What is a hate-follow on social media? And why does it matter for influencer marketing?
Well, start by thinking of it as the social media equivalent of a reality TV show. So, shows like Teen Mom or My 90 Day Fiance (aka in my personal opinion awful reality shows) that somehow get large viewers. Well most of those viewers are tuning in because it's a train-wreck. These people's lives, at least as they're portrayed, are a train-wreck, and you really can't look away.
Unfortunately, there are also some influencers with big followers who are in the same situation. People are hate-following them. They're not following them because they inspire them. They're not following them because they influence them in a positive way. BUT a brand pulling in the numbers to find the right influencer will find often a high follower count and high levels of engagement because they get a lot of comments - but you can't just rely on data. We say this over and over again, but brands have to do the manual digging. If you take a few minutes and look through the comments, you'll see comments like, "What the hell is wrong with you?", and "Put a seat-belt on your child!", and things that you would not, as a brand, ever want to be associated with.
So yes, there's conversation, but it's heavily negatively sentimented conversation. You NEED to do your homework, be aware of the hate-follow, and not pick influencers who are unlikely to influence and inspire people to choose your brand.
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