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Mar 19 How to Identify Fake Followers and Engagements on Influencer Content

Identifying fake followers and fake engagements within influencer content becomes a priority for many marketers.


Recently many articles have surfaced concerning fake followers and fake engagements that influencers are paying to have on their posts. While some think they can develop an artificial intelligence tool to weed these influencers out, others are trying to develop formulas to automatically exclude these influencers. The bottom line – this type of approach isn’t going to work – at least not for another year or two.

You see, influencer marketing teams need to incorporate an even mix of art and science into their strategies. When you incentivize a behavior, you get more of that behavior.

Here at Carusele, we use our iStack™ system to sort our influencers by cost-per-engagement (how effective are the influencers at getting people to react to their content). But once we use the technology to create this list, our influencer specialists are manually looking at their content to evaluate if it’s actually good content and if the comments are real, meaningful comments. Just because we have a list of 20 influencers, not all 20 are going to be full of good engagement, and a human filter catches those errors.

Additionally, in each campaign we run our content through another system called the Content Performance Index™ that bubbles the best content to the top so we know what to syndicate. But before we run that syndication, we're looking at that content to ensure it matches our criteria. In the past, we ran a food project, and one particular piece of content received high engagement and comments. But when our team took a deeper look at the content, we noticed all the comments were talking about the influencers red blouse, not the food. Because we caught this, the team didn’t waste any of our syndication budget.

So, until AI cracks this code, and it's not going to be easy, we’re probably looking at another few years that brands will need to use human intervention to filter these fake followers and fake engagements. That's the way we've built things at Carusele to ensure we have a balance of art and science.

If you’re interested in learning more about our iStack™ or our Content Performance Index™, contact us today to set up a call.