Interviews & Opinion

Fraud alert: How to spot a fake influencer

Fraud alert: How to spot a fake influencer

In 2017 brands spent roughly $1 billion in Instagram influencer marketing alone.

Instagram, of course, is not the only channel that influencers operate on. Many actively collaborate with brands on three or even four platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, to name a few.

That said, it’s fair to assume that the total sum being paid to influencers across all channels is well over a few billion.

Fake stars

Being an influencer can be a lucrative business opportunity and is one that many are capitalising on. This has unfortunately also led to a rise of lot of “fake” influencers, who use dubious means to make their following seem bigger than it actually is.

Subscriptions, views, clicks likes and engagement can all be bought for cheap. With so much money to be earned, the temptation for influencers is big not to go the long and hard way to get a following fanbase, but rather help things out a little.

As new influencers are popping up daily, it’s important to be able to recognise who’s legitimate and who’s fake.

The differentiation between real versus fake influencers lies in the channel’s demographics and past campaign performance.

When trying to spot a fake influencer, first check out their demographics. Important demographics to inspect are:

  • The ratio of views to comments
  • The ratio of likes to dislikes
  • The geographic regions of their followers.

Be wary of influencers who have low engagement rates but high amounts of followers.

Moreover, a fake influencer is first built on fake followers - if a Western influencer’s followers reside largely in countries like India, China or Pakistan, for example, you can bet that they were purchased. By investing a few hundred dollars, an influencer can purchase thousands of followers as well as likes, views and clicks.

As many as 48 million Twitter accounts are fake. Otherwise known as “bots”, these fraudulent accounts can mimic human behaviour on various platforms, thus boosting seemingly authentic engagement rates.

Therefore, it’s equally important to review past campaign performance such as conversion rates in addition to the aforementioned demographics in a general sense, but also in a form that’s specific to paid posts.

At GameInfluencer, we take influencer vetting seriously. Based on the campaign objectives, we consider the hard data - channel demographics and past campaign performance - but we also work to create lasting partnerships between developers and influencers who would genuinely play their game in real life. regularly posts content from a variety of guest writers across the games industry. These encompass a wide range of topics and people from different backgrounds and diversities, sharing their opinion on the hottest trending topics, undiscovered gems and what the future of the business holds.