Influencer marketing has become the key pillar of digital marketing strategies but with the rising numbers of influencers out there, it becomes crucial for marketers to make sure that they are investing in the right influencers with real followers. Building long term influencer partnerships are built on authenticity & involve delivering real engagements to the brand. Hence identifying fake from the real audience becomes the first line of defence to avoid frauds in the industry.
Influencers who have gained a certain level of following can generate impressive numbers of engagements through their content & social influence. Brands, who are looking to build their online presence can effectively leverage this influence to gain momentum in establishing their brand online.
However, not all influencers have a genuine following that brands or Influencer Marketing Agency are generally looking for. Some have purchased fake followers which act as accounts that follow & engage with the influencer’s account but are not necessarily actual people or fans but are simply bots. This can prove incredibly reputation-damaging for the influencer as well as the brand associated with the said influencer. So, how do brands & companies stay wary of this risky business & identify if the influencer has fake followers? We’ll here to tell you
Engage in Engagement Figures
Analyzing the engagement an influencer is getting on their social media accounts is a good place to start. A very high number in either direction can indicate the inauthenticity of the followers. You can guestimate the engagement rate by adding the total number of engagements & dividing the number by the total number of followers X 100 to arrive a conclusion. An engagement rate of less than 1% would hint at fake followers. This might happen when the influencer has fake followers who do not interact with their posts or content.
Similarly, a very high engagement rate could indicate that the influencer might be buying likes & comments to give their engagement levels a boost. A giveaway for this kind of activity is repetitive like and engagements of very similar nature.
Scan the Spam
To gain an insight into whether an influencer has real or fake followers, you can start by simply scrolling through the comments section. This can give you an overview of the people engaging with the influencer’s content and whether they’re genuinely interested in it. Some outright giveaways to spot spammy comments is to look for comments that seem unrelated to the influencer’s post, repetitive comments, comments with only emojis and the comments that simply look out of the place.
Follow the Followers
Another way of immediately spotting if an influencer has fake followers is to analyze the number of followers to following ratio. A genuinely popular influencer will always have more followers than the accounts/people they are following. Influencers with shady business usually have an equal number of followers & following accounts. This happens because, in order to gain a number of followers, they seek for other accounts to ‘follow for follow’ or ‘shoutout for shoutout’. While this might increase the number of followers they have, but the community they hence build is irrelevant to the content they usually post.
The whole influencer & influencee industry is completely built on trust & the authenticity of the content put out on social media. We’re definitely seeing a shift from vanity metrics, like Instagram hiding the number of likes a post gets, to filter out the authentic ones from the frauds. This has also given rise to micro-influencers, who don’t have a huge but quality following. As a brand working with influencers, you should focus on identifying & building a relationship with influencers who deliver a high rate of interest & also help you in generating sales. These key metrics are strong indicators of the success of the influencer & the right step towards the success of your influencer marketing campaigns. To make your strategy fool-proof, you can also take the help of influencer marketing platform like ClanConnect. It’s an AI-based, data-driven platform that helps you in targeted searches & customise analytics to help identify and partner with more relevant influencers for your influencer marketing campaigns. So there’s no place for error & your marketing campaigns are a success.