Digital Marketing

Macro-Influencer Mistakes: Failing to Engage Your Audience

Reaching macro-influencer status in itself is difficult and time consuming. You have to produce quality content that attracts followers, build your following, interact with your followers, and adapt to a variety of algorithm changes. For those of us who are following those influencers, it can feel like everyone’s doing the same thing – and that’s why many macro-influencers struggle to grab hold of their audience and keep it.

Because influencers get their name from the fact that they influence their audience to do something – whether it’s support a cause or buy a product – it makes sense to work with them when you want to spread brand awareness and grow your own audience.

I’d like to share a story of an Instagram macro-influencer with more than two million followers – Arii. You’d think that with a following that large, she’d be able to market herself as a successful influencer. But sadly, all she can say is that she has over 2 million followers. When she tried to use her “influencer” status to sell t-shirts and launch her online clothing – she found that she couldn’t even sell 36 shirts.

Arii is an 18-year-old influencer with 2.6 million followers. Though the post has since been deleted, she wrote that the clothing company she was working with had rules regarding her first sales, which included selling at least 36 pieces from her line.

The post read: “Hi, it breaks my heart to have to write this post. As ya’ll know, I released my brand. I’ve poured my heart into this drop. For my photoshoot, I flew out a photographer & makeup artist…. & and I planned weeks ahead & was lucky enough to gather some friends who modeled for me…. I rented out a huge photo studio for the day so I could [get] as many shots & video promo shots as I could….Unfortunately the company that I’m working with goes based on your first drop sales. In order for them to order and make my products (even to keep working with them) I have to sell at least 36 pieces (knowing I’ve become super irrelevant, I already knew it was gonna be hard) but I was getting such good feedback that people loved it and were gonna buy it. No one has kept their word so now the company won’t be able to send out the orders to people who actually bought shit and it breaks my heart.

While the situation is sad for her, she made mistakes… and rookie ones at that.

Followers Do Not Equal Customers

The number one rule of business is to make sure you know who your customer is, and then create content that’s helpful and appealing to those customers. Just because someone follows you on social media doesn’t mean that they will ever become customers.

And if you make the mistake of buying followers (I don’t know that she did or didn’t – or how long it took her to amass that many followers) to inflate your numbers and make yourself look good, you’ll definitely lack the targeted fans and followers you’ll need to convert them into paying customers later down the funnel.

By creating content the type of people you want to buy your product or service want, the idea is that you will attract targeted potential customers, who over time, will develop a relationship with you. They will trust your authority and suggestions, thus being more open to the idea of buying products and services you suggest, or products and services you sell.

She fails here because people liking a bunch of selfies doesn’t mean they’ll ever buy anything – especially if you don’t even tell them where to buy the elements of the outfits you’re wearing.

Engagement on Photos Doesn’t Mean You Have a Brand

Looking at Arii’s feed, many of the photos are just her doing whatever. There’s not a cohesive theme. She’s not sharing any of her products. While she does get plenty of engagement in terms of likes and comments – it’s many people asking where her outfits are from, where she bought something, how old she is, or since the deletion of her brand failure post, even giving her advice about how to build a brand online.

She mistook the likes and engagement she got from her followers as liking her aesthetic as the brand. There’s nothing there but photos of herself – nothing that tells you who she is. Nothing of any inspiration, nothing that tells people why they should consider following her and what value she’d bring to their feed.

And though people are taking the time to like and comment, there’s little to no evidence that Arii actually responds to people when they reach out to her. If you don’t interact with your followers, you’ll never build the two-way relationship that’s necessary if you want sales.

There’s not even a bio to explain who she is – just an email address that’s associated with an influencer marketing platform or talent agency, Fullscreen.

Twitter Had a Heyday

Twitter users were quick to point out her mistakes – and though it may seem a bit cruel, they actually had valid points as to why she failed.

Jack Appleby provided this side-by-side look at the photos she shared on her feed, compared to the clothes in her brand.

As you can see, the aesthetics between the two are wildly different. If you can’t see her wearing any of the clothes from her line, why would her followers?

Others, such as now inactive user biculturalfamilia, pointed out that she didn’t do enough to promote it.

Jack Appleby gave us another comparison of her feed, suggesting that while he may have missed her IG stories or promoted posts, it appears that she announced it with a single video, put up an additional video and then claimed she failed 13 days later. The feed shows no photos of her products. Watching the video tells us nothing about the brand, what it is, or even what it looks like.


Ultimately, no matter how many followers you have – cultivating a relationship with them and learning who they are is the only way to build a successful online business. I admire Arri’s efforts to build the following, but she’s got a long way to go before she can leverage it as a brand or business.


SEO virtuoso, CEO @Sachs Marketing Group. Focused on being of service to business owners - helping to better position them in the eyes of their audiences.

By Eric Sachs

SEO virtuoso, CEO @Sachs Marketing Group. Focused on being of service to business owners - helping to better position them in the eyes of their audiences.

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