Friday, October 15, 2021

10 Keys To Detecting Fake Influencers on Social Media

Since influencer marketing has become a major discipline within marketing and since brands are increasingly using it as a strategy that can provide a high ROI in their campaigns, a large number of frauds and fake influencers have proliferated. It's a fact: not all influencers we find on social networks are authentic.

In fact, only 40% of active content creators worldwide are free from different forms of fraud such as buying followers, paid comments, etc.

The Spanish content marketing agency La Caja Company points out ten keys to detect influencer fraud.

Automated bots

Automated bots is a type of influencer marketing fraud. These bots are automated programs for liking, sharing and commenting. These users usually use them to increase metrics on their own posts, to give the appearance that they have an active community. However, the engagement they provide is not real.

Buying followers

This is perhaps the most widely used and well-known method, since it has been proven that it is possible to buy followers for very little money. The fraud consists of buying a certain number of followers with the aim of making a profile look like it has a community with a large number of followers. It is important to keep in mind that profiles with purchased followers do not achieve a good engagement rate. An Instagram profile with 100,000 followers, but with approximately 10-20 likes per post is a clear example of a fake profile. 

Engagement groups

Engagements groups are people who join groups with the aim of exchanging likes, comments and follows. In this way, they create the illusion of having real interactions, and although they are real people and not bots, such interactions have no real value for the influencer. Let's remember that what makes an influencer relevant in social networks is their relationship with their community. Using this kind of groups is a trick that, if detected, is a reason to detract from the credibility of the influencer.

Company reputation

Being a victim of a fake influencer can have very serious consequences that go beyond economic loss. Hiring a fake influencer can have repercussions on the company's reputation and damage the trust of its target audience. If the audience learns that the company has joined a fake account, they may doubt the credibility of the products, services and brand.

Ignorance on the part of the brand

Influencer fraud has become a major risk factor for brands and companies that want to promote their products or services through influencers. 

The main reason why brands "fall" into this type of fraud is the lack of knowledge on how to recognize a fake influencer. To avoid this, it is recommended to ask for references about the influencer, research their audience, ask the professional for data and statistics, and use specialized tools to analyze the data from the profiles.

Look for warning signs of fraud

If in the influencer's profile there is little relation between the number of followers and the number of interactions, set off the alarm bells. A true influencer relates to his or her audience through interactions, and this is evidenced by likes, comments, reproductions, shared posts, etc. 

Although not all followers react or interact with every influencer's post, the ratio between the number of followers and interaction on the profile account reflects its authenticity. An average interaction ratio would be for every 1,000 followers, between 40 and 50 likes or reproductions per post. 

Rapid increase in followers

Building an active community takes time and a real influencer invests effort and resources to grow their presence. Perhaps going viral or having a sudden spike in popularity can drive how quickly the number of followers grows, but this is not the norm. Fake influencer profiles don't need to build relationships or grow their accounts with effort, but can experience rapid growth through the purchase of followers. Therefore, accounts that have been created recently but boast a high number of followers are mostly fake profiles. 

The audience has nothing in common with the influencer

The audience of the profile has nothing in common or the influencer is located in an area of the world that has nothing to do with their followers.

For example, an influencer who is from Germany, but has followers mainly in Russia or Saudi Arabia, etc., is almost always a fake account.

Verify the influencers' trajectory

Check the history to see how long they have been publishing, check if they have profiles on other social networks and the number of followers they have on each of them. It is also a good idea to research the brands with which they have worked previously.

Another recommendation is to search for their user name on Google, this also applies to micro-influencers. If you search for an influencer's name on Google and nothing comes up, suspect the worst.

Look for red flags on each social network

We must take into account some specific signals of each social network that is used. If it's Instagram, pay attention to the quality of the photos, videos and stories. A fake profile will not invest in quality photos, will not maintain a feed with valuable content or use hashtags according to the theme.

If it is YouTube, analyze the number of views, the ratio between "likes" and "dislikes" of your videos, as well as the type of comments from your followers.

A video with a large number of views but few comments is likely to lend itself to fraud. These signals are valid on other social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter and TikTok.

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