An Instagram Influencer With Over 2 Million Followers Couldn’t Sell 36 Shirts

Source: Arii's Instagram

What Happened?

18-year-old Instagram influencer Arii was unsuccessful at launching her new clothing line depsite having over two million followers.

In a now deleted Instagram post, Arii explained that she had to sell at least 36 pieces of clothing to officially launch her brand – and that she failed to meet that mission.

Flawless and Brown on Twitter

The influencer bubble is bursting. This young lady has well over 2 million followers and couldn’t sell 36 shirts. Focus on genuine engagement and not followers cuz they ain’t gonna buy a thing.

In the post, Arii expresses her disappointment in those who chose to not support her new brand.

She claimed that she received a large amount of positive feedback during the build up of her brand, but that those people did not follow through with actually making a purchase.  

The Buzz

This situation caused a buzz of conversation on the internet, with many people criticizing her marketing tactics and some who weren’t suprised that she couldn’t make sales.

Others were confused as to how someone with so many followers couldn’t even sell 36 items. 

Regardless of opinion, there were a plethora of tweets about the situation.

One Twitter user explained that Arii’s large following means nothing when it comes to sales.

She said that Arii doesn’t know her audience well enough to understand what type of products they would buy and what price range they can afford, and this is why none of them bought anything from her.

uNdlunkulu Xoli 👑 on Twitter

@kissmyelite Understanding how marketing works is very important when launching a product. Followers/Traffic/Interaction/Views doesn’t equal sales Understanding your target, sell what they need at a price they’re willing to pay and a quality worth the $ = Sales.

Another Twitter user implied that Arii wasn’t using strong enough marketing techniques.

Arii’s Instagram feed consists mostly of selfies along with other aesthetically pleasing images of herself, and this user believes that doesn’t translate to selling items. 

She thinks that Arii isn’t capable of selling shirts, but could potentially seek out another market more fitting to her Instagram account.

Jen on Twitter

@WdClassic @kissmyelite @vikkie People think they can go from posting selfies or just nice photos all day and that will translate to selling items. That’s not how marketing works. She can probably sell something, it’s just not shirts.

Other people also analyzed Arii’s Instagram feed, claiming that it makes complete sense as to why she couldn’t make a sale.

They are saying that Arii’s captions are not creative enough and don’t reflect her personality. An important part of being an influencer is having the ability to be influential – it’s difficult to do that if people can’t get to know who you are.

Additionally, people are talking about Arii’s lack of engagement on her Instagram. She doesn’t seem to interact with her followers too much, which explains why they wouldn’t be interested in buying something from her. 

k. on Twitter

@kissmyelite I just checked out her insta and it was super dry. Photos, captions. Barely any engagement. Can’t feel her personality. Overall boring.

The Takeaway

Many marketing lessons can be taken from this whole situation. 

Whether you want to be an influencer, or you want to build sales through your brand’s social media pages, here are the top three lessons to take from this story:

1. Your Products Should Coincide With Your Social Media Branding Strategy

Arii’s clothing line didn’t seem to match the majority of her Instagram posts. The clothing that she wears in her photos is a completely different style.

This could be a reason why her followers didn’t want to buy the clothes she was selling. If they didn’t see her wearing the clothing, why would they want to wear it?

You can’t expect to sell a product if it doesn’t match the imagery and brand voice that your followers are already hooked on. 

Consistency is a key aspect of a branding strategy, and it can greatly contribute to you making sales.

2. You Must Study Your Audience To Understand What They Want

Due to lack of sales, it’s clear that Arii’s audience wasn’t interested in the type of clothing she was trying to sell.

But she didn’t understand why. She explained that she worked hard on developing the clothing line and that there was supposed positive feedback before everything went south.

The problem was that she didn’t take the time to research her audience. As mentioned before, her audience seemed to enjoy her overall Instagram aesthetic, which consists of her wearing many bright, fashionable, and unique pieces of clothing. 

Her fashion line was criticized for being too simple, plain, and not creative or original whatsoever. It makes sense that her audience wouldn’t want the complete opposite of what they already liked seeing on her Instagram. 

Make sure you have a full grasp on what your audience likes, needs, and wants. If you produce something that is the opposite of their interests, they clearly won’t gravitate towards it.

3. Engagement Will Take You Far

Even though Arii has over 2 million followers, these types of numbers on social media don’t always mean everything.

From what people have gathered, it is evident that Arii doesn’t actively engage with her followers. So while she has such a large following, it doesn’t help her case because she doesn’t interact with them in a personalized way.

In this instance, Arii is an example of an influencer who has “likeable” Instagram photos due to the high quality and aesthetic nature, but she is not necessarily someone who people would consider to be “influential”. 

It’s important to constantly engage with your followers because you have to give them a reason to support your brand. You can’t expect to bring in a supportive audience without prioritizing them.

Respond to comments and messages in a timely and professional manner. Interact with posts that people tag you in. Stay engaged and they will stay loyal.

About The Author

Laura Wigodner is the Content Marketing Manager for Nex Gen Dynamics. Her lifestyle articles have been featured on Elite Daily, Medium, and Thought Catalog to name a few. She also writes professionally on Content Marketing, Social Media, Branding, and more. A Bradley University Alum with a B.A. in Communications and Creative Writing, Laura loves writing poetry and watching YouTube videos. You can find the Swiftie on Twitter and Instagram, as well as anywhere there is coffee because that is her lifeline.