In 2019, engaging bot farms to increase the number of followers on social media is still a very popular practice for some influencers.
According to Mediakix, 64 million Instagram accounts could be fake, bots, or inactive (Mediakix, 2019). So, in the world of Influencer marketing fake followers and fake engagement is a big problem!
In this blogpost, we share simple tips to help you spot if an influencer has fake followers and how big is his/her active real audience.
Who are Fake Influencers?
Fake influencers are those people who present themselves as “influencers”, but whose social media following is largely made up of suspicious accounts. It means they have no real influence.
So, working with such influencers will be a detriment to your marketing budget, can ruin your influencer marketing campaign, but even worse, it could put your brand's authenticity and integrity at risk.
The Best Way to Detect Fake Followers
Influencer fraud costs companies millions of dollars.
That's why we created Persollo AI-Powered Tool that detects fake followers and can now show the % of Real People following the influencer.
Persollo uses machine learning algorithms to detect the audience type and calculate the actual Audience of Value (AoV) per each influencer.
Here is a quick summary of Persollo's report
Influencers - accounts with strong following themselves.
Mass Followers - accounts who are following more than >1,000 other people, but at the same time don’t have strong following (can be accounts that use follow/unfollow softwares).
Suspicious Accounts - accounts with no posts or less than 3 posts, no followers or less than 30 followers (can be Instagram bots or fraudulent accounts).
Quality Audience - real people and influencers.
Then, check the Audience of Value (AoV) % - the followers of an influencer that can take meaningful action from seeing influencer posts / sponsored content, verified using Persollo ML algorithms.
Analyze Engagement Rates
One of the easiest ways to define fake followers and bots is by checking their engagement rate. Such an account has a large number of followers, but a small amount of likes/comments/shares. As a result low engagement rate.
We recommend that you use a tool like Persollo AI-Powered Post Analzyer to conduct this analysis. This tool lets you access influencer analytics, including engagement rate for the influencer profile and also compare it to similar bloggers.
If an influencer has very low engagement rate then it is likely that they have some amount of fake followers. Persollo compares ER with similar influencers and suggests whether influencer have a good engagement rate or not.
Also, check the engagement and brand safety metrics for each individual posts.
Test Influencers Follower Profiles
Another great way to detect whether an influencer has bought followers is by checking their follower account. In most cases, you can notice that their followers have minimal activity on the page (no image and captions, no followers and etc). Or they haven't been updated in years. So, it’s highly likely that you’re dealing with fake followers and bots.
Analyze Their Follower Growth Metric
True influencer accounts have an organic and consistent line of follower growth. Fake influencers will usually have a rapid spike in followers at some point in time (from day to day or week to week).
Persollo gives you data to check the follower growth and capture rapid growth waves (that can signal the bot farm actions on the account)
Look for Follower Location
If influencer followers don’t make sense in relation to their own location, those followers may have been purchased. For instance, if an Influencer is a Sydney-based beauty blogger and the majority of its followers are from Italy, that’s a red flag.
Jump to Persollo and run an audience analysis on any influence.
In most cases, if you follow influencer but then she unfollows you, it could be a bot, cleaning up her follow-to-follower ratio.
When you have a list of influencers you want to work with, take a look at our Persollo AI-Powered Tool that detects fake followers and can now show the % of Real People following the influencer. Persollo gives you all the necessary data to ensure you're only working with the best!
Persollo Example Report is HERE.