With the rise of influencer marketing, it’s crucial for brands to know they are getting what they pay for from their creators. Use this free checklist to quickly determine the follower quality of influencer partnerships to ensure you're maximizing ROI.Download Your Fake Follower Checklist Today
Fake followers are something that an account usually purchases in order to inflate the appearance of their follower numbers online. Someone may do this because they want to appear more popular or successful to the masses and brands, especially if they are an influencer or creator.
The process goes like this: you find a website you want to use to buy followers (there are many), you choose the number of followers you want to gain and then you pay. The new followers will start trickling in over the coming days (so as to not appear too obvious) and are almost always very obviously bots.
If you don’t buy fake followers, then no problem, right? Wrong. Almost everyone with a public social media account likely has a few fake followers amongst their legitimate following which is completely normal. While there is no way to stop fake accounts from following you (other than having a private account), there is the option to block accounts that you don’t think are legit.
If you were to think fake followers may not feel like a direct problem to brands, you would be right. Where they actually come into play is in a much more indirect way: influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing has quickly become one of the most important tools in a brand's toolbox. In fact, brands will spend over $7 billion on influencer marketing alone in 2024. So, what does this have to do with fake followers? Everything. As brands begin to sort through the type of influencer they want representing their products or services, it can be hard to know what’s legitimate, and what’s not. On the outside, a creator can look like they have a healthy following, but in reality, the majority is bot accounts that don’t interact with or engage in their content, rendering it pointless.
While fake followers likely don’t make up an influencer's entire audience, they can impact content performance in a really negative way and change a brand's thoughts or feelings towards an influencer and leave them reconsidering whether they want to work with them or not.
You would think the answer to this is an easy ‘of course not!’ but there is more nuance to the situation than that. As mentioned previously, fake followers aren’t always something that is bought or can be controlled. Naturally, brands will find that most creators have some amount of fake followers, especially as they become more popular accounts to follow.
Furthermore, follower count is only one of the metrics you should consider when collaborating with an influencer, not the be-all and end-all. Metrics like engagement rate will be much more effective in measuring how an influencer performs as it shows how users respond to and engage with their content. To gain a clear understanding of an effective engagement rate benchmark for your brand, consult our latest Industry Benchmark Report. This will provide you with a relevant point of reference to assess where your brand stands. Keep this figure in mind as a factor when evaluating the creators you are considering for collaboration.
When it comes down to it, it is up to your brand's discretion in whether you want to move forward with the partnership or not. Just be sure you’re not hanging your hat on follower numbers and follower numbers alone.
Dash Hudson’s fake follower checklist template is very easy to use. All you have to do is identify the accounts you want to analyze and then follow the checklist in a separate tab. If you have multiple accounts you want to analyze, you can just duplicate the tab and change the name to reflect the creator account you are looking into. Once you go through the checklist, it will be clear whether the creator you are analyzing has fake followers or not and you can easily identify if this is an influencer partnership you’re interested in pursuing.
While this checklist is specifically made with Instagram in mind, many of the checklist items are applicable to other social channels meaning this checklist can be used for other platforms like TikTok or X with a little tweaking.
Are you ready to knock your next marketing campaign out of the park? Download your free fake follower checklist to get started today.