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How to recognize an influencer with a false following?

Editor– Maria Berova
The name "Influencer" has become increasingly popular in the last few years. Influencers, followed by thousands of people, share opinions, advertise products and help develop different brands.

One of the most important questions for advertisers is how to identify influencers with fake followers? For an advertising campaign to succeed, the influencer's followers must be real. Otherwise, advertisers may lose their investment in the campaign without having the desired effect.

That's why we, from influ.ai, come to the rescue! In this article, we will tell you about the pitfalls of working with influencers and how to choose a reliable person who will increase your chances of success.

It is essential to clarify that sometimes fake followers can be challenging to distinguish from real ones. Therefore - read carefully without jumping to conclusions.
Steps to identify a creator with fake followers

1. Evaluate the "followers - follow" ratio

The first step is to avoid influencers who follow many profiles. This is a certain factor that they use the so-called methodology of mass liking and mass following. Or explained in more straightforward language - they follow and like other people's photos to get their service back.

To find out if an influencer is fake
, it's easiest to look at the profiles he follows. Most often, they should be from 1 to 5% of the number of his followers. If influencer X has 10,000 followers and follows 4,000 profiles, his followers are probably not authentic.

2. Check the Engagement rate
The engagement rating is the sum of the number of likes and comments divided by the number of followers (Likes + Comments / Number of followers)

These numbers can vary depending on the size of the audience of the individual. You can apply this method not only on Instagram but also on YouTube and TikTok.

The table below shows the average indicators of the degree of engagement according to the social network and the audience size. If the influencer you choose has a much lower engagement rate, it is likely to have a lot of fake followers or, otherwise, may no longer be attractive to your audience.
3. Pay attention to the relationship between posts and followers
The more posts an influencer has, the more followers he should have. The opposite is also true. A content creator needs to publish posts and do it regularly, that is - to be active. It is hardly possible for a creator to have 12 photos and simultaneously be followed by 130,000 people.

4. Look at his stories
Another important factor is the activity in Stories - how often they are uploaded and what is their content. Popular influencers publish stories several times a day, and many of them present themselves.

The fake influencer will avoid uploading stories, or if he does, they will be without his presence in them. These are most often spam or ads you definitely don't need if you want to develop an influencer marketing strategy.

5. Do research among the profiles of the followers

If most of the influencer's followers don't have photos, their names are weird, and their followers are few, they're probably bots. When choosing an influencer for your campaign, always check the profiles of his followers!

6. Check the profiles that follow the influencer

Suppose the profiles that follow the influencer are mainly of shops, companies or bots instead of those of relatives, friends and other content creators. In that case, we are probably talking about fraudsters again.

7. Read the comments that are left under his posts
You will easily recognize the purchased comments - they are impersonal, not targeted to the specific post and very often are even in other languages. These, like "Super, cool photo!", Which are repeated under almost every photo, are most likely fake. This is a sign that the influencer is not completely honest with his audience and has climbed to this position due to some form of fraud.

8. Analyze / Track the growth of followers over time
Track the growth of followers on a given account. If they rise daily by a specific number or sharp jumps in their number, we are talking about bought followers.

9. Compare the number of views and followers
A particularly effective method - is to compare the number of views and followers.
If a post, most often a video, has views in the range of 200-300, and its followers are thousands, they are bought or completely fake. You can also view other social media profiles if any. In this way, you will conclude that the influencer will not help you.

Unfortunately, social networks are full of fake influencers whose sole purpose is to take your money and not help your campaign. As the popularity of influencer marketing grows, so does the number of cunning influencers just waiting to benefit from you. It is essential to choose carefully and study your choice well.

This was one of the reasons we created the influ.ai platform! Our goal is to make finding an influencer for your campaign easier, as everything happens quickly and easily. You can find and connect with over 100 Bulgarian influencers on the platform. To learn more about all the features of influ.ai, visit this page.