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Identifying Fake and Real Followers While Choosing an Influencer

Singapore’s bustling digital landscape has created new marketing channels for business enterprises. Influencer marketing is one such channel that has grown in importance over recent years. Statista’s records indicate that about 51% of survey respondents in Singapore have bought something due to an influencer’s recommendation in 2020. As influencer marketing becomes a leading buzzword of the digital age, your business must keep up with this hot new trend. A social media marketing agency can help you choose influencers who fit your brand ethos and cater to your customer base.

While working with the agency, you may bring up many suggestions for the influencers you can choose. However, many so-called influencers fake their follower count to dupe digital marketers and earn easy cash. How can you identify these scammers and save your business from falling into this trap? Let’s understand how to assess if an influencer’s follower list is real or fake.

Fake Follower Lists on Social Media: What are They?

Many social media personalities pay money to unscrupulous agencies or use other unethical ways to amass fake followers. As a result, they often have high follower counts. However, their engagement value remains poor because there are no actual customers available for interaction. An agency providing social media marketing support can help you weed through the fake influencers and find people who suit your company.

Where Do Fake Followers Come From?

Numerous click farms promise to supply Instagram followers for a hefty fee. As Instagram marketing becomes popular, unscrupulous people try to make money off this platform with fake promises. These illicit companies create sham accounts and follow influencers’ pages. Premium services also offer engagement options to make this process appear genuine and credible.

Earlier, bot accounts were the tools for generating fake follower counts. However, Instagram introduced new rules in 2018 to crack down on these automated sources of fraudulent followers. Despite concerted attempts by Instagram to weed out scam accounts, the “fake follower” industry continues to plague businesses today.

Easy Tips to Identify Fraudulent Followers

You can seek the help of a social media agency in Singapore to find out if an influencer has fake followers. However, if you feel suspicious that an influencer is faking their follower count, you should take the following steps to check their authenticity:

  • A sudden increase in the Number of Followers: If you observe that an influencer has suddenly gained popularity, it can be a red flag. The sudden spike in the number of followers can indicate that they bought their followers and increased the total count overnight. While it may be difficult for a novice to identify an abrupt increase in the follower count, a digital marketing agency with social media experts can help you navigate this space.
  • Lack of Adequate Profile Information: A social media account with inadequate organic reach is more likely to have incomplete profile details. They may have limited “bio” details or confusing captions. They may have gibberish captions or generic names that do not point to an authentic personality. The account may also have more stock photos than original shots. This type of composition can indicate that the account owner has not put much effort into the posts and lacks real followers for engagement.
  • Suspicious Engagement Patterns: Fake followers often interact with influencers’ posts. However, their comments and contributions tend to be unusual and inorganic. For example, you may observe that many accounts have commented with a single fire emoji each, which may point to a suspicious trend. Although this observation does not guarantee that the accounts are fake, it can lead you to use other checks to identify the authenticity of these accounts.
  • Fake Follower Details: If you want to dig deep, scroll through the follower lists of the suspected influencers. Some tell-tale signs indicate that the follower list is full of fake accounts. For example, if the followers mostly have gibberish names with the illogical placement of punctuations, it can indicate that those belong to fake accounts. You can check further details to assess if these accounts are indeed fraudulent. Look for their profile information and check if they have clear display photos. If they have incomplete details and generic pictures with very few posts, it can mean that scammers operate these accounts.
  • Irrelevant Comments: As we have explained in one of the above points, suspicious engagement rates can indicate foul play with the follower count. You can test their credibility by assessing comment trends in detail. Often fake followers try to appear genuine by commenting on generic words like “nice” and “awesome”. If several such one-word comments appear under an influencer’s post, it can mean that the influencer is not genuine. 

What To Do If Your Favourite Influencer Has Fake Followers?

Sometimes, you may observe that a legitimate and well-known influencer also has a few fake followers. These trends do not necessarily indicate that the influencer bought the followers. Instead, click farms sometimes follow top influencers as a way to expand their online presence. If the proportion of fake followers is low compared to real followers, you can go ahead with the collaboration plans. The crucial part is to focus on the real followers and understand if they meet your target demographic criteria.

These rules can help you start the process of removing fake influencers from your consideration set. However, for the best results, you should work with a top social media marketing service having the professional competence to deliver the right returns. A leading digital marketing specialist like Fenzo Digital will help you ace influencer marketing. Reach out to them today to optimise your social media strategy.

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