Everything on social media can be bought nowadays—likes, comments, views, followers—you name it. Many self-proclaimed influencers are cheating their way to the top to acquire brand partnerships and sponsorship deals, while having absolutely no influence over their following. It is so important to find authentic influencers who will truly provide value to your brand. Here are a few key tools you can use on SocialBlade.com to help validate your influencers and improve your ROI.
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Take a look at their “Instagram Stats Summary” chart
How many followers is this influencer gaining on a daily basis? If they’re gaining anymore than 0-100 followers per day, chances are, they’re probably using questionable methods to gain followers. Same goes if they’re constantly losing followers but gaining large spikes of followers on certain days. Unfortunately SocialBlade.com only shows the stats from the past month, so you can’t always detect authentic influencers using this tool, but it’s a good start.
Take a look at their “Total Instagram Followers” graph
As you may know, gaining followers is not an easy task, and it requires a lot of work and dedication. Influencers who are gaining followers organically should have a gradual, steady increase on the graph. If their follower count randomly spikes in substantial numbers, they’ve definitely used questionable methods to obtain their followers. No influencer is gaining 5,000 followers every month consistently.
Some influencers will claim to have been reposted by a popular account, but I took a look at an influencer’s account who was reposted by a clothing brand with over 7 million followers, and they only gained 360 followers that day.
Loop giveaways have also become popular, where groups of influencers pitch in to buy product(s) for a giveaway, share the same photo on their accounts, and require entrees to follow all of the influencers for a chance to win. This results in a lot of “giveaway accounts” (accounts people create just for the purpose of entering giveaways) following the influencers, who never engage with their content after the giveaway ends.
Take a look at their “Total Instagram Following” graph
The follow-unfollow method has become an incredibly popular method of gaining followers quickly, but the quality of followers is usually low. Influencers who use this method typically mass follow random users with the goal of having them follow back, and then unfollow them afterwards. How to detect this suspicious activity? If their following number constantly goes up and down from 1,000 to 2,000 to 1,000 on a daily basis, they’re probably using this method.
Why you want authentic influencers
Influencers who buy followers or use questionable methods to gain followers essentially have little or no influence over their following. You want to work with influencers who’ve grown their account organically to get the best return on your investment and make the most out of your collaborations.