According to the current consumer demographics, most consumers are either Millennials or Gen-Z. Their purchasing decisions are often swayed by the opinions of influencers or experts in the sector. Users often seek the opinions, feedbacks of influencers while researching for a product or service.

Today, over 30% of consumers’ searches result in conversions after seeking the opinions of influential figures. Consumers habitually search for videos or blog posts of influencers before making a purchase.

So, it should no major shock that influencer marketing is now the most sought-after paid marketing channels by B2B marketers. Over 70 percent of marketers think the revenue generated from influencer marketing is similar or sometimes more than other paid channels.

Even so, like all good things influencer marketing also has its set of flaws. Influencer fraud is one of the most recognized flaws of influencer marketing.

Influencer fraud is what we will discuss in this post, but before we dive into it lets understand what fake influencers really are.

Who are these fake influencers?
The rise in influencer marketing has also given rise to fake influencers. But before you learn to spot fake influencers, you need to know the characteristics that separate them from genuine influencers.

The so-called fake influencers are social media users who by all measures appear to be genuine influencers. Like all social media influencers, they post original content (photos and videos) on their social media profiles. Although, the one thing that differentiates them from genuine influencers is fake followers among their follower base.

Don’t get me wrong, every influencer has some fake followers in their follower base. There is no way to avoid fake followers rather than identifying and blocking them at regular time intervals.
Although these fake influencers’ social media follower base mainly comprise fake followers.

Fake influencers purchase fake followers to increase their follower count rapidly rather than steadily increasing followers with engaging content. Having an enormous follower base acts as a sigh of popularity, it helps in attracting new followers for your Twitter profile.

However, when real followers find no quality content, they eventually unfollow the account. Many influencers even go so far as buying engagement through fake accounts to seem genuine. This helps these influencers attract sponsorship deals from major brands.

Impact of influencer fraud
Influencer marketing is now the go-to paid promotional channel for brands. Over 30 percent of B2B marketers have already planned to increase their investments in influencer marketing.
In 2019, brands invested over $8.5 billion on influencers, and that number is estimated to go as far as $10 billion in 2020.

It’s no surprise that fake influencers to want a piece of it. Brands and marketing agencies lost over $1.3 billion in 2019 and are estimated to cost another $1.5 billion in 2020.

Although, being a victim of influencer fraud can affect your brand’s financials, more so if it a relatively small brand or a new business venture. Fake influencers can dupe you for hefty sponsorship deals. Collaborating with fake influencers cannot increase your social media presence or conversion rates as they do not have an engaging follower base.

Major brands may be able to recover from influencer fraud, but such losses could have a major impact on small businesses. A small business might not recover from such losses due to the negative impact on its financials.

It’s not just a loss of finances on a single individual, other verticals that actually generate revenue could have used the resources. Also, we haven’t considered the time and effort put by the social media marketing team trying to plan a strategy for the influencer marketing campaign.

Influencer marketing requires the social media teams of businesses to coordinate with influencers. But if the influencers turn out as fake, there is a massive waste of time, resources, and money.

Influencer fraud can also tarnish your brand’s reputation. Choosing an influencer who has fake followers would raise questions about the authenticity of your brand’s followers. The questions raised alone can put your brand’s credibility and reputation at stake.

How to spot fake influencers?
I hope you understand the kind of damage influencer fraud can inflict on a business. Now let’s discuss the most important aspect of this post, “how to spot fake influencers”.

Analyze follower to engagement ratio
Analyzing engagement metrics is one of the easiest ways to identify fake influencers before collaborating with them. Since most followers of a fake influencer are fake or bots, the engagement statistics of their social profiles are considerably low. If you further compare these engagement statistics with the no of followers, you can establish if the influencer is fake or genuine.

Some individuals take influencer fraud to the next level by purchasing engagement along with followers. Even so, there is a way to identify fake influencers. You must analyze engagement statistics for all posts of the account. If you find identical engagement statistics for all posts, it’s most likely that the influencer is fake.

Analyze engagement quality
As I said before, many fake influencers purchase engagement to avoid getting identified and blocked by the respective social media platform. Nonetheless, even if they can fake the likes, they cannot fake the engagement quality of comments. You can analyze the comments on the post of the influencers. Fake comments are usually generic, comments that can be used on a variety of posts.

Comments like good, well done, stunning, looks terrific are some generic comments used by fake influencers. If you find mostly generic comments on the posts of a user, it indicates that the user is involved in influencer fraud.

Look for sudden spikes in follower growth
Fake influencers get the attention of brands and popularity due to the high number of followers. Even so, these users have purchased fake followers and engagement to seem genuine. You can analyze the follower growth of the user to check for sudden spikes in follower growth.

Some users might try to avoid getting detected by purchasing fake followers in small numbers as regular time intervals. Nonetheless, you can detect the sudden spikes in follower growth to verify if an influencer is genuine or fake.

A third-party follower auditing tool like FollowerAudit can help you track and analyze the follower growth of any public Twitter account. You can also identify fake followers.

Analyze the quality of the follower base
The most straight-forward and easiest way to identify a fake influencer is to use a follower auditing tool to check for fake followers. FollowerAudit is an amazing Twitter follower auditing tool that can analyze your entire follower lists and find fake followers.

FollowerAudit

FollowerAudit is an effective Twitter following auditing and tracking analytics tool. It can also help users identify and block fake followers. It can help you establish quality connections and help track follower growth for your Twitter profile.

Let’s dive into the beneficial features of FollowerAudit,

Check fake Twitter followers
Fake followers are always present among the brand’s followers as they follow multiple accounts. But the problem arises when a majority of your followers are fake. FollowerAudit can help you identify fake followers and bots that do not engage with your brand.

It can conduct a follower audit on any public Twitter account. You can use it to analyze the Twitter followers of influencers before offering sponsorship deals. It can help you identify the right influencers to promote your brand.

Analyze Twitter followers
Analyzing the Twitter followers of any public Twitter account can help you gain vital audience insights for your targeted marketed efforts. You can classify the users based on various aspects such as activity level or last tweet date. It can help you evaluate the engagement rates of influencers.

It can also provide you with lists of most popular followers along with your followers Twitter account age. You can also get detailed insights into the follower, follows, and tweet count of any public Twitter account.

Block fake Twitter followers
Fake followers and bots have plagued social media platforms. Twitter has constantly been updating its algorithm to identify and these fake accounts. But social media marketing agencies like Devumi sell fake followers and operate stocks of millions of fake accounts.

This makes it harder for brands and marketing agencies to evaluate overall social media presence as fake followers hinder growth results and marketing efforts. FollowerAudit can help you track down and block fake followers from your Twitter profile.

Track Twitter followers
Social media marketing teams of brands and marketing agencies focus their strategies mainly on gaining new followers. They do not focus on keeping the existing followers engaged. By not doing, you would only trade old followers for new ones rather than keeping them.

FollowerAudit can help you track your followers. You will be notified of gaining or losing each follower. You can then track and decide if you want to focus on retaining the respective followers.

Closing Thoughts
Brands need to avoid chances of being subject to influencer fraud. It can cause major financial problems along with a tremendous waste of time and resources. The worst of all, it can tarnish your brand’s reputation and make users doubt your social media credibility.

FollowerAudit is an amazing Twitter follower auditing tool that can help you acquire an authentic and engaging follower base.

Author's Bio: 

Shivam Singh is a passionate and enthusiastic content writer. He enjoys writing content about social media and marketing in general. He is passionate about providing valuable information for the readers. For his hobbies, he either spends his time listening music or polishing his skills in landscape photography.(@shivam_s1ngh)