Beware of Fake Influencers

False influencers who cheat with their sequel using bots cast a shadow over influencer marketing’s otherwise great success. Bloggers Delight’s Director Henrik Akselbo gives you great tips on how to spot them.

Influencer marketing has grown to a billion industry in recent years.

A survey conducted by Google shows that Millennials considers youtube to be more influential than known people.

According to eMarketer, the number of influx ads on Instagram rose to double – ie. to 1.5 million posts worldwide – between 2016 and 2017.

All that success has unfortunately made the influencer industry vulnerable to fraud. It writes Digiday.

Micro-influencers, ie influencers with fewer than 100,000 followers, are popular ambassadors among marketers, as these influencer-type followers are typically more loyal and dedicated.

Conversely, it has also become easier for the fake influencers to buy into a bot-follower.

Mediakix, a specialist in influencer marketing, conducted a small field study in August 2017, which concluded that brands use adverts on influencers that have artificially high persistence.

Another Social Influence Talent Agency, Viral Nation, also tells Digiday that they receive applications from 50-100 influencers daily, where 20-30 percent of them have bought themselves to fake bot followers at Instagram.

A fast Google search shows that 1,000 bot followers cost between 20 and 50 kroner.

We have contacted Henrik Akselbo, director and co-founder of Blogger Delight, who is also familiar with this tedious trend:

“Followers have become a currency. The more followers you have, the more interesting you become for various brands, and the more money you can take for any cooperation. In this connection, there will always be broken carts that smell money and try to fake themselves into a part of the cake – and that’s definitely a fraud, “says Henrik Akselbo.

Are fake influencers something you are experiencing or having trouble with?

“It’s a problem when somebody does something that’s not alright because it’s all about the industry. Conversely, it also means that some people like us can sort out cinnamon odors, “says Henrik Akselbo.

And how do you do that?

“At Bloggers Delight, we use Google Analytics and Audience Kit to provide an overview of our readers. By this, we can see that 97% of all visits to our network of Danish blogs are Danish visits. It is a good indicator that there are no false visitors, which come from, among others, India or Russia, “says Henrik Akselbo, continuing:

“In addition, we also look at the average hour spent. A robot will typically visit a given blog again and again to pump the visitor’s number, but they can sort Google Analytics. In addition, if we look into our metrics, we can keep an eye on the average reading time, which is now 2.5 minutes. If it falls, our warning light would turn on and we could investigate it. In general, however, I do not think there are problems with fake visits to blogs, it’s not something we’ve experienced – it’s more a phenomenon of social media where the following numbers are public, and the profiles, therefore, want to pump it up. ”

How do you spit fake followers on social media such as Instagram?

“It’s a little harder to spot false followers on Instagram, which is an international and visual media – for that matter, you can easily have many followers from other countries that are not fake. Here you have to keep your eyes down in the data all the time. Therefore, ask for insight into the demographic data of the influencer – through which you can review the authenticity of the followers and determine whether they fall within the desired target group, “says Henrik Akselbo.

He ends:

“Instagram’s algorithm also makes its way to clean up bots, but those who sell fake followers will also be similarly smarter and more skilled. That’s the way it’s the cat’s play with the mouse all the time. ”

How to spot the fake influencer according to The Next Web and Bloggers Delight:

  • The influencer’s follow-up rate is almost as high as the number the influencer himself follows: If an Instagram has 20,000 followers, but even follows 17,500, it’s probably not an authentic influencer, but a fake influencer who attributes followers by following others.
  • Low engagement: Always check the influencer’s data. A “healthy” influencer has between 1 and 5 percent commission on each and every post. If your exposure is less than 1 percent, your alarm bells should ring. By 2017, the average commitment rate was 2.7 percent.
  • Generic Comments: Although low engagement is a danger signal, a high engagement of many generic and mainly English comments such as “Nice feed!” And “Such a wonderful profile!” Can equally be a sign of the fact that it is bots that are behind.
  • Inconsistent profile: Being an influencer is a hard and time-consuming job because one’s followers must constantly be maintained and cared for. So if a profile has a towering audience, but rarely records, it’s most likely not a true influencer.
  • The follow-up grows sharply and sharply: Unless it’s Selena Gomez or BeyoncĂ©, one should be suspicious if a micro-influencer rises with 5,000 followers from one day to the next.
  • The influencer announces for anything: If the influencer promotes the ripple and scrub, it’s probably best to steer clear of it. A good influencer always makes thorough thought about what and who they promote, as it should rush with their own brand. True influencers protect their credibility, which is crucial to their legitimacy. So if an Instagram promotes everything from toothpaste to car tires, it’s probably not the real thing you’re up to.