You may have an idea of fake followers, but do you know the tools you can use to point them out and avoid them? Read on to find out some of them.
The rise of social media is a good thing, because it has helped many people to connect to their friends, and it has also been an affordable avenue for businesses and brands to carry out marketing campaigns – all without the constraints and high costs of traditional media.
One way businesses popularly use is through influencer marketing – picking out a person on social media with a wide influence, and using them to market your brand, services or products. It has even been estimated that businesses now get average amounts of $7.65 ROI for each dollar they spend paying social media influencers.
Aside from choosing services that allow your 50 Instagram followers daily to grow organically in a slow rate, for instance, the influencer gets on board and markets your enterprise to their followers, and it is instant exposure for your brand. That sounds good, until you realize it might actually be a problem when you are deciding on the influencer you should trust when planning out your campaign. After all, the last thing you want to happen is getting scammed of your resources with no positive results to show for it, and extensive damage to your brand.
The good news is you can quickly identify fake influencer accounts before they scam you, as they mostly have fake followers. This will safeguard you from bots or fake followers and make sure you are working with the best.
The problem of influence – higher chances of bots
The developments on the Instagram platform have resulted in it becoming harder to succeed if you do not have big follower numbers. This problem has resulted in the development of the Instagram bot, which helps an account buy more followers and increase their reputation of credibility and influence on Instagram.
In fact, a recent report by The New York Times from early 2018 reveals a phenomenon called the ‘Follower factory’, and the report itself was highlighting the underhanded methods these bots can use to increase followers. The basic thing is, you need the service, so you purchase a bot, then it will comment and like posts that have specific hashtags, and can even follow individuals on your behalf with the hope they will follow you back.
If the influencer you are considering working with is using a bot to increase their followers, then it is not worth paying them. Their audience is likely fake, or they are not engaged with them regularly. It will also raise the integrity question of your own brand, so it remains a risk.
How to know if the account is using a bot to gain followers
What is their engagement rate?
Engagement rates are very easy to point out, as they are just the number of engagements the person gets on every post, divided by their follower count. You do not normally expect very high engagement rates, unless the person has a few followers and replies to every post they see.
However, if you find the influencer has very low engagement levels (less than 1 percent), then chances are higher that their followers are fake. It also indicates that their audience does not really care about their content, so they are not what you would want to invest in. fortunately, there are apps that you can use to determine the engagement levels of the person you are considering, so you do not need to bother with all the math.
What are the engagement types?
This can be significantly harder to tell than the engagement levels, but in a general sense, it is determining the kind of people that are engaging with the content from the influencer. In this way, it is easier to spot fake engagement types.
If the significant amount of engagements is coming from people that do not follow the influencer, then chances are high that they themselves have signed up to the engagement apps. If only their followers are engaging with their content, then they will not turn customers to your brand, so avoid them.
The location of their followers
This can be difficult to tell, but it is still important because it helps you know the segment of their followers that may be interested in your product or brand.
For instance, you decide to pick an influencer from Chicago, but most of their followers are based in India – you are likely dealing with a fake. A warning sign would be if they are in unusual places, especially when considering their location and topics of interest. If dealing with travel bloggers and influencers or those that love to talk about universal topics, it may be hard to tell though.
In cases like these, you should know what you want to target as a brand, whether you want to ship products to a specific country, or if you just want to attract customers that live all over the world and encourage them to shop with you. If the followers of the influencer do not meet these criteria, then they are likely fake.
Is their follower growth organic?
If you are dealing with an influencer account that has organic growth, then you should see some consistency in the trend line of their follower growth. Accounts that have fake followers tend to have spikes of growth that are inconsistent and very rapid, which brings their credibility into question.
What do their comment sections look like?
This is a good way of comprehending the engagement they have, although it is tedious since it is manual. If the followers are fake, then the comments will tend to be generic or simply emoji’s. On the other hand, if they are real, they will take the time to formulate statements and share their own thoughts on what they feel. The more these comments are, the more you should consider investing in them.
When examining the credibility of an influencer, do not be mesmerized by the numbers you see – these may be fake. It is important to look at these factors, as they are better measurements to establish if the account is real and has actual influence.