Accumulating fake followers nowadays is as easy as it gets. For a few pounds they are yours and there are lots of tools and strategies around to make it harder to distinguish fake followers from authentic social media influence. While Instagram is trying to combat this with tools to help identify fake followers that may be using bots or other automation tools, social media fraud is becoming more and more relevant for influencer marketing professionals.
Fake Followers – Not Only on Instagram
Social media following and engagement is often an essential measure for influencer marketing professionals and brands when identifying the right influencer for their campaign. But with the ability to purchase an extra 100,000 followers in an instant and the rise of bots that can ‘like’ and comment on posts to simulate organic engagement, how do you determine which influencer will give your campaign the kind of reach you are looking for? This goes beyond Instagram, other social media platforms have also been affected by fake traffic and engagement. While tools have been developed to check for fake followers, here are doubts about their reliability. An incorrect assumption or accusation of fake followers could result in significant damage to the public image of any influencer, making it important that these tools and the data are approached critically. So here are a few tips on how to effectively separate the fake followers from the genuine influencer.
Fake Follower Check: 4 signs for fake followers and engagement
1. Growth of Followers
Taking a look to the growth of followers should be a first step if possible for the platform you want to check. For this step tools can come in handy.
2. Engagement Rate
Most channels offer the opportunity to engage with the content. Especially for channels like Instagram this can give you a clue. First of all the ratio is important. In the next step you should check for the trend over time. Is there an unnatural peak? Did the ‘likes’ exploded overnight, or did they rise steadily
3. Comment Rate
Next to the ratio of likes it is also advised to take a look at the comments in proportion to the number of followers but also in proportion to the numbers of ‘likes’. 1,000 ‘likes’ yet only three comments is a reason to be suspicious.
4. The Followers
The fake follower providers get more and more professional and they know what a real profile is supposed to look like. Still, there are some indicators to look for when checking on fake followers: Where do the followers come from? Does that match the audience/ language the influencer is posting in? The same goes for ‘likes’ and comments. Just peeping into the comments and ‘likes’ of a user profile can be worth it here.
How to: Automate Fake Follower Check
These tips can help you to do a fake follower check and work out which influencer has an organic following that can help you boost your brand. But admittedly, this can be labour intensive and depending on the size of your team and campaign, this can take a lot of effort, time and resources.
We at blogfoster make sure to keep an eye on the follower base of the influencers we are working with. This does not only go for Instagram but also for other major channels, especially for blogs we have developed a technical solution to become aware of suspicious growth within blog traffic and Instagram.
This way we make sure we can provide our clients with the best influencer and the best results for their influencer marketing campaigns.
Meet blogfoster: Event Tip
To spread the message of how important it is to have strategic and automated approach to influencer marketing and the topic of fraud, Co-Founder Simon will give more insights at the Influencer Marketing Hub Conference on the 8th of November in London. Meet us there to find out more about easy and scalable influencer marketing campaigns.
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