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Fake followers is a concern for any marketer working with influencers. If you work with a brand, or if you’re online at all, you’re aware of fake followers and wary of the impact they have on your social experience. The recent New York Times article drove the issue of fake followers to the forefront, generously deconstructing it and laying it bare in a way that elicits understanding amongst even the most novice of social consumers. Yet, for our team at Traackr, this is mostly old news.
Since 2009 and well before “fake followers” was in the nomenclature, Traackr has focused on building authentic, impactful relationships between brands and influential individuals. Our technology is based on this philosophy, and provides a unique feature set that exposes relevant data and enables each practitioner within our client organizations to identify, track, and engage with those individuals most authentically relevant to their brand.
The capabilities and data Traackr provides make it easy to gauge the authenticity of an influencer and detect anything inconsistent. Here are a few examples of how Traackr supports your data-driven and qualitative influencer vetting process.
Our three R’s allow any practitioner to, at a glance, understand an influencer’s:
This high level lens enables practitioners to identify influencers with a satisfying follower range, screen to see if their followers are engaged across platforms, and find influencers that are “on topic” before digging deeper to analyze the depth of an influencer’s alignment with their brand. A resonance score will naturally be a signal of fake followers.
One post, or even a handful of posts, is often not enough to determine if an influencer has the right social presence for your brand. Traackr allows you to live listen to all of an influencer’s social activity and gives you the ability to dig deeper into any post at any time. With access to influencer’s content across channels, you’ll be able to ensure the quality of the content produced and detect anything suspicious.
Engagement is important, but unfortunately it can be faked. However, a recent study that we’ve conducted for one of our largest clients has shown that the level of fake engagement is actually pretty low. The reality is that buying followers is pretty cheap but buying engagement can quickly become very costly, as engagement will need to be bought for many posts to have any impact.
Within Traackr, you have full access to not only the raw number of likes, comments, retweets or shares of any unique piece of content, but also the ability with one click to read through those comments, or a selection of them, to screen for veracity. Are these comments dynamic and informative, or do they reek of spam? Does the engagement on a specific post stick out as an outlier compared to other posts without reason?
Traackr’s analytics suite allows you to understand not only the impact of each campaign you run with a designated group of influencers but also to track and understand consistency and engagement with any topic. You can customize tracking to monitor engagement ebbs and flows, and understand the why behind them. That way, you can check the level of engagement over time and detect any post that may appear suspect compared to the average engagement per post or around a topic.
A startling increase in follower count across channels or on any one social channel is often a tell tale sign that someone has purchased followers. Traackr’s trending influencer statistics allow you to monitor for alarming spikes and subsequently analyze content to determine if these spikes are organic (due to a new partnership or viral post) or inauthentic (fake) growth.
An influencer’s audience is just as important as their aesthetic and social presence in moving the needle for your brand. Traackr’s audience insights allow you to screen for psychographic and demographic information for each influencer you are vetting. Armed with this information, you can understand if they speak to the right age group, geographic zone, profession, and affinities, i.e. your brands addressable market. You can also determine if there is something potentially indicative of fraud, i.e a US based influencer with a massive following in Serbia and little anywhere else.
Practitioners concerned with fake followers and fake engagement impacting their influencer marketing efforts can leverage Traackr, combined with the best practice of thoughtful influencer diligence. We hear from our customers that there is no substitute for spending time screening an influencer’s profiles and reviewing a sample of posts and engagement, to ensure they are the right fit and generate real impact.
The data Traackr provides and qualitative insights gleaned from our transparent platform ensure practitioners can maintain focus on forming reciprocal relationships with real people who consistently align with their brand’s values.