Many accounts on Instagram are breeding fake followers with a view to attract brands for collaborations. In the process, many brands get duped by these misleading numbers and end up entering into fruitless partnerships.
Fake followers are a major issue plaguing the authentic Instagram experience for brands as well as audiences.
Brands are constantly looking out for influential content creators to bring on board and create fruitful campaigns.
Often brands relate the number of followers that an Influencer has, with the impact that they are able to bring about with their content. This false misconception pushes brands into the vicious trap of fraudulent partnerships.
Fake Instagram followers are essentially fake accounts that are created by bots. Many Instagram users purchase fake followers to project themselves as ‘Influencers’.
According to a cyber security firm, fraudulent activity in the industry is likely to cost as much as $ 1.3 billion this year.
Despite these facts, Influencer marketing continues to be on an all-time high demand. In fact, the Influencer marketing industry is slated to be a $15 billion-strong industry by 2022.
Influencers come with huge audience bases, who are largely driven by their social media content. Brands, products and other lifestyle choices that these Influencers endorse impact the way their audiences take various purchase and lifestyle decisions.
Collaborating with a social media Influencer, in this sense, has great business benefits for a brand.
Firstly, an authentic Influencer usually has a loyal community of followers. By working with Influencers, you can leverage access to their followers. With Influencer marketing, you can expand exposure to your brand, content, and campaigns.
Secondly, by partnering with an Influencer you can build a level of authenticity and trust in your brand. Influencers hold a sense of trust and loyalty amongst their audiences. When an Influencer endorses your brand or products, it instills a sense of trust and authenticity in your amongst the audiences.
Thirdly, Influencers are niche content creators. An authentic Influencer knows how to create niche content for brands. In this sense, you can rely on these Influencers to create quality content for your campaigns. You don’t have to go about teaching them how to produce content, thus allowing for smooth execution of campaigns.
Authenticity is the linchpin on which a good Influencer collaboration is based. In order to leverage the power of Influencer marketing, you need to build partnerships with authentic Influencers.
The False Image – Fake Followers Plaguing Instagram
Social media platforms, in particular, Instagram is plagued by the problem of fake followers. To give you a quick backstory, many Instagram accounts have been found to be using tools to buy fake followers and painting a false image on the platform.
Many brands get swayed by the huge follower sizes of these Influencers and collaborate with them with the idea that this will help them expand brand exposure and generate influence. In the process, they end up falling prey to unfruitful Influencer partnerships. While these Influencers boast of huge audience bases following them on the platform, their content is not generating as much engagement.
One of the brands that have been actively involved in this battle against fake followers is Unilever. The marketer behind the brand, Keith Weed, called out accounts following malpractices on the platform. Unilever spends a significant portion of its global expenditure on Influencer marketing and aims to inculcate transparency in the industry.
How To Deal With the Problem of Fake Followers
It is easy to get manipulated by these numbers. Meanwhile, it is also a difficult task to find out which Influencers have a genuine following and which ones don’t.
This is a very important factor to consider while finding Influencers to collaborate with. Instead of being swayed by the vanity metric of follower sizes, you should look at more important metrics before entering into a collaboration with an Influencer. After all, you are investing your time, money and efforts into running these Influencer campaigns.
It is important to dig deeper and get to know an Influencer thoroughly before entering into a collaboration with them.
How engaging and relevant is their content? Is the said Influencer generating traction amongst audiences? What kind of interactions is the Influencer generating?
Instead of just focusing on how big a following an Influencer has, you need to dig deeper and answer these questions. An Influencer who has a huge following but creates half-baked or poor-quality content is not going to be helpful for your brand.
On the other hand, an Influencer who has demonstrated his/her engagement generation capabilities is easier to work with. Such an Influencer is more likely to be profitable for your brand and bring value through his/her content.
So, when you are recruiting Influencers for your brand, you need to analyze their social media presence at a deeper level. You need to look into the relevant data and insights about the Influencer, before entering into a collaboration with them.
In the next section, we will cover how you can discover the right set of influencers for your brand without falling victim to inauthentic collaborations based on fake followers.
Finding Authentic Influencers For Your Brand
Unbox Social offers an Influencer marketing platform where brands can discover Influencer talent, build partnerships with them, run campaigns and monitor these campaigns, all on a single platform.
On this Influencer marketing platform, you can find a whole database of niche Influencers from across platforms. This tool allows you to conduct a multi-layer check on all the Influencers.
The tool is reliable and helpful in not only providing you with a whole database of Influencers but also important insights and intelligence about them. You can look at the total number of followers that an Influencer has, on this Influencer marketing platform. At the same time, you can also look at more intricate details about them including engagement rates and average interactions.
As such, you can build fruitful campaigns with Influencers based on mindful and well-informed decision making.
You can filter the list of Influencers by different criteria including the category, location, gender, and hashtag. Further, you can conduct a brand check to find Influencers who have worked with brands similar to yours and build an efficient, high-ROI campaign in the process.
Once you have found the ideal Influencers for your brand, you can go on to send detailed campaign briefs with well-defined campaign goals and objectives. You can also keep track of campaigns using this Influencer marketing platform and generate Influencer marketing reports.
Winding It Up
Fake followers are plaguing Instagram. Many accounts had been found to buy fake followers. In order to avoid falling prey to such manipulations, you need to go beyond the vanity metric of follower sizes. You need to look into the more important and relevant metrics of engagement and interactions.
Using a reliable tool, you can dig deeper into niche Influencers and discover data and insights about them. Given that you are investing your time, money and efforts into these campaigns, you need to follow due diligence throughout the process.
So, what are you waiting for? Start discovering Influencers now!