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Are you working with a Genuine Influencer?

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Influencer marketing is becoming the mainstay for brands and marketers to reach out to larger audiences spending tons of hours on social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Youtube, Snapchat, and Facebook. A better engagement rate and a higher conversion rate at a lesser cost is what makes influencer marketing so attractive for brands. In addition, the connection influencers have with their followers and their ability to create relatable content benefit the brands. But as the significance of influencer marketing shot through the roof, so is fraud done by the influencers. And the rising instances of influencer fraud across the globe have become one of the biggest challenges for the brands relying heavily on this marketing tool.

According to a recent HypeAuditor Instagram Fraud Report, around 34 percent of influencers on Instagram in the US are impacted by some fraud, driven mainly by inauthentic comments.

In this blog under the ‘Education Series,’ we look at various ways brands can detect if the influencers they are planning to get on board for a campaign are indulging in fraudulent activities.

Engagement Ratio

According to many experts tracking the influencer marketing space, checking out the engagement ratio of an influencer can help the marketers understand if the followers are genuine or fraud. For example, if an influencer has around 10,000 followers but the engagement on the posts is negligible, it can be a case of influencer fraud. In this case, the followers may have been bought by the influencer to inflate their numbers. Moreover, if there is too much engagement in the form of likes and comments, it can also spell trouble. Brands should assess the quality of the comments. If there are too many random or generic comments like wow, nice, cool or good pic, it is time to be careful. These comments may have been bought too by the influencer. It has been found that many influencers use like and comment pods to show increased engagements on their posts, to bag deals from brands.

Frequency of Social Post

An influencer account with a large follower base but with very few posts is a cause of concern. Brands should carefully examine the influencer’s account if it is not very active and the frequency of new social posts is very little, but they still command decent followers. This may be the classic case of influencer fraud. Usually, the follower count increases when the influencer regularly posts on their social media handles and creates engaging content for their audiences. Getting new followers is a gradual process, and it depends on the quality and frequency of the posts. However, if the influencer becomes very famous, they could gather a massive fan following in a short period. According to various researches, social media users expects the influencers they are following to post every day.

Followers Profile

Brands on board various influencers who are the right fit for their product and their followers form the part of its target audience. This way, brands can reach out to potential customers to achieve the desired results. But before getting an influencer for your campaign, simply browsing through the follower’s list of influencers can give a clear idea if the account shows signs of influencer fraud. If there are followers who are not following any other account, have emojis as their profile pictures, and are not engaging with the posts through likes and comments, there are high chances that these are not genuine followers. More likely, these are paid bots that are being used to exaggerate the follower count of the influencers. Even followers with usernames that look to be generated randomly through some algorithms are a red flag.

Content Quality

Instagram is the most popular social media platform for influencer marketing, various reports have found. Unfortunately, if the influencer is posting stock photos or low-quality content on the platform, there are chances that influencer fraud is at play. Generally, a fake account will not invest in getting a high-quality photoshoot done or will not be bothered much to use the right hashtags. Brands should be mindful of this.

Working alongside influencers who are using different fraudulent means to gain followers and create a false sense of engagement on their posts will only harm the brand’s reputation. Brands will have to invest their resources in thoroughly vetting the genuine influencers who can help them achieve the end goal. Brands can also undertake the services of marketing intelligence tools that can filter out the fraud influencers with the genuine ones.