With more businesses looking to influencers for business growth and brand recognition, many people are willing to fake their following for the sake of capitalizing on the current trend. Does this mean influencer marketing is a scam? Of course not. Well, not most of the time. Make sure you’re working with the right people who understand your market before considering working with any influencer. There are telling signs that these people aren’t who they say they are, and here is how you can spot a fake influencer.
Unless you’ve sought out the influencer yourself they’ve approached you and your company for exposure possibilities. Before you look at the account you should ensure that the message is more personable to you and your company, otherwise, it’s an automated message they send to everyone. Including phrases like “Wow, love your content… would you be interested in…” and “Love your post, I offer…” now they seem genuine, to begin with, but as time goes on you soon learn they have no idea who you actually are and haven’t even looked at your content. If you’re just another sale down the line it can be a red flag that the engagement you receive from their “services” will also be automated responses and bots.
Numbers don’t mean everything in influencer marketing. The reason why many brands back an influencer is well because of their influence. They have a grasp of the market the brand is trying to connect with by being an advocate for them. So, just having a large following doesn’t mean they have influence. It could mean they’ve implemented follow-for-follow extensively or used bot accounts to raise their accounts to the heavens. Implement a dip test into the followers and check the accounts are real, recently active and are the right people for you. If the follower list is private, check the posts themselves for the engagement. Are the comments too similar? Do they sound like automated statements?
When the “business gurus” discuss their figures always ask yourself where they got those numbers from. A million dollars always sounds impressive on paper, but unless it’s real, there is nothing tangable to what they are saying.
The Right Fit
You will see a few fake Influencer’s tackle the same hashtags to generate business, so if you post once about a dog’s recent visit to your accountancy firm you won’t get offers to grow your finance business. Instead, you’ll get offers to propel the dog’s career. If you’re going into influencer marketing those who prospect are usually those who don’t offer much value. They are the influencers, so you should be seeking them out as you understand the effect they have on your target audience. So make sure they are the right fit and never respond to obviously automated messages.
Influencer marketing can be a tough road to navigate as the biggest names come with the biggest price tags. With any niche influencer covered by an air of mystery whether the authenticity is there or not. Sometimes it’s obvious, you can see right through an account with fake engagement. Other times it’s hard to spot a fake influencer from a real one. My best advice is to open up a conversation and gauge reaction. Don’t argue or barter to extensively, just discuss. Cracks soon develop on fake influencers when challenged, so don’t be afraid to ask a question or two.
If you want to avoid influencer marketing altogether and become the influencer yourself, we’ve got in-depth social selling tools at the Maverrik Store.
I'm Maverrik's Head of Digital Media. You may remember me from such videos as Sales Fails, Maverrik Live and Board-game Reviewers Gone Wild.