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Sep 21 Brands Looped into Another Scam: The Latest Influencer Ploy

Why Influencer Led Loop Giveaways are Bad for Your Brand

Influencer loop giveaways continue to evolve into complex schemes to growing followings and generate engagement. This is done by partnering with a group of fellow influencers typically of a similar niche and creating an elaborate giveaway of high ticket items that involves multiple steps to enter.

In order to enter an influencer run loop giveaway, you must complete tasks like following several Instagram accounts, like certain photos (sometimes an entire month’s worth), leave comments, tag friends, and repost the loop giveaway post on your story. The shear amount of steps required to enter should raise red flags.

But by participating in a loop giveaway, influencers are able to grow their followers up to 70% faster in three months than if they didn’t participate in a giveaway, so it's easy to see why it's so tempting to participate.

Example Influencer Loops Giveaways

When many brands place emphasis on vanity metrics like follower counts and engagement, some influencers will look for way to manipulate the system in order to increase partnerships opportunities. However, not all giveaways are questionable and when done right, they can yield solid results for a brand. When a giveaway is sponsored by a brand, it's legal, the rules are clear and easy to find, and followed by everyone involved. But when the grand prize of a loop giveaway is tied to a brand, like Peloton, things can get murky.

Why Should My Brand Care?

Brands want to be cautious about working with influencers who participate in these types of loop giveaways. When influencers offer incentives to gain followers, they're not building relationships because the new followers only care about winning the grand prize. Without these relationships, influencers have no influence. Hard stop.

Plus, when a brand does pay an influencer based on follow count or engagement rates, it's important that those two things are authentic, otherwise you are just being scammed.

How Do I Protect My Brand?

Brand safety is important and engaging with influencers who participate in loop giveaways can jeopardize that. But there are steps you can take.

  • Add language to your influencer contract that prohibits partners from engaging in loop giveaways for a specified period of time. This is becoming an industry standard.
  • Carefully vet influencers before you hire. We can't stress the importance of this enough. Influencers are so much more than what the algorithm tells you. Get to know the influencers you work with by following all of their accounts and watching their social stories. Often influencers present their real selves on their stories versus their heavily curated feed, and algorithms may miss something key. Pro-tip: Often loop giveaways are conducted on IG Stories so there is no evidence of them later on.
  • Don’t pay high rates to influencers for high follower counts and engagements. When establishing a rate for an assignment, consider CPM, content creation, credibility and more.


If you're concerned with how influencer led loop giveaways may impact your brand, or are a brand who wants to run a giveaway, reach out.