Influencer Marketing: How to spot Pseudo-influencers

Influencer Marketing

In the last few years, it has become popular practice for some people to use influencer marketing and chat bots to increase their followers on social media accounts. Influencer marketing can produce incredible results for brands that use it well. In fact according to a survey done by Influencer Marketing Hub, businesses that use influencers receive a considerable return for every penny spent on influencer marketing. It is clearly an indisputably viable marketing method.

As influencer marketing becomes more popular and mainstream, influencer selection has become even more pivotal to a campaign’s success. However, the main prerequisite for a campaign to work is that it uses genuine influencers to spread the brand’s message. However, it can be tricky to know who to trust when you’re choosing an influencer for your next marketing campaign. You don’t want to use an influencer who doesn’t have real followers or a fully engaged audience. This would be a detriment to your marketing budget, but even worse, it could put your brand’s integrity at risk.

These days, there  is a considerable number of unscrupulous online  users parading around various platforms as credible audience influencers ,thought leaders and trend setters .This is  simply because they  like the reputation and the  perks of being considered an influencer, without necessarily  doing the work needed to reach that status. So, when a brand fails to check the authenticity of their influencers, they end up getting the short end of the stick which can derail their influencer marketing campaigns.

In a nutshell, an influencer has to influence people, have their respect and encourage them to take action. Unfortunately things are never as they seem in the online world. Online influencers with large followings and strong engagement figures (especially on Instagram) can be fakers trying to dupe the unwary.

Such pseudo-influencers just happen to boost their follower numbers by buying followers. Sometimes these are real people, happy to earn some extra cash. Other times these are fake accounts set up by bots. No matter how they are created, the fake followers lack the ability to engage with the influencer’s posts in any way and are of no value to a brand wanting to work with them.

Fortunately, there are some quick and easy methods to determine whether an account has pseudo-influencers and fake followers. Don’t pay for influencer marketing campaigns that are never going to generate a strong return on investment. Take a look at some of our tips for detecting fake influencers, followers or bots, so you can ensure you’re only working with the best.

Unusual Follower numbers

It’s a fact that not everyone operates their online accounts the same. There are seasoned users who have mastered the art of online marketing and there are also the newbies still trying to figure out the nitty gritty of influencer marketing.  Whatever the case, you can still easily spot the outliers by checking out for inconsistencies in the follower numbers.

Genuine accounts tend to have similar patterns when it comes to numbers of followers, people followed, and levels of engagement. However when you  find influencers who like and follow thousands of people, but don’t have many following them in return, perhaps they don’t make many if any posts themselves. This doesn’t necessarily mean they could be a bot, but it suggest that such influencers are of little or no value as a follower. Genuine influencers will have more followers than accounts they follow – often by a substantial margin.

Their accounts feature a lot of activity for a while which then dissipates

This is how you spot a bot in influencer marketing campaigns.  People often create online bots that follows hundreds or thousands of people on the day of their creation.  The bot may even share some content on that first day to make it look genuine. Once the bot has followed sufficient people, it stops and relies on people not checking their accounts and unfollowing the fake account.

Genuine influencers tend to have a steady growth in their follower numbers. The rate of increase may grow once they are recognized as an influencer, but they will not have a massive burst of followers in a short period of time.

Characterized by irrelevant and clueless comments

Fake influencer accounts tend to create comments to pass them off as genuine and very active in social media platforms. Unfortunately these comments are usually generic and lack substance. While these comments are technically considered as online engagements by various analytics software’s, they have no value to a brand that is hoping for an influencer to persuade his / her followers that the brand’s product will be suitable for them. A good example is an account that continually comments “good picture” or “good job” to published posts.

Incomplete Profile sections

Fake influencers usually don’t put much effort into creating realistic-sounding bios on their online accounts. They tend to appear shoddily done without much after thought. Sometimes they just leave the bio section blank, or they just fill in the bare minimum details. Some cunning influencers even adjust the settings to make the profile hidden to their audiences. This makes a brands investigation into their authenticity and credibility as influencers harder, as you can’t see their details. An account without a profile picture should be considered to be a red flag, especially in a visual platform like Instagram.



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