Watch out for influencers out there!

More than just a penny for your thoughts (1)

Meet the new breed of social media influencers, people who tweet or blog about products and services for a fee.

Today, a tweet can fetch you Rs. 2,000 (US$30). A blog, even more. Courtesy, a relatively young concept called influencer marketing that Indian brands are sinking their teeth into (2). Being an “influencer” is not so different from being a regular blogger, tweeter, Instagrammer or Snapchatter. You do all the same things — with just an extra option of accepting requests from brands to write about their services and products. In turn, you bag (3) vouchers or even cash.

It’s quite a short bridge between being a blogger and an influencer. And, most are marching along with ease (4). So much so that (5) many are quitting their corporate jobs and taking up tweeting / blogging full time.

Sarath Babu S. (followed by around 22,000 people) joined Twitter in 2009 mainly to participate in promotional contests organized by various brands, going from gig to gig, meeting bike riders, testing their products, playing with top musicians. He got 10 smartphones (including an iPhone for winning a contest by online grocery store Bharat Ration), free trips and stays at five-star hotels that he has enjoyed in the past few years. Just a few perks (6) of being an influencer.

Meanwhile, the contests increased his followers, and slowly, he was being approached by agencies that connected him to various brands. The mere thrill of winning contests turned serious, and he gave up trying to build his career in the Civil Services. Now, he is a “super influencer”, which means brands call him to host contests, and also help with Twitter campaigns that announce the launch of their products. “It’s a job that sometimes requires me to tweet at 6 a.m., or at midnight. Around 100 tweets a day on an average, and during festivals, 300,” he says. The remuneration depends on the brands. “It can go from Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 60,000 at times; and for tweets — from Rs. 7 to Rs. 2,000,” he says.

If you look at it, it is just like any other freelancing job.

With 75 per cent of marketers working with influencers, the trend seems to be snuffing the life out of (7) paid advertisements. “Many companies have their own influencer marketing department and a manager to head it these days,” says social media consultant, avid blogger and podcaster, Kiruba Shankar (followed by over 58,000 people on Twitter). “Everybody knows that ads are paid for, so they lose their credibility there. Consumers rely more on individual opinions. That is probably the reason why influencer marketing is such a hit. Now, with money in the equation, honesty might be in doubt. There are cases where people even buy followers. But the influencers are tweeting using their handle (8), so if they are going to spam, or give wrong reviews about services and products, it is their name that is at stake (9),” he adds.

I’m sold (10) on the fact that Digital Influencers are the key to marketing success nowadays. That said (11), I think it’s less about the “celebrity” status of an influencer and the amount of followers they have, but all about creating amazing quality content and storytelling.

Adapted from a story by Naveena Vijayan, The Hindu

Will influencers bore the life out of us?

The basic meaning of “Snuff something out” is to put an end to something Before he could reach the top in his career, a scandal almost snuffed it out. I had a promising career as a dancer, but a tragic injury snuffed it out. This usage alludes to snuff in the sense of “put out a candle by pinching the wick.”

Bearing this in mind, we need to analyze the phrase “the life out of a person or a thing,” which is basically an intensifier, meaning “too much, or more than you are able or willing to tolerate.” It implies extreme violence literally speaking but it is definitely used for hyperbole and always as a metaphor. And, as such, it may be combined with a few verbs in English, one of which is “snuff” — as it is used in the text above.

Let’s take a look at a few verbs that are commonly combined with it: She frightened /scared the life out of me, shouting like that, which means that she made him extremely frightened. The story nearly frightened the life out of me.

Verbs such as “suck” and “drain” combined with the expression “the life out of” is equivalent to saying that something or somebody is a great burden, usually because of emotional demands, as in I like my new co-worker, but he always talks about his innumerable misfortunes and after a while, it sucks the life out of me / I hate having to correct all of the mistakes made by my predecessor, it’s sucking / draining the life out of me. How do you like this title for a self-help article: What to Do When Your Job Has Sucked the Life Out of You?

If anything ever literally “frustrated the life out of you” — that is, frustrate to the point of death —, you’d no longer be in a position to share your frustration with anyone. However, something can frustrate you beyond what you are willing or able to tolerate. Or when comparisons, for instance, are “choking the life out of,” say, a Latam CEO in charge of the Euro branch, which the former CEO had to quit, comparisons are making life / things difficult for him. In other words, it is hard for him to stay happy because people are constantly comparing him to his predecessor.

As with most idiomatic expressions, we’d better not overuse them, lest you bore the life out of your interlocutors. Wink!

“a penny for your thoughts” (1)

An expression used to enquire into the thoughts and feelings of another person, especially when the person appears pensive, a special way to say: I would like to know what you are thinking about For several minutes they sat silently, then finally she said, “A penny for your thoughts, Simon.”

“sinking their teeth into” (2)

When you sink or get your teeth into something, you start to do that with a lot of energy and enthusiasm, getting a hands-on experience. She’d only had small parts in TV soaps and was hoping for a more interesting part, something she could sink her teeth into / It’s a really ambitious project – I can’t wait to sink my teeth into it / He’ll find it easier when he sinks his teeth into the task.

“bag” (3)

The verb that derives from the noun means to gain or to acquire. In this particular context, the use carries the informal meaning of “managing to get something that a lot of people want:” Try to bag a couple of seats at the front.

“with ease” (4)

Without any effort. The smart student passed the test with ease / You’ll be able to be admitted with ease, your grades are excellent.

“so much so” (5)

This expression joins two ideas to mean “to such a great degree, to such an extent that” Computer games opened a new world, so much so you wonder what you used to do with your free time. The unit that follows the string, as in the text above, is a clause beginning with that, which expresses the result or the consequence of what was said before He was a dedicated student, so much so that he got the grant to study abroad / I loved the movie, so much so I watched it three times / She is terrified of flying … so much so that she’s never visited her family in Europe.

“perks” (6)

When you have some “perks” in your job, you get an advantage or something extra, be it money or goods; for instance, A company car and a mobile phone are some of the perks that come with the job. You may speak about perks in connection with activities or situations other than work to describe advantages, as in Having such easy access to a lot of free cultural activities is one of the perks of living in Buenos Aires.

“snuffing the life out of” (7)

See “Influencers bore the life out of you” at left.

“handle” (8)

One of the meaning of “handle” is a name or nickname. In the context of digital communication, the handle is the username for the Twitter social networking service, sometimes written after the “@”symbol, or the website address for that service, which acts as a link to the user’s profile and to messages written by or about the user I added my handle at the top of my blog page so that readers could view my tweets as well as my blog posts.

“at stake” (9)

If something is at stake, it is at risk, in danger, in question Species Fate at Stake as South Africa Considers Rhino Horn Trade.

“I’m sold on” (10)

If you are sold on a fact or an idea, you are convinced of it, or, to put it more clearly “you have successfully sold it to me” or “now I agree.” The crowd was sold on the politician. Nothing he had done or could do would cool their enthusiasm.

“That said” (11)

When the expression “that said” starts a sentence after an idea, you want to add an opinion that seems to contrast the first thought. It is synonymous with “however.” Pragmatically, it also means “considering what was said before.” In any case, you think both ideas are true. I’ve read a lot of great things about Paris. That said, I’d rather spend my vacation in Rome.”


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