Some influencers are faking sponsorships and brand deals in hopes of gaining superiority, a large following base, and real brand deals.
Being an influencer means that you receive products or services for free in exchange for promotion or endorsement of the brand.
Influencers are faking brand deals because they want real brands to reach out to them.
They will state that they received the products for free even though they actually paid for them so other brands see the type of response they get from their audience.
This type of behavior can be detrimental to brands.
Brands spend copious amounts of time looking for the “perfect” influencer for their brand—they take into account the previous brands they’ve worked with, their reputation, their feed, etc.
So, when influencers fake brand deals that the brand doesn’t know about, it can be bad business.
Here are some tips on how to spot fake influencers:
1. Is Their Account Verified?
If you find someone who has a little blue checkmark next to their name on their social media platform, it’s the real person behind the name.
Though, these checkmarks are only given to mega-influencers like Kendall Jenner.
If someone with a blue checkmark by their name is promoting your brand, you can have peace of mind that they’re a real influencer.
2. How Many Followers Do They Have?
If you find someone with tens of thousands of followers, it might make you feel comfortable having them promote your brand.
But, influencers are paying for followers and likes to make it seem like they’re a verified influencer.
If you find someone who has accumulated an incredible amount of followers in a small amount of time, they likely paid for those “fake followers.”
Fake followers mean little to no engagement of posts. You can use SocialBlade to determine the growth of an account’s followers.
3. How Engaged Are The Followers?
Take a look at an influencer’s posts and look at the comments, likes, and shares.
If you find someone who has a ton of followers, but only a few likes, that’s a sure sign that they have bought followers.
Also, if their likes are out of the realm of possibility with the number of followers they have, that’s a sign that they’ve bought likes.
4. Look At The Comments
If the comments are extremely generic and one-word responses, those are probably from fake accounts.
On the other hand, comments that are more conversational or tagging other users are likely from real and engaged followers.
5. What’s Their Actual Reach?
The reach of an influencer is how many people actually view their posts.
Fake followers or inactive users (the ones that are bought by influencers) do not usually see the posts that the influencer makes.
To find an influencer’s “true reach,” you can use an influencer marketing platform like Meltwater to discover how many followers actually see the posts.
6. Networking and Interactions
Influencers are usually paid to attend events for the brand that they endorse.
They also often interact with other influencers of the same brand to extend their reach on media platforms.
Take Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner for example. They are obvious mega-influencers because of their fame, but if they weren’t, their constant collaboration and friendship show that they are reliable and real influencers.
Here’s what you can do if you find fake influencers promoting your brand:
1. Introduce Your Influencers
On your social media platforms, introduce your influencers.
This way, the followers of your brand know exactly who is endorsing your brand. However, if you have a lot of influencers, this might be difficult.
You can introduce your influencers by posting a picture of them with your product.
Also, include some type of disclaimer that the only influencers affiliated with your brand are the ones that are posted on your brand’s social media platforms.
2. Make a Public Statement
It doesn’t hurt to verify your influencers through any social media platform you can. This can be another option to introduce your influencers.
Make a public statement on all of your social media platforms that the only influencers who are backed by your brand are the ones who are as followed (then list all of your influencers).
3. Provide Affiliate Codes To Your Influencers
This is another way to ensure that an audience looks at your influencer’s content rather than a fake influencer’s content.
The audience is always looking for promo codes to purchase the cute clothing or accessories that your influencer is wearing.
Giving an affiliate code to your influencers also makes them more authentic compared to fake influencers.
As a brand, you won’t be able to find every fake influencer who promotes your brand.
Keep in mind that these fake influencers are basically promoting your brand for free. Unless it’s harming your brand’s reputation, take their review with a grain of salt and take the free endorsement!
Additional articles you might be interested in:
- How Influencers Make Money On Instagram
- How To Contact Potential Sponsors And Get Brand Deals
- 7 Ways To Gain More Instagram Followers
- How To Find The Best Online Influencers
- How To Position Yourself As A Trustworthy Expert Online
- 25 Things You Should Look For In A Social Media Influencer
- How To Start An Affiliate Marketing Business
- How To Stay Authentic As An Influencer
- 5 Things To Avoid Doing As An Influencer
- How To Pick The Right Influencers To Market Your Products
Carly Hancock is a blogging and social media intern at LadyBossBlogger. She is looking forward to having a future in writing or social media. She enjoys learning new things about beauty products and fashion, and Instagram is her favorite social network!