertisements).

So this is where it get’s sketchy when lots of people try to become the influencers on different anti-social media. It has been proven (Nerd City but Instagram experiment) that you can fake it ’til you make it. But make what exactly? The only thing i follow is airsoft/guns and some of my friends that usually start a conversation with if i’ve seen their latest pic (I do now you peppy bastard…). But i don’t think that there is the slightest chance that is you have over 1k followers that they are all interested in airsoft/guns in general. It’s all about context on how things are portrait and under what circumstance. People buy in to the context, if you look cool or hot there is always a chance people like that more than the watch you are wearing, but you can always say that that’s not the case (doesn’t make it true though).

People that have been in the business for a little while have heard sales reps from different manufacturers say that they do not want to be associated with anything airsoft. Usually since it’s their investors that don’t want the products to be seen as toys for (wo)man childs, and there have been some that went all out on the airsoft market with influencers and then turned a cold shoulder just because of this reason. Honestly I don’t blame them because of the player base is so split in both age, region and the way we handle things (we want it until people can make a cheap copy).

Magpul pulled their stuff as fast as they noticed that licensed (and green label) replicas started making it’s way to the real market and getting people confused since they more or less looked the same. One of my absolute favorite manufacturers had about the same to say that being associated is very frowned upon, but the pictures that they produce are sometimes very good. I said that you most look at some of the things at flattering when people don’t only look at the products as the brand, but for what they really appreciate in the engineering that they are willing to spend a good amount of money just to be able to use it. As Nutnfancy said that there are 2 kinds of cool and it’s when a product has the second kind where the thought behind it really shines.

But right now it is all stuck in a hole where selling amounts are better than the quality. Unboxings are everywhere and reviews just cover what it says on the box because you don’t want to step over a boundary with the people giving you the stuff, and they know that. Even worse is when influencers pop out of no where and get really much traction and when digging a little you notice they have stronger ties to the company and depend on that getting stronger. And when asked about it they usually only try to brush that off like it’s nothing. But it’s only the context that matter, the superficial context we get every day with fake smiles for the camera and fans to just grow a little bit more.

There are great people in this industry, there are people that will always be disingenuous and everyone else somewhere in the middle. But sometimes I think we need to press reset.

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About the Author

Started airsoft back in 2005. Now mostly working a day job and getting into the details of gear, optics and NVG.

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