Halloween is the one day each year we pretend to be someone else. We wear masks, wigs or makeup, all to trick others from knowing who we really are. In influencer marketing, some people do this everyday, not just Halloween.
“Influencer marketing fraud is when a social media influencer displays an unauthentic media presence,” explains Chelsea Goodson, Director of Influencer Marketing at Find Your Influence.
Influencer fraud is alive and well. It’s often a reason some brands may be hesitant to include influencer marketing in their overall marketing strategy. At Find Your Influence, or as our friends call us – FYI, we understand that fraudsters exist and we have a plan to keep them out.
Every influencer in the FYI network has been curated and categorized by an actual human being right here at our Arizona HQ. We use more than 25 data points to evaluate any influencer who opts in. No bots. No spammers. Not a single Russian hacker. When brands engage with influencers from our network, they know they’re getting the real deal.
Some of the influencers you follow today may not be part of the FYI network — yet. We want you to know how to spot the bad apples though. Here are five red flags to look for to spot influencer marketing fraud:
- Engagement doesn’t match the influencer’s follower count. For example, 60 likes on a photo for someone who has 20,000 followers may be a red flag. You would generally expect to see a higher engagement.
- Questionable comments left on influencer’s posts. This could include the same type of comment repeated numerous times by different followers. “So cute.” “CUTE.” “cute.”
- Drastically inconsistent likes per social posts on Instagram. One Instagram post could have 1,000 likes and the post immediately before it could have only 100 likes. You should expect consistency with a trusted influencer.
- Some people buy their followers. Seriously! Review an influencer’s followers. Are there many with similar names, short profiles or no posts of their own? This could indicate the followers are not real and were purchased.
- Look closely at the content. Is it their own or simply a repost from another popular account? Authentic influencers create their own content that is true to who they are.
On November 1, when the masks and wigs have been put away and the clown makeup has been washed off, look closely at the influencers you follow. Are they still wearing their mask?