The Love Island influencer world is a women’s game

By Hayley Coleby, Associate Director and Head of Social at The PHA Group.

With only a week left of the current Love Island series, we’ve seen the drama unfold, along with all the memes on social media, and now we’re ready to see our winners. However, when the villa is a distant memory, who is going to have the biggest follower base from which to build their career as a successful influencer?

Traditionally being an influencer, as Love Islanders would say, involves a lot of hard graft. As the Instagram algorithm has nullified organic reach, Islanders will need to post a constant stream of stand-out content on the platform, putting their time and effort into creating a variety of formats to test what works for them and the brands they collaborate with.

However, a reality show which has a strong emotional pull like Love Island, allows contestants to catapult their following from a standing start, as they’re no longer an abstract selfie taker on the grid, but a human-being sharing their relatable highs and lows. This is highlighted by the majority of islanders being verified, which is normally a painful waiting game.

Influencers starting their career from scratch would typically find it almost impossible to gain this prestigious tick.

It’s important to remember that the islanders are not new to social media and a healthy audience size. They are aware of the influencer world and the producers are clearly drawn to this during the casting process. When looking at the most followed accounts now, two absolutely blow the others out of the water; Millie (700k) and Liberty (600k). With Millie’s Casa Amor heartache and Liberty’s insecurities, social media users went into a frenzy sharing their messages of support for them both.

This isn’t necessarily the case for the male contestants. The initial Love Island girls have a combined Instagram following of 3 million. The boys on the other hand, only have 1 million, with Jake at the bottom of the pile (200k). This is in part thanks to the friends and family who are running the feeds whilst they’re in the villa. From emotional viral statements asking for commenters to be kind, to Q+A’s featuring funny past pictures, they are fully committed to being social media managers and using their loved one’s social for good. On the other hand, the boys Instagram stick to more basic tactics of resharing content from the main Love Island channel, which is not hugely engaging for active fans of the show who will have seen these clips before and want more ‘behind the scenes’ snippets.

Of course, the show is still unfolding and I’m sure that any controversial storylines will continue to surge follower growth. However, those islanders who have already left the villa are at an advantage when it comes to securing brand collaborations, such as Lucinda who has already confirmed a partnership with fashion brand, ISawItFirst.

My prediction is that the female winner will be this year’s influencer royalty and she will have her pick of fashion brand collaborations, in the same way that Molly Mae did. Missguided’s Channel 4 show revealed that she met all the main fashion houses in just one day, hearing all their different prices and pitches for her name!

Photo by Sean Oulashin on Unsplash

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