How To Spot A Fake Influencer
Here is a look behind the curtain as I try to grow the brand of Soothe. There are many ways to try to grow a brand. Facebook Ads, Google Ads, content marketing, PR outreach, influencers and many more. One area I am well versed in from my previous work experiences is the use of influencers. I love the idea of influencer marketing; find someone who has a large audience and have them showcase your product to that audience. I have seen this model to be very successful for many brands. However, there are many dangers to influencer marketing. The number 1 being scammers creating fake influencer profiles. On the surface the influencer looks great, large audience in a category that meets your target audience.
But be careful…..
I received this pitch over the weekend for Soothe Therapy Dough:
On the surface this looks great. Fashion Blogger with 1.3m followers. I would have to assume that she has an overlapping audience that would love Soothe Therapy Dough.
The first thing I always look for in an influencer is authenticity. Are you a real person? Can people relate to you? If you look at her Instagram page (https://www.instagram.com/chrishanxoxo) you will see all of her photos are almost exactly the same. She is centered in front of some sort of background. A lot of the photos look forced or fake. At best they look like she’s creating stock photos that could be used for articles. It just doesn’t feel authentic.
That being said, if you look at the likes and comments per post. They look pretty good. It appears she has an engaging audience. This is where I use a software tool an analyze her account and followers. I look at the following factors to determine if this person’s account is authentic and has the ability to actually influence:
- Audience Gender Mix
- Age ranges
- Audience by Country
- Audience by Language
- The persons engagement rate
- Non-follower likes
- An overall credibility score
The ideal influencer for Soothe Therapy Dough would most likely have the following metrics for those categories:
- Audience Mix: 80-90% Female Following
- Largest percent of followers in the 25-34 Age Range (followed closely by 35-44)
- Audience Country: Greater than 75% United States Audience (We manufacture and ship from the united states, the majority of our customers will be in the united states)
- Audience Language: Greater than 75% English (just a metric that falls in line with Audience Country)
- Influencer engagement rate: Ideally 3% or greater
- Non-follower likes: Less than 10%
- Credibility score: Must be greater than 75% (but ideally above 80%)
Here are the stats for @chrishanxoxo
- Audience Mix: 33% Female (Its ok, men can like Soothe Therapy Dough too!)
- Audience by Country (in order of largest to smallest): India 29%, Brazil 15%, Indonesia 12%, Iran 6%, United States 5%
- Audience Language: 42% English
- Engagement Rate: 1.3%
- Non-follower likes: 98%
- Credibility Score: 12.8%
As you can clearly see this profile is a fake. Most likely the followers were purchased, the likes and comments were purchased. She is supposed to be a fashion blogger in Los Angeles but only 5% of her followers are in the United States. She appears to have posts referencing China and Chinese New Year but China isn’t even in the top 5 locations of her audience.
The biggest red flag is probably the non-follower likes metric. 98% of her likes come from profiles that do not follower her. To me this is a tell-tale sign that her likes are purchased. Clearly the 1.3m followers she has do not engage with her (most likely because they are fake as well).
All this being said, I have worked with many influencers who have been great! I just have to make sure to do my homework before we work with an influencer to make sure we are not getting scammed and their audience would be a good fit for our product.