Do you know how you can tell if an influencer is fake?
When choosing influencers to partner with, it’s important that you examine their accounts very carefully.
A problem in today’s influencer marketing landscape is that many marketers are only looking at the follower count the influencers have, and then think that equals to influence.
The issue is however that it’s not that simple.
If you want to run a successful social media influencer marketing campaign, you have to go far more in-depth to see how influential the influencer really is and what impact they have on their following. The follower count does not necessarily equal influence, and this is why it is important to know exactly what to look for.
This is ultimately what will decide how well your campaign will perform.
In this article, I’ll, therefore, provide you with the key elements you need to take into consideration when choosing an influencer and how you can spot if their influence is faked or not. When talking about fake influencers, there are two main things to take into consideration. Firstly, it’s important to understand what a fake influencer is.
To start, there are actually two types of fake influencers. The most common is the one where a person buys followers and fake their influence in order to look more popular and influential than they actually are.
The second type, which is actually quite uncommon, is when someone creates a fake account with fake images/pretends to be someone they are not. This is not the biggest threat to marketers and businesses, so we will focus on the more common type.
As mentioned, the most common type of fake influencers are the individuals who buy fake followers and engagement.
Considering just how easy it is to buy thousands of followers as well as engagement, it is understandable that it is tempting to do so.
Building your influence on social media takes time and effort. It is thus understandable that people choose to take the easy route of buying followers and faking their engagement. The problem is however, that when you buy followers and engagement on social media, you are not buying real people’s attention like you do when you, for example, run an advertisement. Instead, the followers you get are bots and fake profiles. As you can understand, these individuals will never bring you as a brand any benefits.
When you are working with an influencer on social media, you work with them because the huge reach they have, and the trust and influence over people. But when their whole following is fake, they won’t have any of that.
This is why fake influencers create a problem, and why you as a company can lose a lot of money simply working with fake influencers.
How You Can Tell If an Influencer is Fake
When looking for influencers to partner with, you should thoroughly examine their engagement and content.
The engagement the influencer has is one of the most important things you need to look at, since influencers with a “small” audience but a more engaged such can generate better results than an influencer with a huge following but a poor engagement. It doesn’t matter how many followers an influencer has unless they are being reached, and then impacted by the message that the influencer is trying to mediate.
Most influencers are pretty savvy and know that most sponsors look only on the surface of their accounts: total followers, likes or views/post and professional photos/videos so don’t get fooled by these kind of numbers. These are only vanity numbers, and while they do reflect some kind of influence in theory, if they are not real, then you won’t benefit from them.
The vanity metrics will only give you a vague idea of what the influencer can do for your brand. But if they are fake, it will be a completely different story. Plus, the audience the influencer has may not be fake, but it can also be irrelevant to your brand. If this is the case, it will mean that you will reach a bunch of people who are not part of your target audience, and thus people who are not interested in what you have to offer.
This is why it’s important that you don’t only examine so that the influencer is not fake, but so that the influencer’s followers are targeted as well.
There are plenty of resources available to make you look like you have devoted followers. In the App Store, you can download apps that you are able to buy Facebook likes, Instagram followers, or Twitter comments and views from. Also known as fake followers because they are in reality just bots that will never buy anything from your company.
In fact, fake followers won’t even help you increase your brand recognition because they aren’t actually real people.
The best method of finding fake influencers
The best method of finding true engagement is diving into their comments. You can usually tell if comments are fake if they’re really uplifting and ambiguous. The influencer tends to write the comments that they’d like to see on their accounts and use an app to have a stranger publish the comment on their account. For example “you are so pretty” “I love your channel” “you are so talented”. In other words, very generic comments that do not have very much to do with the actual post.
You can also see if the influencer leaves a big impact on their followers by looking at the comments.
If the comments are genuine and says something about the posted photo, then it is most often real.
If you however are seeing a bunch of comments such as “nice” and “awesome”, then they aren’t making a real impact.
The top indicators that an influencer buys fake comments are:
- Majority of commenters are private accounts
- From a different region than the influencer
- Solely uplifting comments
- Very few commenters are tagging their friends
- Go through a few posts. If you can repeatedly find the exact same comment in multiple posts (from different users) then they might be fake.
If you see things such as the things mentioned above, the influencer might be fake but not necessarily.
To really be sure, you have to take a look at several posts that has been posted during different times in order to notice a pattern.
If you notice a pattern, then the influencer is most likely fake and then you have to take that into consideration when deciding wether to work with them or not. Now, something that I want to point out though is that their whole influence and followers may not be fake. Normally, individuals on social emdia have not bought all of their followers, but rather complemented their existing audience in order to reach a particular goal, for example 100k, 200k followers etc. But the catch is that influencers normally base their rates on how many followers they have, and this is where it gets tricky, since only some of their followers are fake.
Have in mind that just because some of the comments/followers/likes are fake doesn’t mean all of them are.
These types of influencers can still have some sort of influence but it’s important that you are aware of them.
It can still be hard spotting them..
Even if you follow these tips, it can still be difficult to know for sure whether or not the influencer is fake.
This is where VelcoeNetwork can help you make good decisions in who to work with.
In the VeloceNetwork influencer directory, you will only find genuine influencer that have been examined very closely before they’ve been approved by our team.
This is to ensure you that you will get the most out of your influencer marketing budget. Veloce does the filtering for you by hand-picking only the best and industry-leading influencers, so you can feel safe when partnering up with them.
The best way to spot if an influencer is fake is to look at their followers versus engagement level.
If the influencer has a low engagement, it can be an indication of fake followers.
This is where diving deeper down into their comment can help you get a better understanding of whether or not your suspicions were correct.
Using VeloceNetwork is one of the best ways to ensure that you are only teaming up with the best of the best influencers out there. And the best of all is that you don’t have to do the hard work!