7 Best Practices to Detect Fake Influencers & Fake Followers: How to Avoid Getting Burned By Influencer Marketing - John Bohan
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7 Best Practices to Detect Fake Influencers & Fake Followers: How to Avoid Getting Burned By Influencer Marketing

The New York Times recently published an interesting article on fake followers.

It inspired me to share Socialtyze's process and technology for detecting real vs. fake influencers as well as identifying influencers who ramped their numbers with fake followers.

Below are 7 steps to avoid getting duped by Influencer Marketing.  These steps can be performed quickly and at scale with the right technology and team.

  • Check the geographic location of the influencer’s followers. Fake accounts often have a large percentage coming from third world countries.
  • Analyze the profiles and behavioral patterns of the influencer’s followers to assess age, gender, interests, occupation, hashtags, etc.  There are often red flags and inconsistencies that come with fake followers.
  • See if the avatars (i.e. profile pic) of the influencer’s followers have been set. Fake profiles often skip this step.
  • Check the follower count of influencer’s followers. Fake profiles often have small followings. For example, you can check the % of followers who have less than 10 friends.
  • Check how frequently the influencer’s followers post. Fake followers don't post much.
  • Detect fake comments in the influencer’s posts. Most fake comments lack depth. They are short, generic and have little direct relevancy to the content.
  • Confirm that the Influencer is verified by a major social network. I would not recommend requiring this step as a small percentage of accounts are verified  (0.01% of Instagram accounts), but it is a nice check to include as part of the process.

If you'd like to see two actual case studies of how we detected fake accounts, see -

From Fake News to Fake Followers - How Not To Get Burned with Influencer Marketing