If you type the word “scam” into the Google search bar, the output will offer 3.5 million results. These are articles with instructions, picks, advertising services, both paid and free. In Influence-marketing there is a great chance to “drain the advertising budget” on fake bloggers.
Companies or individuals create fake accounts (bots) to sell interactions: subscriptions, likes and comments. And because the bots mimic the activity of real users, algorithms consider them to be real people. In turn, bloggers striving to become popular buy fake subscribers and interactions.
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO CHECK ACCOUNTS FOR FAKES
Not only subscribers, but also likes, comments, video views can be artificial. Therefore, due to, a high level of engagement, fake profiles evoke trust at first glance. However, a fake account cannot provide a positive ROI (return on investment) when it comes to Influence marketing.
Thus, it is important to check a blogger’s profile for scams to prevent failure beforehand.
The most common uses of scams are on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. Some scammed pages or bots can be detected with the naked eye, but sometimes this requires knowledge. Let’s look at 9 ways to identify clicked profiles when searching for bloggers for ad affiliate campaigns.
EVALUATE THE RATIO OF SUBSCRIBERS TO FOLLOWERS
Beware of bloggers who subscribe to a large number of accounts. This indicates the use of mass liking and mass follower methods.
As a rule, the average number of bloggers’ subscriptions varies from 1 to 5% of the total number of subscribers. So, for example, if an Instagram blogger is subscribed to 5,000 accounts and has 15,000 followers, it’s worth thinking about.
Also, you can watch the blogger for a while and in case of dishonest promotion, you will notice sharp jumps in subscriptions and unsubscriptions. This way of checking is applicable to Instagram.
Estimating ERR (number of likes + comments / number of followers) is one way to get a basic understanding of how engaged your audience is. However, engagement rate ranges will vary depending on a number of factors, such as the number of followers.
This method is appropriate for Instagram as well as YouTube and TikTok.
MEASURE THE RATIO OF NUMBER OF POSTS TO FOLLOWERS
The number of posts (photos and videos) in a blogger’s profile should logically correlate with the number of subscribers: the more posts, the greater the number of subscribers and vice versa.
To generate audience interest in their profile, bloggers must publish content regularly. Obviously, 10-15 posts and 150,000 followers on Instagram indicate a tampering.
CHECK OUT STORIES
Another way to check an Influencer is to see if he or she regularly posts Instagram-stories. Popular bloggers post stories daily and attend them in person.
Therefore, signs of a fake account will be the absence of stories in general, the absence of the blogger himself in the frame, or spam ads.
CHECK THE PROFILES OF SUBSCRIBERS
Accounts without a profile picture, thousands of subscriptions and a minimum of subscribers, meaningless names and a lack of content – all of these indicate “bots.
When choosing a blogger for advertising, be sure to check not only the list of subscribers, but also the profiles of those who post likes and comments.
In addition to researching subscribers in this Affiliate marketing research, it’s worth finding out who the blogger himself follows.
Typically, these are peers, friends, family members and colleagues. Subscriptions should not include countless stores, companies and bots.
READ THE COMMENTS
Comment tweaks are used on all social networks.
And if you find a large number of impersonal statements under posts or videos, such as “Great!”, “Great photo”, “Cool”, and spam comments or a large percentage of comments in a foreign language, there’s a good chance that the blogger is shopping for comments.
EVALUATE THE GROWTH RATE OF SUBSCRIBERS
Keep track of your subscriber growth either manually or with special tools like SocialBlade.
They allow you to track the dynamics of growth and unsubscribes over time. Abrupt spikes or too precise a growth rate (e.g. exactly 50 subscribers per day) are also indicative of cheating.
COMPARE THE NUMBER OF VIEWS WITH THE NUMBER OF SUBSCRIBERS
In addition to the above methods, on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok, you can determine the presence of tweaks by comparing video views and the number of subscribers. Make sure that the numbers correspond.
If a blogger has 100,000 subscribers and his videos get 100-200 views – there’s a fact. The number of views of an individual video should be a significant percentage of the total number of subscribers.
Unfortunately, the number of fake bloggers, scammed accounts and bots is growing in parallel with the success of the Influence marketing industry. But working with a fake blogger has no effect on the ROI of advertising campaigns and, moreover, damages the industry.
The result is:
- Reduced effectiveness of influencer marketing as an advertising channel;
- A decrease in the credibility of bloggers.
Keep your hand on the pulse!