Learning English through Debating

A social media influencer is a person who is paid by a company to promote goods and services through their social media networks. Surveys show that a majority of millennials trust the advice of social media influencer over a traditional media advertisements. Write an argumentative essay. 

  • Discuss whether social media influencers are more trustworthy than traditional media advertisements. 
  • Give reasons to support your point of view.

Thanks to the technological advancement, social media has become indispensable in our modern life. It helps connect people around the world and influences what information they share and receive and thus their thoughts and behaviours. Due to the powerful influence of social media, some industry experts choose to promote and sell specific goods and services through their social media networks. Because of their professional knowledge and insights, their opinions greatly affect their followers’ purchase decision and behaviour. Therefore, some of them have become social media influencers. According to a recent survey, a majority of millennials trust the advice of social media influencers over traditional media advertisements. In my opinion, this phenomenon is justifiable. The following arguments will explain the reasons why social media influencers are more trustworthy than traditional media advertisements.

In the first place, social media influencers are more trustworthy than traditional media advertisements because they demonstrate professional knowledge over the goods and services they choose to promote to their target customers. Most of them have achieved professional insights and accumulated solid experience in their own industry. They are willing to share and communicate with their audience their expertise and professional opinion in respect of certain goods and services. As a result, they have gained trust and confidence from their followers. For example, Gloria Tsang, an experienced nutritionist and dietician, has gained widespread credibility from her numerous Facebook and Instagram followers by sharing her professional opinion on how to keep fit through healthy eating and how to choose healthy food through reading nutrition labels. Gloria’s choice of and recommendation on certain brands of food is highly respected and adopted by her audience. On the contrary, traditional media advertisements, usually in the form of celebrity endorsement, are less persuasive because they only rely on the positive image and popularity of the celebrities to attract customers’ attention and to raise the awareness of and the status of the goods and services promoted. The celebrities are not necessarily experts in the products and services promoted. Therefore, social media influencers are more trustworthy.

Second, social media influencers have a more authentic relationship with their target customers than traditional media advertisements. In order to maintain trust and credibility among their followers, social media influencers tend to promote good and services which they have used and preferred by themselves. Social media influencers will not risk losing their hard-won long-term credibility by selling poorly-performing products and services in favour of short-term interests. However, traditional media advertisements in general lack sincerity and authenticity because it is uncertain whether the celebrities actually use or prefer the products and services they endorse. 

Lastly, social media influencers are more transparent than traditional media advertisements. The former has a two-way communication with their audience while the latter is only a one-way communication. As social media users can leave their comments and reviews on the products and services recommended by the social media influencers, in order to avoid any misunderstandings and doubts about their credibility, social media influencers usually actively engage and interact with their target audience. The two-way communication deepens the trust between the social media influencers and their followers which traditional media advertisements can never achieve.

In short, compared to traditional media advertisements, social media influencers are more trustworthy in terms of their professionalism, integrity, sincerity and transparency.

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