Influencer marketing is a lucrative business, especially with brands reporting a 6.5X return for every $1 invested… but this only happens if you work with the right social media influencers and don’t waste your budget on FAKE influence (it happens). This week’s #ChiaExplains covers the 5 major warning signs of fake social media influence — make sure you run down this checklist before you begin working with any so-called social media influencer.
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#ChiaExplains the dark side of influencer marketing — including 5 major warning signs that you could be dealing with a fake social media marketing influencer.
00:25 How common is it for social media influencers to buy followers and engagement?
01:11 Is it really so bad to buy followers and social media engagement? Who is it hurting?
02:02 Groundbreaking court case makes it illegal to buy and sell followers and likes – Devumi is forced to shut down
02:58 5 major warning signs to help you identify FAKE social media influence
03:10 1st sign of FAKE social media influence: engagement rates that are way out of proportion to their number of followers — see the Golden Ratio.
03:38 2nd sign of FAKE social media influence: sudden, overnight growth
04:06 3rd sign of FAKE social media influence: very generic comments on their content
04:27 4th sign of FAKE social media influence: followers that don’t seem to really exist
04:45 5th sign of FAKE social media influence: a suspiciously high number of followers… even though you’ve never heard of them before…
05:09 Check for these 5 majors signs of FAKE social media influence before you decide to collaborate with any social media marketing influencer
Creator + host: Chia-Luen Lee
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Hey, it’s Chia from Brand24 and today I want to talk about influencer marketing and how to spot fake social media influencers. But first — just how common is it to buy followers and fake influence? More common than we might think.
The New York Times wrote about this in their article “The Follower Factory” where many iconic celebrities and influencers were exposed for buying followers from companies like Devumi. Devumi is a company that specializes in selling social media followers, and not only. For just a few cents, you could buy views on YouTube, plays on Soundcloud, skill endorsements on LinkedIn and, of course, social media followers and engagement. Before they shut down in August, Devumi had been providing services to a lot of high profile clients, including actors, supermodels, athletes and social media influencers. In some cases, these were direct clients – and in other cases, they were purchased through their agents, employees, or friends and family.
It might not seem like such a big deal: like, apart from being a little embarrassing, is it really that bad to buy followers, especially if nobody’s getting hurt? Well, actually, buying followers and engagement can cause a lot of damage.
For starters, influencer marketing depends on brands being able to correctly identify the right influencers to work with – and they usually pay pretty well for these collaborations, so businesses stand to lose a lot of money from working with people who are not nearly as influential as they had thought.
And then — there’s also the case of stolen identity. When companies like Devumi sell followers, they’re often selling interactions from fake accounts, based on the identities of real people – including minors. And once these fake accounts are sold, they can be used to promote Anything on the Internet, even pornographic sites or very extreme political views.
This is why, in a recent groundbreaking court case, buying and selling followers and likes was ruled illegal in the US, making it virtually impossible for companies like Devumi to operate. They were actually forced to shut down in August due to the massive negative publicity they received from the expose in the New York Times… but not before first generating around 15 million dollars in revenue from selling fake followers & social media engagement – apparently, the services that they offered were very high in demand… making it all the more important for brands and companies to be able to identify real influencers who have really engaged followers – instead of a bunch of bots.
In the last video, we talked about how to find the right social…
… full details inside the vid!