[Tip 5 of 8] Spotting A Fake Influencer

Posted on January 30, 2018

Working with brand influencers is a great way to expand to your audience, grow online presence and create user generated content. However, where money flows there will be people who try to cheat the system to get a piece of the pie.

So, what are these fake influencers? They are people who post as influencers with massive amount of followers that are bots. 

Recent market research stated that there’s an upward of 24 million fake Instagram accounts in the cyber world. While brands are hungry to pay big dollars for all that word-of-mouth value. 

Here, we’ll walk you through the easiest ways to spot a fake influencer.  

1. High Follower Count & Low Engagement Rate

The biggest mistake a brand can make if choosing an influencer solely based on their follower count. High follower count does not mean high credibility. 

If an account has thousands of followers, you should expect their engagement rate to be proportional. Not only do they not interact with their followers, the content they create do not create buzz on the Internet like how other influencers do. 

You can check engagement rates by dividing the total number of comments and likes by the total number of followers.

2. Spam Comments (bot behaviour)

You can tell that it’s a spam account when there is no variety in comments, such as “great!”, “awesome”, “nice!”, chances are these accounts are fakes. 

They do this because they know that brands look at influencer’s engagement rates. These comments will usually have no character and relevance to the photo and often repetitive.

Remember to look at the nature of the comments and posts, not just the volume.

3. Follower Spikes & Dodgy Followers

If a blogger with 30,000 followers have an increase in 10,000 followers overnight, you know something’s up. An average influencer or blogger has an increase in followers by 1-200 a day. There are also websites out there to check your analytics such as SocialBlade.

4. Video Views

Through videos is one of the simplest ways to tell whether or not an influencer is fake. Though fakers aren’t so naive to post videos because it’s a huuuge giveaway. 

If you see an influencer with 10,000 followers with only 20 views on their video, chances are they’re a fake.

You can also read more tips on sponsored content and influencer marketing here.