Aldo Agostinelli

The importance of the brand-influencer relationship has been debated many times from several different points of view and has always been reconfirmed. But there is still one issue to be discussed: fake followers who are a variable part of influencers’ ecosystem. Read it in Italian

Instinctively, indeed, people tend to follow users with many followers rather than those with just a few. Despite the fact that there is no guarantee that the message of the brand will actually be passed on, a higher number of followers translates into higher chances.

The point is that, quite often, the authenticity of such figures is not ascertained although this is a fundamental factor since fake followers don’t bring about any benefit for brands: whether they are bots or real people, they will not be interested in buying the products advertised. The former are software, artificial users which may have been programmed to click on the like button from time to ime; the latter, after clicking on the like button or after following a given page, terminate the mission they are paid for. That’s it (How Fake Followers Ruin Your Influencer Marketing Campaign).

In the world of marketing influencers, the number of followers or subscribers is key. Consequently, at the influencer’s end, everyone is willing to try and take the market by storm, since they know that, more often than not, the quality of the published contents is not proportional to the increase in the number of followers and it is thus quite easy to make use of some ploys.
Investors shall, however, take such mechanism in serious consideration.

Recently, Twitter Audit has pointed out that 12 million users out of the 24 million users of the CNN account – half of them –  are fake. In other famous cases such figure reaches up to two thirds of the total amount although such data are not final.

I have analyzed the accounts of some active influencers who also have a high visibility on the social media, and such percentage is lower than 10%. Anyway, we are talking about a relevant share of the total number of followers which should be  considered when hiring testimonials for brands.

And the same applies – even though to a lesser extent and for different reasons which I have already explained in the article entitled  Marketer and influencer marketing…here are all the latest news!-, to micro influencers, as well.

Such problem concerns all social media, more specifically the most popular and loved by brands such as  Instagram. It is no surprise that SocialBlade, an analyser of fake followers, is so trafficked.

Joel Wright, co-founder and chairman of #HashOff, a platform with almost 150 thousand influencers, provide investors with a solution to the problem: changing point of view (Fake followers and the influencer marketing ecosystem). Instead of assessing influencers (only) on the basis of the number of their followers, they’d better assess the engagement ratio of their such followers. If the former is high but the latter is low, the percentage of fake followers is likely to be high, and the influencers an unsuitable support to the brand. So those who wish to spend their money wisely cannot but devoting more time and attention to such assessment process.

Which criteria do you apply when selecting an influencer for one of your services/products? Why? Tweet  @agostinellialdo.

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Aldo Agostinelli