In the olden days a business would have to advertise in a Newspaper, take out an ad on radio and create commercials on television in order to broaden their customer base. This form of advertising worked extremely well for an extended period of time and created lots of revenue for businesses. Fast forward to 2019 and the whole marketing landscape has shifted. Lahaye (2018) concluded that social media marketing is the best way for business to reach a new and unrecycled customer base. Furthermore, he states that an average social media user spends roughly eight hours a day on the web. Not only is the dissemination of information quick the reach is impeccable.

This phenomenon was recently exploited with the utmost precision in South Africa. Zara, the famous fashion and retail brand used micro influencers to promote the launch of their new online offering. Gifts in the form of handbags were issued to various micro influencers to showcase on their platforms with the intention to create “hype” that could potentially drive sales up. This was not only innovative but a lot cheaper in when compared to airing a commercial on television.

According to a poll administered by Jeff Foster of Convince & Convert, it was found that the return on investment of social media marketing for business was 550% or 6.5 USD on every 1 USD spent. Furthermore, it was found that the top social media influencing tools were blogs with 37%, Facebook with 25%, and 6% for both You Tube and Instagram. The revenue for the custodians who are the social media influencers themselves is even more astounding with reports stating that the likes of “self-made” billionaire Kylie Jenner, Ariana Grande and Cristiano Ronaldo getting paid 1 200 000 USD, 966,000 USD and 975 000 USD for an Instagram post.

With the reputation, lifestyle and value of the social media influencer’s account being so closely related to the potential revenue, is there a realistic demand for influencers to purchase personal cyber insurance? Goldphish (2018) defines cyber insurance as insurance cover for businesses and individuals for cyber related liability risks. These risks range from identity theft, cyber extortion and loss or corruption of data.

In the modern day era, brick and mortar businesses have been replaced by a laptop, good Wi-Fi and a decent coffee shop. In an industry where the individual is the “business”, social media influencers cannot afford to be without personal cyber insurance. Statistics show that individuals are still susceptible to clicking on unauthorized links that compromise their information.

A hack of a prominent figures social media account could lead to current and potential loss of revenue, reputational damage for the influencer and the brand that has been endorsed. Online Website Ranker, confirmed that prominent figures such as Jennifer Lawrence, Miley Cyrus and Tiger Woods which have all fallen victim of cyber-attacks.

Cyber-attacks are not only unique to individuals that are not “computer savvy”. Research has shown that any individual with a device is susceptible to an attack. The losses cannot be quantified and the reputational damage can be difficult to rebuild. As a social media influencer can you really not afford to have personal cyber insurance?

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