Fake Followers are Real and Here's How to Deal with Them | Popular Pays

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Fake Followers are Real and Here’s How to Deal with Them

by Aana Leech | 4 years ago

Photo by Joanjo Pavon on Unsplash

Authenticity in Influencer Marketing has been a big story this week. We first heard from Unilever’s CMO, Keith Weed, as the CPG giant pledged “to never buy followers or work with influencers who buy followers.”  Weed also emphasized Unilever would, “prioritize social media platforms that take action to stamp out fraud and increase transparency.”  Later in the week as Cannes was in full-swing, Digiday published an article claiming that the demand for transparency and accountability in the influencer space has motivated marketers, including Weed, to convene and develop a plan to “rebuild trust into the digital ecosystem.”


The meteoric rise of Influencer Marketing on Facebook and Instagram over the last three years emerged as a tactic to increase brand awareness as users on these platforms grew and ad tools had yet to be developed. Bad actors capitalized on the growth of influencer marketing as brands adopted the practice. Since then, the volatility of algorithms has made predicting true organic reach difficult, and a portfolio of ad products to better target online audiences and measure performance has emerged.


What hasn’t changed is the availability of users on these networks to purchase fake followers and bots to bolster their audience and engagement numbers. When we first started out five years ago, reaching a large audience on Instagram through influencer partnerships was the goal. We quickly learned that Influencers on our platform were more than just their social feeds. Our creator community was special because of their creativity and quality of their content. For some, influence was a happy byproduct.


The influencer marketing ecosystem has a problem of Fake Followers and Bots. At Pop Pays, we do use technology to prescreen applicants for suspicious follower behavior and decline them from your campaign before they make it to your queue. But what’s more impactful than that is a smart influencer strategy to ensure you get the most out of your Creator partnerships.


As the social media landscape continues to change we’re leaning into data to better understand intelligent ways to measure performance and potential fraud. Today, that is a fake follower indicator to screen applicants out of your campaigns. Our goal is to educate our clients on social strategies that work and use technology to make the content creation process smoother and smarter.


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