We have all had those messages from an account with 10k followers saying 'do you want to collab?' and yes this can be a great thing to do for your business but SO many of these accounts are not influencers at all.
Before working with an influencer, it is important to determine if they are genuine, real, and will get the results your brand needs. Fake followers and engagement can ruin a brand’s efforts and kill the conversion of their influencer marketing campaign.
How to identify fake followers and fake engagement:
Scroll through their followers and look for any suspicious accounts. All followers should have a profile pic. Bought followers may have no profile pic or duplicate their profile picture across multiple accounts.
Look at their comments. Influencers with real followers typically have a variety of comments. Vague comments that just use emojis or say generic phrases like “great pic” may be fake. However, be aware that many fake comments are initiated by the fake account, and are not necessarily purchased by the influencer.
Is there engagement all from the same group? This could indicate that they are paying for engagement or using an Instagram pod. Pods are not necessarily a bad tool for influencers, but their actual engagement is slightly skewed if the same people are obligated to like and comment on every post.
Use a tool like Social Blade or HypeAuditor to look for jumps in follower growth. Influencers with real followers should have a steady growth curve without any sudden or substantial spikes. These spikes could indicate that an influencer has bought followers.
The influencer isn’t tagged in photos. If an influencer has a thriving community of followers, they should be seen tagged in other people’s photos. Whether they are in the image or it is a follower trying to share something with the influencer, their tagged photos should be plentiful.
Ask lots of questions and ensue that the influencer is really right for you and your business, does their brand align with your own and will their followers really want to buy your product?
If you are finding it all a bit overwhelming we can assist you with your influencer search and proposals.