The quickest way to waste your time and money is to spend it on the wrong people. This is how Philippa Dods, marketing manager at Meltwater Africa, boldly started her recent webinar, which explored fake influencers and dodgy social media practices.
A fake influencer can be defined as a social media user who artificially increases their following and engagements to mimic influence. This is done through bought followers or bots. Thus when brands decide to do business with this person, they think they are going to get great returns on investment, but are tricked into spending money for very low/no returns.
The reason fake influencers are so hard to spot, according to Dods is because “they look like genuine influencers, with perfectly edited photos and the follower count to match, but the followers have been bought and the bots sure as hell don’t care which brands the influencer is promoting”.
The fake Instagram account, Wandering Girl last year perfectly highlighted the problem of fake influencers, deliberately being created to underscore the issue. Despite moves by social media companies to curb the issue, including changes to algorithms, the tricksters are clever, having evolved their approach and tactics, and are still around.
“When you look at a fake influencer’s profile, it may very well be flooded with long comments, but the fact is that there’s no real connection to the audience. So if you’ve hired this influencer or have sent them products or merch, they’re actually not influencing anyone to go out and buy that product,” Dods cautions.
During the webinar, Dods also highlighted the biggest social media trends that brands need to keep an eye on. Here is the full webinar for more information.
Want to continue this conversation on The Media Online platforms? Comment on Twitter @MediaTMO or on our Facebook page. Send us your suggestions, comments, contributions or tip-offs via e-mail to email@example.com.