Over the past years, we witnessed the emergence of many social media platforms and the amount of people that have been on social media is increasing daily. The existence of social media had created a popularity for some certain users and made them famous to eventually be called with “Social Media Influencer or Blogger”.
These social media influencers are the ones whose content is getting recognized by the mass and over the years they have been getting more recognition by brands that use them to promote their products or to gain more followers. By the time, these influencers became a façade for brands and many advertisements.
Social media has many dark sides and making certain people famous is one of them because they are using it the wrong way.
Social Media Influencers In Time of COVID-19
As much as these influencers use their popularity and their social media accounts in helping the community during these tough times but we can’t ignore the fact that some of them have been taking advantage of the situation and have been using their popularity in the worst possible way.
Ever since the Coronavirus started to spread, we have been suffering from a medical supply shortage. The current situation had people panicking and purchasing a huge amount of medical alcohol, sanitizers, and a lot of medicines that can help to cure a COVID-19 patient, which caused a shortage in the medical supplies.
In this time of medical supply shortage, we came across a post attacking the social media influencer Amr Rady for having over 10K medical supplies and medicine packs that are needed urgently for the Coronavirus patients.
How Amr Rady’s Story Began
A few days ago, Rady posted several stories on his Instagram account stating that he owns around 10K packs of vitamins, medical masks, medical alcohol, and Lactoferrin, which can help to cure COVID-19 cases and these medical supplies can’t be found in pharmacies due to the shortage.
He later urged people to take part and follow the company’s account that provided him with all these medical supplies and he will be donating them to quarantining hospitals. This is what made everyone attack him.
Using A Disaster To Promote A Brand Always Backfires
Taking advantage of a serious situation where people suffer and dying from a pandemic to promote a company and to urge people to follow its account is not ethical. Having over 10K of medical supplies being kept to promote a company while others are in the hospitals or quarantining in their houses suffering from the lack of these medicines is not ethical. Promoting a company at the expense of people dying is also not ethical!
Back in 2012, Microsoft did a similar approach; the giant tech company tweeted that every time someone retweets this tweet to promote Bing, they will be donating to help Japan which suffered back then from an earthquake.
@bing: How you can #SupportJapan – https://binged.it/fEh7iT. For every retweet, @bing will give $1 to Japan quake victims, up to $100K.
This Twitter campaign backfired and people attacked the brand for using people’s tragedy as a marketing promotion!
Microsoft has been forced to make an apology following the marketing tweet aiming to raise money for victims of the tsunami and earthquake in Japan provoked a mixed response.
We apologize the tweet was negatively perceived. Intent was to provide an easy way for people to help Japan. We have donated $100K.
— Bing (@bing) March 12, 2011
A few hours later, at 2:24 p.m., Microsoft posted an apology from the Bing account.
Will Rady’s Explanation Be Accepted?
Amr Rady, later on, posted a video explaining that he wasn’t promoting anything and he was just saying thank you to the company for providing the supplies so he can donate to the hospitals.
The question remaining on people’s minds is how he could have this amount of supplies and how this company can provide him with this amount. Some people say that he did nothing wrong while most people are asking for his punishment.
Is Social Media A Place for Ethical Marketing?
Having competitions is one of the things that have been trending for a long time now and some brands are using this strategy to gain more followers. What can make those competitions non-ethical is people not winning!
We are aware that some people win and some competitions are 100% honest; but what about those influencers who are manipulating people’s emotions just to gain followers?
This is where the problem lies; using social media to manipulate people’s feelings or taking advantage of a situation that is causing suffering is the worst strategy that you could follow to gain popularity and to gain followers.