Influential marketing is a $2 billion industry now. Over the last decade, celebrities and popular social figures have groomed this industry a great deal. With deeper social media integration, nowadays the common man is also part of the influential marketing business as a ‘seller’. The ROI for influential marketing is much higher than other digital marketing investments. This is the primary reason brands and agencies are always in a search to find true and effective ‘influencers’ on multiple social platforms.
As we see rapid growth in the influential marketing segment, there has been an intruder which is hurting the credibility of the REAL influencers. Yes, you got it right; Bots and Scams. The emerging trend of buying profile followers and post likes can easily deceive the buyers. The ‘shout out’ you get will not reach the real followers as per your expectation. At the end of your campaign, the influencer would get away by just saying, “the audience wasn’t interested in your product, sorry, I tried”. You will definitely not trade with that influencer again but the influencer doesn’t care, He got his money and that’s what he wanted from a one time client.
You can easily buy 2000 to 10,000 followers for $20 to $200 worth of money using freelance websites like Upwork and Fiverr. Many people new to the influencer marketing business are trying to reach shortcuts to followership using these techniques. One thing these influencers should remember is that their business will not last long term. You will soon get black listed on the platform and your account will be blocked.
The customer needs to be careful when they trade off a deal with social media influencers. There should be a way to verify the authenticity of a profile, its followers and post likes. One of the ideas which I have for this is to introduce the option for ‘verified influencer accounts’. There should be a strict consistency criteria if an account wants to become an influencer. We do have celebrity, organizational or public figured verified accounts option available on various platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. If the social media platforms can establish an authenticated system for verified influencers, the fraud can be reduced. Also, this will boost the overall revenues of the social media marketing industry.