Carmen Pino July 1st, 2022

How to Use AI to Detect and Avoid Fake Influencers?

Are you looking to locate social media influencers for your marketing campaigns? You’re not the only one! Influencer marketing is a growing industry whose market value has more than doubled over the past two years.

But fake influencers are still an issue for marketers. How can you tell if the people who follow an influencer are genuine people and not bots? How do you know if an influencer is buying the likes or comments that you see on their posts?

The process of determining influencer authenticity isn't easy if you're only taking a look at social media. However, thanks to the power of AI, you will be able to identify fake influencers and steer clear of them easier.

How can you make use of AI to identify fake influencers

If you're looking for aid from AI in your search for influencers, you must sign up to an influencer marketing platform. This is a form of subscription-based software that permits you to find influencers with filters like category, location, engagement rate, audience demographics, authenticity and much more.

The platform also gives you an instant analysis of the influencer’s profile and performance metrics. This means that you don't need to inquire about influencers' media kits or their internal insights data prior to starting your analysis. Moreover, with AI it's possible to get a more detailed analysis than you would by manually looking over the profile of an influencer through social networks.

What can AI tell you about the authenticity of influencers

There are some important metrics to consider in order to determine if the influencer's followers are genuine or fake. Let's take a look at each.

Follower growth evolution

Many people concentrate on the number of followers an influencer has. However, you must also be aware of the method they used to acquire followers over the years.

AI will track the growth of an influencer over time and present a graph of the data. With this information, you can check whether the growth of an influencer is natural or not.

A growth rate analysis by an influencer marketing platform. The growth is slow, but steady, which suggests that it's organic.

Organic growth is supposed to look like an upwards-inclined hill. The influencer may gain followers at a slow rate, however, it is steady.However If you observe rapid growth in followers, you must investigate further. 

Check first whether the influencer held a giveaway or went viral around the time of the spike in growth. Perhaps they were featured on TV or debuted their first album. If you find something like this, it’s a logical reason why an influencer would see massive growth spurts in short amounts of time.

However, in the absence of any rational explanation for a sudden increase in followers, you should consider that the influencer might have purchased a batch of fake followers. In this situation, you must examine the other metrics listed here and determine if the followers are fake.

Engagement rate compared to averages for their peers

Engagement rate measures the amount of interaction between an influencer and their followers. Influencers with high engagement rates have trusting and interested audiences, and that’s beneficial for the brands that the influencer promotes.

However, engagement rates can be too high. If you see an engagement rate that is much higher than the average for that segment, it could be that the influencer bought fake engagements, like fake likes or comments.

Similarly, very low engagement could show that the influencer has fake followers. These bots follow an account but don’t usually like or comment on comment, and therefore end up driving engagement rates down. At best, low engagement says that the influencer’s audience isn’t interested in their content.

But how do you know the average engagement rates for influencer segments? Well, you can research them. But it’s much easier to let AI calculate them for you. On an influencer marketing platform, the AI will calculate an individual influencer’s engagement rate, and then compare it against the data for all the other similar influencers in the database.

The program then tells you if the engagement looks low, average, high, or suspiciously high. Keep in mind that engagement benchmarks vary depending on social network, category, and follower count. 

So don’t compare the metrics of TikTok influencers against the engagement rates for Twitch streamers or youtubers. Those networks have different ways to engage with content, so the benchmark rates differ.

Audience demographics

Next up, check out the demographics of an influencer’s audience. Consider things such as gender, age, interests as well as language and geographical location. This is beneficial due to two reasons. The first is that it allows you to ensure that the target audience of the influencer matches your own target audience.

An analysis of audience location. In this instance the influencer is German and so it would make sense that her fans are mainly from Germany and other countries around it.

It also helps you identify discrepancies that could identify fake followers. For instance, if you discover that the majority of the followers originate from a nation that the influencer has no connection to or has never visited, it is possible some of those followers are fake.

Audience authenticity

In the end, AI can give you an estimate of how much of the influencer's following could be fake. AI examines the followers and accounts that interact with an influencer's posts to determine if they are performing actions that are typical of bots.

An AI-powered analysis of the authenticity of an influencer’s audience. In this instance we can see that almost 20 percent of the followers are suspicious and could be bots.

It's common for influencers to have a tiny percentage of followers that are not trustworthy. However, when you are looking for influencers to use in your marketing campaigns, prioritize influencers who have around 80% or more authentic audience members. And the higher the number, the better.

Influencer marketing platforms that can help you with your campaign

Now you know the benefits of using an influencer marketing platform to choose the right influencer for your brand, so you will probably be wondering where I can find an influencer marketing platform? Here you will find three different options for you to decide which platform will work better for you. 

Heepsy

Heepsy has one of the best influencer marketing platform search engines, they have a lot of filters that allow you to find the right influencers for you in seconds.Plus their platform is super easy to use, so it is perfect for beginners. 

Aspire IQ

Aspire IQ, is a platform that will help you with the automation process, moreover, you will be able to integrate shopify to your account, so will see the sales coming from your campaign. But you must know that you will have to send your influencers the aspireiq login if they are not already inside the platform.

Ninja Outreach

With this platform you will be able to contact the influencers inside their platform, but their search engine and metrics are worse than other platforms. I would recommend this tool if you already have the information regarding the profiles of the influencers and you just want to contact them.

Conclusion

Influencer fraud continues to be an issue for marketers. Everything on social media can be bought nowadays. Fortunately, artificial intelligence can assist you in identifying this fraud so you find authentic influencers to promote your brand in an influencer marketing campaign.

Carmen Pino

Carmen is an influencer marketing specialist from Spain. She studied digital marketing, communication and social media, and is now currently working for Heepsy, an influencer marketing platform that helps brands to find influencers to collaborate with.

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