Influence is in vogue. This market allows brands to grow through influencers and these influencers to generate profit.
However, the influence market has its bad sides. Find out how some people abuse this emerging market and some keys to protect your brand.
The fake followers
To take advantage of the new professions of influencers, people have set up marketplaces that allow you to buy followers on instagram, facebook, twitter etc…. If it is possible to increase the number of subscribers by a few hundred units for a handful of euros, some people in search of notoriety are willing to invest hundreds of euros to reach a dummy fanbase of several hundred thousand subscribers. It is a double-edged phenomenon. For real influencers this represents a loss of share in the influence market. As for brands, blinded by the figures posted on social networks, they lose huge amounts of money by offering juicy contracts to these false influencers.
Today, tools such as Hype Auditor have been developed to probe instagram accounts and identify fake accounts. Nevertheless, these tools remain little known and we do not always have an idea of their existence.
Some « real » influencers abuse their subscribers
Another major problem that has emerged recently is those influencers who, out of greed, deceive their subscribers by offering them fake contests, attractive prices on certain products or even an incentive to subscribe, to donate… It is sometimes difficult not to fall into the trap because it turns out that influencers fall from one day to the next into this bad side of influence.
Two examples of fraud:
Selling products beyond their value : By using the dropshipping principle, some influencers sell products to their subscribers in a way that suggests a partnership with the brand. These products are found to be counterfeit and are sometimes sold 10 times the purchase price to subscribers.
False contests and appeals for donations : These influencers set up contests, where some people have to subscribe or commit a sum of money to participate, but the only downside is that the contests are rigged and the promised prize is given to a fake account or never arrives.
Combating this phenomenon
While measures to combat these frauds are likely to be put in place soon, they are currently quite minimal. Europol has estimated the total amount of fraud related to overtaxed calls, a scam set up by some false influencers, to be €11 billions. There is no doubt that the situation should change in the coming months.
In order not to fall into these traps, it is good to know which ones are true and which ones are false.
A false influencer will have a community that is not very engaged, or subscribers who have reacted to one or two publications. If an influencer has 50,000 subscribers with an engagement rate below 1%, there is a good chance that the influencer has purchased fake followers. We also recognize a false influencer in these followers, who have between 0 and 10 subscribers and who never post, they are actually accounts created for the purpose of being sold.
It is also important to check the authenticity of an influencer, does he often work with recognized brands ? With expert influence agencies ? Ask yourself the right questions.
Influencers are also affiliated with influence agencies that certify the veracity of their content, which makes it possible to trust them.