Ever since social media became an important cog in the marketing mix, brands tend to focus on one objective – gaining more followers. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social platform, marketers aim at reaching as many followers as possible to increase brand awareness. Social media reach and engagement are important determinants of success. But should marketers reach anyone and everyone for the purpose? Perhaps no.
Let’s take the example of influencer marketing. This form of marketing relies heavily on the social media fan-following of the influencer, who can be a celebrity or an industry expert. It’s only when these influencers endorse your brand before their fans that you can expect some changes in your page likes and followers. Influencers act as brand ambassadors who can positively influence the decisions of people who aspire to be like them. As such, more and more brands are leveraging the power of influencers in building a strong social media presence.
But there’s a problem that marketers may encounter while working with influencers, and that’s the problem of fake followers. Nowadays people can pump in some money and buy followers to become influencers overnight. Fake followers are becoming a common phenomenon on social channels where users are inflating their fan numbers and also their engagement. They strike up partnerships with brands in the smokescreen of a fake social identity. But is this something that brands would benefit from? Absolutely not.
Fake followers are harming your brand
Most marketers may see a fan-filled social media account as a lucrative influencer profile. They may be lured by the million followers mark or tons of comments and shares that the profile receives. They may shell out huge sums of money to leverage the network of the user, only to realize that half of those thousands of followers are actually fake.
Besides dropping engagement, fake followers are also making the job more difficult for marketers. With thousands of profiles boasting 3.5+ million followers, finding genuine influencers with real fan numbers can be really challenging for marketers. They have to spend hours reviewing profiles and weeding out the ones that look suspicious. As such, the process of influencer marketing fails to reap marketers expected benefits.
What about your money and your brands’ reputation? Fake followers can tax both of them. Influencer marketing requires money, and the moment you pump in money into an influencer campaign, you can expect some positive change. But this can happen only when you choose the right influencer. After all, no savvy consumer would want to interact with phonies.
Selecting influencers with fake or real followers is certainly not a picnic. But there are different ways to get the best out of your influencer marketing campaigns. For example, you can use a platform like Ifluenz, which can help brands promote their products using influencer marketing on Instagram. The algorithms developed in-house by Ifluenz can spot out fake followers and only good influencers are eligible to sign up.
No matter what, marketers have to be careful of such fake profiles while using influencer marketing in today’s digital space.