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How to protect your business from fake influencers

Influencer marketing is one of the most efficient tools in modern sales world, but how not to get burned with it?

Of course, you heard about fake influencers, boosted pages sales, buying followers and likes. All this stuff is still quite popular because near 10% of influencers have fake and inactive subscribers, says Moreover, some of well-established thought leaders appeared to have dishonest past as well.

How can small developing business avoid being trapped by the social media frauds?

As a company working in social e-commerce & influencer marketing and connecting 86K influencers with businesses, we'd like to share some advice from our own experience and refresh common rules of the game.

1. Pay attention to the quality, not quantity. Check how many followers engage with the content, number of comments and likes. Be aware, that thousands of followers and likes without comments are not okay. Calculate engagement rates for an account by dividing the total number of likes and comments by the total number of followers. Take the user’s last 10 photos and average the total number of comments and likes, then divide by the number of followers and multiply by 10 to get the average engagement rate.

2. Check the quality of comments — are there just short phrases and smiles or real pieces of dialogue with the post’s author. Comments should be relevant!

3. Look at the nicknames of those who wrote comments and check their pages when possible to be sure they aren’t bots or fake accounts. If you see no pictures on those pages or no posts, obviously, never deal with the account owner. If the page follows or is mostly followed by “fan-buying”, “insta-boosting” services, leave it as well.

4. If you have doubts about authenticity, ask questions directly to influencer or agency.

5. Use only trustworthy influencer databases or think about audition tools.

6. Ensure you enter into an appropriate agreement with each influencer if it's necessary.

Keep in mind, that there are some laws in Australia that protect you from fraud-influencers.

Law protection

“Under section 18 of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), a person must not, in trade or commerce, engage in conduct that is misleading or deceptive or is likely to mislead or deceive.

Under section 29 of the ACL a person must not, in trade or commerce, in the connection with the supply or possible supply of services or in connection with the promotion by any means of the supply or use of services, make a false or misleading representation that the services have sponsorship, approval, performance characteristics, accessories, uses or benefits that they do not have.

Influencers must therefore be aware that falsifying their followers, or maintaining a dark past of ‘fake’ followers in order to represent to advertisers that they should be engaged to promote the brand, could see them fall foul of the Australian Consumer Law and breach sections 18 and 29. In some cases it may amount to fraud”, — informs source.

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