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How to Recognize False Social Media Influencers

Influencer marketing is at the top of the paid marketing channels list. Consumers nowadays prefer to conduct research before making a purchase decision. Although, for the most part, consumers seek out the advice of influencers. Consumers' purchase decisions are influenced by their opinions or product reviews.

How to Recognize False Social Media Influencers
Social Media

As a result, it's no surprise that brands are using their power to reach out to their target audience and increase sales. But what if the influencer with whom your company has partnered has a phony fan base? What if the influencer is a fraud and all of his or her followers were purchased?

Influencer marketing has seen a significant increase in investment from brands all over the world. After all, influencer marketing generates revenue that is equal to or greater than that of other paid marketing channels. However, partnering with influencers is costly, especially if they have a large following and are well-known in their field. However, if the influence is fake, all of that money is wasted because the influencer lacks a genuine and engaged following.

Brands get nothing out of the money they invest in these influencers because they have no genuine followers. It isn't just about the money, though. Influencer marketing campaigns necessitate a great deal of forethought, preparation, and commitment from your social media teams. 

All of these resources are squandered, causing further setbacks in your marketing plans.

In this article, we'll go over some effective methods for spotting fake social media influencers. Let's get this party started.

Influencer Fraud and Its Consequences

Being a victim of influencer fraud can be disastrous for a business, with the financial implications being the most serious. While larger, more influential brands may be able to recover, small and emerging businesses may not. Small businesses are strapped for cash, and influencer fraud can quickly deplete their resources.

Furthermore, brands lose more than just money. Your social media team's time could have been better spent driving engagement, increasing social media presence, and increasing conversions. Because they don't have real followers, fake influencers can't offer genuine engagement.

Working with influencers can also harm your brand's image. Users do not trust fake influencers, and if your target audience discovers this before you, they will cast doubt on your credibility.

How Can You Tell If Someone Is a Fake Influencer?

Now that you know why influencer fraud is such a big deal, let's dig a little deeper and talk about how to spot fake influencers.

Examine the profiles of your followers

Checking the follower profiles of an influencer's followers is the easiest way to spot fake followers. Begin by searching for follower profiles that lack a profile image or a bio. Genuine users personalize their user profiles by including all pertinent information, a profile picture, and a unique bio.

Fake followers are usually identified by the lack of relevant details or even the bare minimum of a profile image. These followers, if they account for the majority of the influencer's followers, are almost certainly fake.

Another thing to keep in mind is that fake followers often use images from other legitimate accounts. In that case, you can simply verify their credibility by conducting a Google image search using their profile image.

Examine your Follower-Engagement Ratio

Another important statistic to consider when assessing an influencer's credibility is the follower-engagement ratio. Genuine influencers who have put in the time and effort usually have a large and active following. As a result, the first thing you should look into is how much engagement the influencer receives. 

It is not advisable to partner with them if the engagement is low in comparison to the size of the audience. Even if the influencer hasn't bought followers on purpose, low engagement rates aren't a good way to start a partnership.

Examine the level of engagement

The level of engagement is also a good way to spot fake influencers. While some people only buy followers, others go so far as to buy engagement, though this is usually generic. Take a look at the feedback on the influencer's social media posts. 

The audience is most likely fake if the majority of the comments are "nice," "looks good," or "great picture."

It's one way to spot potential problems even if the influencer buys engagement and passes the follower-engagement ratio test.

Surveillance for Sudden Increases in Follower Growth

Analyzing influencer follower growth can also help you spot fake followers. As fake influencers buy fake followers, their follower count will skyrocket, indicating a significant increase.

You can analyze influencer follower growth and identify such sudden spikes using a third-party analytics tool. 

It will assist you in determining whether or not the influencer has purchased fake followers.

Keep an eye out for bots and inactive accounts

Every social media platform has seen a massive increase in automated bot accounts that inflate the follower counts of users who pay for them over the last decade. 

These bots follow a lot of accounts but don't have a lot of their own. As a result, the follower-following ratio can be used to spot automated bot accounts.

A large number of inactive accounts can also be interpreted as fake followers because the user/follower no longer uses the account or the social platform. The other reason is that Twitter has been updating its algorithm, which has resulted in the abandonment of multiple bot accounts due to security updates.

Final Thoughts

Influencer fraud is a major concern for brands and marketers, but it can be easily identified by analyzing the right metrics. After you've identified them, the first thing you should do is avoid collaborating with them. You can also create a blacklist to avoid having to repeat the process.

It's also worth noting that manually analyzing your followers isn't always possible. Consider searching through millions of social media profiles. Isn't that exhausting? In such cases, a third-party tool like FollowerAudit can help you identify fake followers.