Home Blog How to Recognize and Avoid Influencer Fraud

How to Recognize and Avoid Influencer Fraud

Ana Vanevska

Social Media Guru

One unfortunate reality of the influencer marketing world is the continuing problem with fraudulent influencers. There are many ways in which influencer fraud can occur, but purchasing followers looks to be the most prevalent strategy. In this type of fraud, the influencer will artificially increase their number of followers, use bots, paid followers, or take part in influencer pods built for this purpose.

In addition to artificially increasing their follower number, they will also purchase engagement in the same way. Trading likes and comments with the influencer pod community or using bots that leave likes and generic comments.

Multiple hands playing oon their mobile phones

Opportunistic Scammers

It’s easy to see why they do it; being an influencer can be a lucrative opportunity but building a substantial following takes time and hard work. However, the influencers that practice this type of fraudulent behavior are effectively scamming the brands who work with them.

A brand will partner with an influencer to expand its own audience, and attract interest in their products or services. A brand is just wasting time and money if its paying inflated prices to collab based on fake follower numbers.

Stack of dolloar bills in hand and a few blowing away

Awareness Will Save You From Fraud

Instagram has tried to combat this issue in several ways. However, those who still insist on carrying out this type of fraud always find a way around the measures put in place. This is why it’s important to be able to recognize influencer fraud so that you can avoid it.

One of the most obvious signs an influencer is artificially inflating their audience numbers by buying their followers is sudden spikes in the number of followers they have. It’s very unlikely that someone’s Instagram following can go from 2K to 5K overnight. Before starting to work with an influencer spend some time tracking the growth of their following. Make sure it is rising organically.

Inspecting follower chart to watch for influencer fraud

Know Their Followers

Another important sign of influencer fraud is a suspicious ratio of comments and likes when you compare it to their followers. An account with a low follower count but very high levels of comments and likes is likely purchasing auto-generated comments. Many of the comments will be irrelevant to the content, with extremely generic phrases or strings of emojis. These types of comments are one of the surest signs that they came from bots rather than actual people.

The best way to make sure that the influencers you’re working with are genuine is to look beyond the standard engagement rates one would use to gauge the effectiveness a certain influencer will have. Instead, take into consideration other metrics. Such as story views, affiliate codes, or sticker taps. These will help paint a more realistic picture of the type of exposure and engagement your campaign can achieve.

Illustration of influencer attracting an engaged audience

If you take care to recognize and avoid influencer fraud your brand will be able to use its influencer marketing budget on forming partnerships that will build brand awareness, drive traffic and establish a relationship with your customers that is built on trust.

GET ALERTS ON NEW PROGRAMS

 
 

RELATED POSTS

10 Italian Influencers Commanding Our Attention

Next stop, Italy! Here you’ll find multi-talented Italian influencers who seem to instinctively know how to create feeds that are pleasing to the eye. Beauty, fashion, music, lifestyle, and travel – it’s all here. There must be something in the water… whatever it is, you’re going to want these guys on your team. Let’s get […]

10 Indian Influencers to Invite for a Collab

In this round of our trip around the world to find the Perfect Collabs for you, we’re headed to India! Inspiring. Imaginative. Insightful. These Indian Influencers are undoubtedly what your brand needs. Look out for a whole lotta muscle, charm, beauty, motorcycles, fabulous fashion, and so much more. They’re just being themselves, Collabing along the […]

Booking Influencers:  How to Find & Book Influencers

Paid partnerships flying all over social media, thousands of views and likes, followers bubbling with “WOW I love this, I’m ordering it right now” kinda comments, and here you are with a little FOMO and a whole lot of tenacity to figure out how to find and book influencers — for your own big collaboration […]

STAY UP TO DATE ON ALL THINGS INFLUENCER!