How to Spot the Fakes!
With Influencer Marketing on the rise, many people want to get in on the action. Who wouldn’t want to make money advertising products and services by simply making videos and posting pictures, right? As a result, people will do anything to become a high-ranking influencer and that includes fake followers.
These pseudo-followers are harmful to everyone involved in the developing influencer marketing industry. For starters, buying followers is damaging to companies and brands that chose to work with that influencer. The point of influencer marketing is to reach real people by using someone that “influences” that target audience. If half of the influencer’s followers are fake, who are they really reaching? Companies and brands are being scammed by influencer’s whose followers are mostly fake. Falsifying followers also leads to an account’s true followers losing faith in the overall brand. This means buying followers could also be harmful to the actual influencer.
Although Influencer Marketing can generate great results, there are some troublesome things to look out for. Pseudo-influencers are influencers that may seem perfect with a high number of followers, but their followers are mostly fake.
Many influencers like the idea of “fake it till you make it.” To get noticed you need to have a head start and that means having a myriad of followers. Some influencers will buy followers online. Buying followers is becoming very common amongst influencer marketing which means brands should be on the lookout for influencers with follower bots.
One way to check if an account is actually a bot is to start with the bio. If an account hasn’t made an effort to create a descriptive bio, add a profile picture, or fill in any other information, that could be suspicious. Next, check the numbers. If an account is following a huge number of people, such as 1,000 and only has 20 people following them back, that account is most likely a bot. Moreover, a lower number of posts by the account can be an indicator that they are fake. Fake accounts don’t go out of their way to create content and update their profile. Their sole purpose is to trick people into thinking that others have more likes and followers.
Engagement and Patterns
The next step is to look at patterns. What makes an influencer is not only the amount of followers and likes but their engagement with their followers. If an account is fake, their engagement rate will be low. Chances are their posts won’t have a good ratio of likes to comments. A very high engagement rate, 10% or higher, could also be suspicious.
With that being said, if an account exhibits a lot of action some days and then goes a long period without any, this could also be an indication. Normal accounts will have a consistent pattern of action. Engagement also comes in the form of comments. This is one of the finals steps to spotting fake accounts. If they have spammy comments that don’t make any sense and don’t really relate to the actual post, they may be fake. General comments that are too broad, like “great post!” or “love” might be fake.
How to Find Follower Fraud
If all else fails, there are a multitude of applications and websites that can help you find follower fraud. Instagram Audit Tools allow you to input a profiles and analyze and understand the results. While these numbers are only estimates, they are a good measure of an accounts credibility.
Here are some websites that help you do that: