Influencer marketing is all the rage these days, with the industry projected to be worth $5 to $10 billion by 2020. However, there is a darker side to influencer marketing that has bubbled to the surface.
Not all influencers are as truthful as you may think. Research shows up to 24 percent of influencers have falsely manipulated their engagement numbers. A recent Entrepreneur.com report uncovered a U.K.-based fashion influencer with 230,000 Instagram followers who worked with 22 different brands in 2018 and charged $1,000 per post.
What those brands didn’t realize was that 96 percent of her engagement is fake, the result of a bot farm. She allegedly paid for engagement: $2 for every 1,000 likes, comments or shares. That means that each company Jess worked with likely wasted up to $960.
It’s called “influencer fraud,” and it is growing as fraudsters learn how lucrative it can be to sell posts on social media platforms such as Instagram, and how easy it is to purchase engagement on those platforms.
To combat this, companies are using A.I. tools to figure out which engagement is real, and which is fake.
Full report can be found at https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/331719