Influencer marketing is one of the best things to ever happen in this century. Yet, there are some challenges as everything is not so crystal clear in the industry. One of the most worrying issues is Influencer Fraud. Influencer fraud is getting prevalent by the day and brands suffer the effects. However, leading influencer marketing firm, Mavrck, believe they have the best tool to detect who’s real and who’s not.
Influencer fraud is rising
Ever wondered why there are more and more ‘influencers’ in the industry? Of course, everyone can see the benefit of influencing marketing, that’s why. Plus it is easy to become an influencer; just post some pretty photos and have lots of followers. But really, where are these followers from? This is where the fraud comes in.
Truly some influencers are genuine, but there are a large number of them who just buy followers, likes, views etc. There is no real engagement between them and their thousands of followers.
“The internet should be one of the greatest tools for democracy—but it’s increasingly being turned into an opaque, pay-to-play playground,” New York State Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, said.
Brands collaborate with them and get close to nothing in return. In January, Digiday revealed the results of some alarming findings on influencer fraud.
- A single day’s worth of posts tagged #sponsored or #ad on Instagram contained more than 50% fake engagement.
- Out of 118,007 comments, only 20,942 were not made by bot accounts.
- Bot comments are responsible for over 40% of total comments, for more than 500 of 2,000 sponsored posts made each day.
- More than 15% of influencers who sign on to do sponsored posts (and take the product associated with it) never create a post.
“The internet should be one of the greatest tools for democracy—but it’s increasingly being turned into an opaque, pay-to-play playground”
Mavrck to save the day
There’s no time to wait for social media app developers to fix the problem. Mavrck, a social media marketing company, is leading the way to help solve this problem. They have released “new, automated tools to help detect fraudulent behavior and manage influencer risk”.
In their publication, they described the work of these tools:
“Our new Follower Fraud and Engagement Fraud indicators are powered by machine learning algorithms that assess a statistically significant sample of an influencer’s followers, as well as accounts that engage with their posts, to determine whether a given Instagram account is from a real person or if the account is operated by a bot. Based on that analysis, an influencer is flagged as being a high, medium, or low risk of having purchased followers or engagements:
- Follower Fraud: Indicates abnormal follower-to-engagement rate ratio, and/or patterns of bot activity such as rapid increases in followers over time or that a large percentage of followers from developing countries.
- Engagement Fraud: Indicates abnormal engagement rate-to-follower ratios, bot activity among accounts that engage with the influencer, and/or patterns of inauthentic or abnormal engagement.”
Mavrck made some observations to match their case
Moreover, the team at Mavrck tested their tools after the following investigations.
“Investigating a sample of 3,992 Instagram influencers with at least 5,000 followers, we found that 394 (9.8%) engaged in fraudulent behavior by buying followers or engagements. Based on our analysis, an account can be flagged as being High, Medium, or Low risk of having purchased followers or engagements. This helps our customers to ensure that their campaigns are being executed by influencers who best fit their brand needs and objectives”.
“Investigating a sample of 3,992 Instagram influencers with at least 5,000 followers, we found that 394 (9.8%) engaged in fraudulent behavior by buying followers or engagements”.
Other contributions by Mavrck
Mavrck clearly has brands’ interests at heart. In April 2018, Mavrck launched its new Macro-Influencer Workflow Automation capabilities, which enhanced their existing workflow automation. Also, it provided improved measurement of the full impact of macro-influencer content. Mavrck customers are now able to measure influencer content across networks, and they can track and attribute actions driven as a result of that content to achieve brand objectives.