The Truth About Fake Social Media Followers

July 3, 2019
July 3, 2019 Tami Nealy

The Truth About Fake Social Media Followers

One of the biggest differentiators with the FYI platform is the proprietary software we have built that verifies the legitimacy of an influencer’s followers.

Ensuring the legitimacy of a social media influencer’s followers is critical. Brands and agencies that want to work with influencers on influencer marketing campaigns need to be confident the followers are real.

At Find You Influence (FYI), we have a process to ensure an influencer’s followers have opted-in and were not purchased. We recently sat down with Chelsea Goodson, Director of Influencer Management at FYI to get a greater understanding.

Hey Chelsea! Can you tell us about the process of approving influencers on the FYI platform?

Sure. When we review an influencer who has applied to join our network, our internal influencer team scours each of the influencer’s social media platforms to verify each influencer. This verification process is the same for any type of influencer. It includes tracking follower count, post count, quality of content across all social channels and engagement through FYI’s proprietary technology. FYI is also able to understand the percentage of organic versus sponsored content that an influencer has published, another indicator of content quality.

How does the team ensure the influencers on our platform don’t have fake followers?

One of the biggest differentiators with the FYI platform is the proprietary software we have built that verifies the legitimacy of an influencer’s followers. It is wonderful to work with brands and agencies and be able to confirm the authenticity of the influencer and their followers too.

What if an influencer purchases fake followers after being approved to the FYI platform. How do you and the team know if an influencer has purchased fake followers after they’ve been reviewed by our team?

We have established internal processes to audit influencers regularly after they have been added to our platform. We know that brands and agencies aren’t just paying an influencer to create content. Their goal is to reach the target audience with a specific message. If the audience isn’t real, the campaign is not set up for success.

With all campaigns run by the FYI Managed Services team, every influencer from micro influencers to celebrities, is hand-selected before providing the list for the brand to review and approve. Our  influencer team is selecting influencers based on criteria provided by each brand and leverages our proprietary software to verify followers.

I understand that proprietary software means we aren’t sharing the ‘secret sauce’. But what CAN you tell us about how it works to verify if followers are real?

Hmmmm. With influencers, it’s important to track the increase and decrease in follower count as well as engagement metrics.  Influencers who register on our platform give us the ability to track their growth over time. This allows our team to quickly audit an influencer whose growth in followers and engagement isn’t consistent with their overall performance.  Our team would then investigate to understand if the spike was related to a life event or a particular post that gained significant traction. Or if indeed they were purchased, fake followers.

Instagram has an internal process of shutting down bot accounts, and we are also regularly monitoring those in our network. We also track down to the IP address on blog and click traffic, which gives us another indication of whether an influencer has fraudulent traffic.

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