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The Savvy Marketer’s Guide: How To Detect Fake Influencers & Followers
In the past few years, consumer media behavior has evolved dramatically. People of all ages are spending more time online and less time consuming traditional forms of media, like cable TV. Many are even dubbing 2017 as the year cable TV died, as an increasingly large subset of consumers trade cable for social media and streaming services.
As the way people consume content has evolved, this has forced a change in which channels advertisers use to reach audiences. Advertising dollars have followed audiences, and advertisers have drastically increased their spend in social apps such as Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and YouTube. Influencer marketing has become an increasingly appealing option because it leverages the dedicated following of social media influencers to reach targeted audiences. Advertisers are estimated to spend $1.6 billion in Instagram influencer marketing alone in 2018.
With the massive flood of billions of advertiser dollars into influencer marketing, it’s become a massive financial opportunity for influencers but also filled with challenges for advertisers. The rise of influencers has also given way to fake and fraudulent activity by some influencers. Last summer, global brands offered to pay for sponsored posts with two fake Instagram influencers that Mediakix created. Mediakix created the accounts and only purchased fake followers in order to show how easily and cheaply this could be accomplished. A Google search for “buy followers on Instagram” will have dozens of options. Mashable broke the story and it quickly went viral and was covered by news outlets on six continents.