Please understand that persona is the name of the game in INSTAGRAM. People follow personas; they don’t just follow pretty pictures because anyone can post a pretty picture. Instead they’re following personas because they have a distinct spin on whatever niche they’re in. They have a distinct personality or point of view. They follow this because they feel like they belong in an exclusive club.
When you have that kind of relationship and you’re following them, they’re more likely to give you the benefit of the doubt when you do promote something. That’s real an influence in how a lot of things are sold on INSTAGRAM. For example, if you see someone wearing very cool stuff all the time like watches and jewellery and then they post a very nice looking watch with the discount code on, you listen, you go ahead and click on the link and enter the coupon code and buy it all because of the call to personality, the power of influence.
The thing is you have to beware of fake influencers. Unfortunately once people knew money was involved to make, get paid for doing shout out, a lot of people started building fake accounts. But just how fake are these accounts?
Well, the thing is they’re targeting certain niches, but they’re not really into that niche that much and then they get fake followers. So not only are the accounts fake, but so are the followers. This is a serious problem because if you pay the person behind these accounts real money to post shout out, your shout out are going to fall on deaf ears. Why because they’re all fake. They’re driven by software, they aren’t real and they definitely don’t have credit cards at hand.
A lot of big global brands are actually steering away from influencer marketing as they don’t want to be stunned, they don’t want to be seen to be using these fake accounts. So they are a problem. So how do you make sure they’re real?
Well, real influence means really engagement. It is actually not hard to find out which ones are fake. Just look at their public stats and engagement and how many followers they’ve got. You need to measure the total amount of engagements they get by dividing that number by the number of followers they have. Look for a ratio to see if there’s enough engagement to tell if it’s real. You could also look at the content they post if it’s the same content over and over again or there’s no caretaking of comments where they go in and they answer or they address things then it’s probably a fake account.
We’ve put together the four key signs of a fake influence.
Sign One: Equal Following and Follower Ratio
If you notice an account follows a lot of other accounts while enjoying a large following this should be a red flag. Chances are they just followed a lot of accounts just to get the follow back. It’s a common courtesy. This is fake influence.
Sign Two: Low Engagement Ratio
If you notice that this account posts a lot of content, but the engagement ratio is low then this is a red flag as well. There should at least be a certain level of engagement. We’re always going to have posts that don’t actually do what we want and don’t get the engagement we require, but it’s unlikely that every single post sucks. So if this is the case it’s a good chance it’s a fake account.
Sign three: They obviously ask for money.
Take a look at how they describe themselves. If it’s obvious they take payments in their biography, it could be that that’s all they’re interested in. Be suspicious if they’re pushing towards just these payments. Chances are if this is all they are after then they’re going to be a fake account just trying to get those dollars.
The very best influencers on INSTAGRAM are those who are Hobbyist. These are the best because they eat, drink and sleep their passion. The money is just a side thing, it’s a happy coincidence. Maybe they’re into travel, maybe it’s women’s fashion, maybe its luxury watches, sport cars who knows. Whatever the case may be they’re hobbyists. They post picture after picture and these are definitely the best people to get a shout out from.
You should definitely be very suspicious of people who are all about the dollar because there’s a strong chance they put up their account just so they can get a shout out and other influencer Ad revenue.
Sign Four: No Need Specialization
If it turns out that this influencer account tends to rotate among different niches, this should be a big red flag to you.
What this person is actually doing is trying to get the attention of advertisers from different product niches that they know advertisers normally target. It might be that it’s a real account, but if it is then you don’t really have a focus. So even if it is real, the traffic is going to be a lot worse than someone whose niche is specific.
Following those four tips should stop you getting caught in the fake trap. But there’s also something else you should do and that’s;
Start with a slow and low buy
The first thing that you need to do is get a massive list of influencers out there, and then contact them all.
In this case, 6you’ve got rid of the fake ones with the tips that I’ve just given you. Contact them all and ask if you can get a shout out or a photo Ad for something like $5, basically lower than the offer. Get as many shout-outs and picture Ads placements for as little as possible.
The next step is to track these campaigns and see which, if any, of those influencers can deliver real results. Ideally you’d want to come up with a top three. So for example, if you have 30 influencers shouting out, you should be able to see the top three very easily by how many different comments, etcetera.
Let’s say you’re sending them to your online store; well, you own this and you know whether you sold anything or not. So you can see what’s working and what isn’t.
But another great tip is to use specialized coupon codes for each influencer so you can see exactly where the purchase came from and track it. Once you’ve got this information, you can pick the top three that worked and pay them more for exposure and this is how you maximize your results. Go slow and low and then scale up the campaigns that actually produce results.