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Kelly McDonald- CEO

. Feb 1 . 3 min read

Find out who is #FakeFamous

Social media continues to take the world by storm, and now everyone wants to play a more significant part in it as famous influencers. Quite frankly, we can’t blame people for dreaming of becoming Instagram or TikTok famous because who doesn’t want to be showered with free products and get paid by posting photos? Admit it. We’ve all been tempted to quit our job and become a full time travel or food influencer - well I sure have! 

Unfortunately for brands, it is becoming ten times more challenging to differentiate the real influencers from the #FakeFluencers. The lack of clarity is becoming a growing concern in the industry, causing brands to lose their belief in influencers as a legitimate, effective way of reaching their target markets; which couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Influencer marketing, when done correctly, is one of the most effective forms of advertising. Wanting to be an influencer, no matter what it takes, is so vogue that HBO is came out with a new documentary called ‘Fake Famous,’ which is a social experiment-based film that takes us on the road with three ordinary people who will become social media “stars”. Numerous studies reveal that high school and college students (and way beyond!) often revere Likes and Followers, to the most important thing on Earth today: Fame. This HBO documentary doesn’t purport to be the next Borat, but it’s certainly aimed to be another wake-up call to social media users today regarding a very significant term: influencer fraud.

‘Influencer fraud’. What is it? And why does it sound so terrible?

Influencer fraud is, in three words: bad for business. That much is obvious. But to truly understand just how bad it is for business, one must first delve into the world of fake influencers. 

Why are fake influencers a big no-no in the world of marketing? It’s important to remember that the very point of influencers – besides playing their role to appear on our daily social feeds – is to promote products. So, when a company decides to invest their money in an influencer whose followers are either bots they paid for, or mass followers, who will follow you for a follow back, nobody actually buys what is being promoted. This results in a general loss to the company and influencer marketing as a whole. Both the bigger companies, who may not feel the sting as much as a start-up, who have so much to lose will lose their faith in this proven tactic.

It is easy to build up a social media entourage by buying bots that will stand as followers to make someone look like a legit influencer. These services have also stepped their game up in creating staged content to gain more attention from social media users, making them look even more legit. All they need is a good photo app, an interesting background, and a nice outfit curated together to get the perfect shot worthy of thousands of likes.

From there, they start racking up fake comments and likes to make their page seem active and engaging. Once they hit at least four digits of followers, brands take notice, and that’s when collaborations commence. Brands usually send out ‘in kind’ products to the influencers, and part with precious budget dollars, utterly oblivious that there will be no return on this investment.  

Spotting the Fake Famous #FakeFluencers

Companies have become so sophisticated at manipulating social media profiles that anyone would think their followers, comments and likes are real! So how can you tell the real and the fake famous apart?

Sudden spikes in an influencer’s follower count is one indicator. Unless of course, that person is Noah Centineo after the release of ‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’, it’s highly likely that this person may have just bought more followers. Fake influencers may also post too little content to have that many followers.

There are plenty of other ways to vet prospective influencers before hiring them. But what is, perhaps, the easiest method of doing so is by resorting to Kyndoo’s Kyndex score. 

We have made it our mission to rip open the shades and shine the light on the fraudulent influencers and the influencer marketplaces that promote them.

We are the only service that vets influencers for authentic audiences, unusual follower-to-engagement ratios, reach and performance data, brand safety measures, tracks attribution and all of those other complicated terms you won’t have to worry about, because we KYNDOO it for you!

To find out who is Fake Famous versus who is a Real Influencer get their Kyndex Report.





This is scary but true - thanks for highlighting. We know that brands can "buy" followers to boost their legitimacy when they launch so it makes sense that influencers do the same. Thanks for highlighting.

February 2, 2021

This should definitely be more talked about! And as Kyndoo customers ourselves, this is why what you provide us is so valuable.

February 3, 2021
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