Don't Waste Your Money: How to Avoid Fake Followers in Influencer Marketing


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How To Do Influencer Marketing Like An Expert

Famous influencers have fake followers. It's a fact. But, if you're a smart marketer, you can use this to your advantage. In this blog post, we'll show you 30 ways to spot if an influencer has fake followers - so you can make sure you're getting the most bang for your buck.

This topic is always one of the most read across all of our articles and it's no surprise the reason why.  Influencer marketing is still the while wild west, and if you don't know what you are doing, you can waste a lot of time - and money. In this blog, Hollywood Branded provides 30 ways to ensure your influencer partner has more real than fake followers. 

30 Ways To Avoid Fake Influencers

Maximize Your Influencer Marketing ROI

This blog post provides 30 ways to spot if an influencer has fake followers. Some methods include analyzing the influencer's engagement rate, comparing them to other similar influencers, looking for spikes in their follower count, and checking the number of comments and likes on their posts. Other methods include reading the comments, looking out for automated comments, and checking the influencer's other social media accounts. You can also use online tools like Fohr Card and Social Blade to get insights into an influencer's followers and help identify any signs of fake followers.

The power of Instagram influencer partnerships has been proven to impact brand sales.  A simple post featuring a product and a few carefully chosen words and hashtags can lead to thousands of sales overnight.   But choosing your Instagram influencer partner isn't as easy as just seeing who has the biggest fan base, as even on this platform fake followers can be bought!  

Sometimes it's easy to see that the follower base is comprised of fake accounts - but other times, a little more insight is needed to avoid partnering with fake Instagram influencer fan bases. 

We've gone BIG and outlined 30 ways you can keep your money in your pocket by spotting these tell signs that an influencer may have many fake followers (not just some). After all - EVERYONE has fake followers - or what the algorithm would see as fake, as you have people abandon accounts, or bots that randomly follow you for their own nefarious or stupid reason.

So here goes!

1. Check the number of comments and likes on their posts - If an influencer has many followers but few comments or likes, then it's likely that many of those followers are fake.

2. Look for spikes in follower numbers - Generally, natural growth does not happen overnight. If you see sudden spikes in their follower count, there's a chance it could be from fake followers.

3. Check the engagement rate of their posts - Influencers with fake followers tend to have an abnormally low engagement rate on their posts, even when compared to other influencers in the same niche.

4. Look at how they interact with their followers - If an influencer is engaged and interacting with their followers, it's less likely that they have fake followers. However, seeing little to no engagement from them or interactions with spammy accounts could be a sign of fake followers.

5. Check for suspicious usernames - Fake followers often have strange usernames that may include numbers, random letters, or even symbols. If you spot any suspicious usernames in an influencer's followers list, this could indicate fake followers.

6. Look at their post frequency - Fake followers often come with automated profiles and bots, which means they won't be very active in liking, commenting, and sharing posts. So if you notice that an influencer has many followers, but their positions don't seem to get much engagement, this could be another sign of fake followers.

7. Check the date they joined - Fake followers are usually created on the same date, so if you notice a large number of followers that joined the account on the same day, this could indicate fake followers.

8. Analyze their interactions - Fake followers don't interact with posts or comment on them very often. So if you see an influencer with a high follower count but whose posts don't seem to be gaining much engagement, this could be a sign that they have fake followers.

9. Compare them with other influencers - Compare the influencer you're looking at with another similar influencer and see how they compare in terms of follower count, engagement rate, and post frequency. This can help you identify if the influencer has an abnormally high follower count or engagement rate that might indicate fake followers.

10. Read the comments - Fake followers usually have a handful of generic words that don't add value to the conversation and can be easily identified by reading through them. If you notice any suspicious patterns, the influencer has likely bought fake followers.

11. Contact their audience - The best way to determine if an influencer has fake followers is by contacting them. Reach out to a few of their followers and ask them questions about the influencer or their experiences with them. If they cannot answer your questions, the account is likely fake.

Ok so admittedly - this is a reach. But it came up a few times so... I included it here.

12. Use social media monitoring tools - Various online tools can give you insights into an influencer's followers, such as Fohr Card and Social Blade. These tools allow you to analyze an influencer's follower count, engagement rate, and more to help you identify any signs of fake followers.

13. Look out for automated comments - Fake accounts will often leave generic or irrelevant comments on an influencer's posts, so keep an eye out for these, as they can be a telltale sign of fake followers. These comments are usually written in poor English and contain generic phrases such as "great post" or "love it."

14. Check the influencer's other accounts - If an influencer has multiple social media accounts, such as Instagram and YouTube, check them all to get a complete picture. Fake followers may only be present on one of their accounts, so keep this in mind when assessing the influencer.

15. Consider their engagement rate - An influencer's engagement rate, or the percentage of people who respond to a post, is one of the best ways to determine whether an account has real followers. If an influencer's engagement rate is meager compared to their follower count, there's a high chance they have fake followers.  Engagement rates are NOT high - 2% is considered decent on Instagram.

16. Check their comments - Fake influencers usually don't bother interacting with their audience, so the words on their posts will often be generic and lack substance. Real followers, however, are more likely to leave meaningful comments that show genuine interest in the position or account, such as asking questions or giving compliments. Pay attention to the quality of words and see if they're relevant to the bar or just generic phrases like "Nice!" or "Love this!". If they seem spammy, there's a good chance those followers are fake.

17. Look at their other accounts - Fake influencers tend to have multiple accounts linked together, so if you see the same followers across all of their social media profiles, they're almost sure buying fake followers. You can also check their other accounts for signs of authenticity, like genuine interactions and comments from real users.

18. Research them - If you're still uncertain, do a quick Google search and see what comes up. You can also look them up on social media monitoring websites like SocialBlade to get more information about their followers and engagement levels.

19. Ask questions - Don't be afraid to ask the influencer questions about their following or post history. An authentic influencer will be glad to show proof that their followers are genuine and engaged.

20. Use a tool - You can also use tools like HypeAuditor, IG Inspector, and SocialRank to analyze an influencer's profile in more depth and get detailed metrics about their following. These tools offer free and paid versions, so you can get started without investing any money.

21. Look for collaborations - You can also look at an influencer's past collaborations to see their success in working with brands. This will give you a good idea of their ability to create content that resonates with their fans and attract engagement.

22. Compare metrics - You can also compare the metrics of an influencer's posts with their overall account stats to get an idea of how engaging their followers are. If they have a large number of followers yet low engagement rates, this could indicate that their following is not genuine or engaged.

23. Check for authenticity - When working with influencers, it's essential to check for authenticity. Ensure the influencer you are looking at is authentic and genuine in their content creation by reading through some of their posts and researching them online. If they appear to be overpromoting products or pushing too hard to get followers, they may not fit your brand. Also, look into their background and previous collaborations with other brands before making any commitments. Doing this research upfront can save you from working with an influencer who won't help you reach your goals and objectives.

Authentic influencer campaigns

Beyond Fake Followers - Safeguarding Your Campaign

24. Communicate openly - Ensure an open line of communication with your influencer. Provide them with a detailed brief about the campaign you're running, and answer any questions they may have to ensure mutual understanding between the two of you. Additionally, it's essential to find out how often they will post content, who else they are working with, and what kind of content they would like to create. Doing so will guarantee a successful collaboration that meets everyone's desired results.

25. Monitor results - Once your campaign starts, it's essential to monitor the results to ensure that you're getting the most out of it. Analyze the posts, engagement numbers, reach, impressions, and other metrics to determine whether or not your influencer campaign is achieving its desired objectives. This will help you gain valuable insight into how effective your strategy has been and if any changes need to be made to get better results.

26. Adjust strategy - If you're not getting the results you had hoped for, don't panic. Instead of giving up on your influencer campaign, take a step back and assess where you went wrong. Then, adjust your strategy to ensure it is better optimized for success. Try new tactics, such as using different hashtags or having influencers create content with a different tone or message. Experimenting can help you discover the combination that works best for your brand.

27. Track Influencer Performance - Tracking influencer performance is essential to the success of any influencer campaign. Keep an eye on how each influencer's content performs in views, likes, comments, and shares. This will help you identify which influencers are effective at driving engagement for your brand and adjust your strategy accordingly.

28. Measure Your ROI - Measuring your influencer campaign's return on investment (ROI) is essential to determining its success. It would be best if you tracked metrics such as website visits, sales conversions, brand mentions, and other KPIs to measure the success of your campaign. These metrics can help you see which influencers are most effective at driving results for your business.

29. Monitor Your Content - Monitoring your content is critical for protecting your brand's reputation. Keep an eye on what influencers post about your brand and any comments or reactions from their followers. Ensure the shared content is accurate and appropriate for your brand's image.

30. Evaluate Your Campaign - After the campaign has ended, it's essential to evaluate the success of your influencer marketing efforts. Analyze your metrics and measure them against your goals to better understand how effective the campaign was. This will help you refine your strategies for future campaigns and ensure you get the most out of your influencer marketing efforts. Additionally, use the feedback collected from influencers and your audience to improve your current programs and create better campaigns in the future. By consistently evaluating and improving your strategies, you can maximize the impact of your influencer marketing efforts.


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How to Use Influencer Marketing For Your Brand

Influencer marketing can be a successful tool when done correctly. To ensure success, it is important to avoid certain factors such as overselling and low quality content. 

For further guidance on how to use influencers effectively, check out more of our articles. 

Interested in learning the ins and outs of making influencer and celebrity marketing work? Access our full-length videos, transcripts, audio files, infographics and more!! Hollywood Branded's Influencer Marketing School advances your influencer marketing game. These courses are for brand and agency marketers to provide insight into how influencer marketing strategies work, and the best practices and strategies to make them do so.

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