Influencer Marketing and the Harm of Suspicious Followers

fake follower influencer marketing

Fraud is a plague upon all sectors of online advertising, SEO and also Influencer Marketing. Here, the most common fraudulent activities include buying fake followers (i.e., profiles or bots that do not represent an authentic community) or inflating the number of real interactions (with bots that are programmed to automatically like and leave comments on posts).
It is estimated that such social media practices cause companies 1,3 billion in damage per year. To preserve the investments of Brands, Buzzoole has developed a technology that is able to detect unethical behaviours of all Influencers and consequently prevent companies from engaging them in their Influencer Marketing activities.

If you want to know more about our approach and technology, we suggest you our white paper “The Battle for Authenticity: Fighting Influencer Marketing Fraud“. To get a clearer understanding of the whole situation instead, here’s what we discovered after analysing a sample of 8000 Instagram channels of non-’celebrity’ Influencers.

Suspicious Followers based on Influencer Type

We monitored different Influencer clusters and found out that ‘novice’ accounts have 10% suspicious followers, while among the ‘micro’ Influencers the value reaches 27% and among the ‘top’ is 37%. It should be noted that the trend goes along with the extent of the follower base, as most bots are set to follow the most prominent profiles.

suspicious followers instagram influencer

The Sectors with the most Suspicious Followers

We got interesting results also by tracking the phenomenon of frauds in the different product markets. Let’s see some examples: on average, Fashion Creators register a 34% amount of suspicious followers, Travel and Technology just over 30%, while Beauty Creators stand at 26% and Motors lovers 24%.

fake follower influencer industry

Learn more about this topic and the metrics that actually matter in Influencer Marketing with our free White Paper “Redefining success in Influencer Marketing”.

This post is also available in: Italian

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Vincenzo is the Head of Marketing Italy of Buzzoole. He worked for Microsoft, Digital PR, Blogmeter. He’s the author of “Social Media ROI” and “La Società dei dati”. His blog www.vincos.it is well known for analysis related to social media and communication. He loves to take pictures and brewing specialty coffee. You can get in touch with him at @vincos.

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