Major issue of influence: How to make sure you have “real” followers?
News - Jun 13, 2019
The cult of fame has largely changed its “form” in the past decade and, in addition to movie and series stars and celebrities, it has also entered the digital world. Social media have grown to have their own stars. Those are the people with a large number of followers, and the more likes, views and shares they have, the stronger their influence is.
Individuals earn millions in this manner – the best paid bloggers of the world earn per month three times more than an average family in Serbia per year. Those earning much less actually earn much more than the average and live quite comfortably off this job, which many people still do not perceive as a real profession, while actually not realising the power of social media.
Another stereotype is that influencers are mainly children – it is true that many young people belong to the group of influencers, but there is also a great number of people for whom this is a real job and a source of income.
In any case, influential people can help you execute a campaign in the best manner.
If you do you market research properly and set all the parameters, influencers may even save a campaign which is in a crisis. According to the latest studies, influencers have a strong impact on the population under 30 – therefore, depending on a product or content you are placing, they can help you.
Brands and advertisers have special tactics and, together with influencers, they make plans on how to change consumer habits. The latest trends have shown that it is far more profitable and effective to engage an influencer for a SoMe campaign than actor, TV star, etc. This is an unspoken rule that has been in force for ten years now.
The Influencer 2018 marketing report, publicised by Business Insider, has revealed that between 5 and 10 billion dollars will be spent on marketing ads with influencers by 2022. This makes sense bearing in mind that there are currently 2.6 billion SoMe users in the world and that this number is estimated to go up to 3 billion by 2021.
This culture facilitates what’s inevitable – people try to improve their accounts and profiles in order to have the strongest influence and thus the highest profit possible.
There are even some companies which create fake accounts in order to have more followers and likes, as well as comments. As a result, a huge increase of fake SoMe profiles has been registered in recent years. Let’s be honest: How many people with two or three profiles for “spying” on someone or something like that do you know? The same applies to companies – they need as many people as possible to follow their brands.
Furthermore, there is profit as the most important factor. According to the official US market data, an influencer with 100,000 followers may earn up to 2,000 dollars per post.
Chris Buetti, a data engineer, has recently wanted to show to everyone how simple it is to create a fake profile and attract a large number of followers, so he has created an Instagram account to post images of New York, with the profile following other similar profiles, liking posts and leaving comments. He has attracted 25,000 followers in no time. Buetti then started contacting restaurants and bars, many of which offered their services, inviting him to be their guest, etc., for a free-of-charge photo and a nice description of their facilities.
And now we get to the bottom of this issue: Those fake followers also have their followers, including many fake profiles and accounts, making it very difficult to determine an “actual number” – experts say that real followers account for only around 60 percent. Therefore, when you choose someone for your campaign, bear in mind that you should dismiss one-third of a final number to get realistic data. It does not mean that a person bought followers, etc., but confirms the above stated example – there are many profiles created for the sole purpose of interaction, for increasing the reach with likes and comments. Consequently, many of them follow you and all those influencers, too.
Therefore, advertisers need to do research in a different manner. This is no more about an appealing TV commercial. This is about an emotional bond. With trueness of content on SoMe attracting growing attention and a prevalence of ad blocks, switching to consumers is getting more difficult. I believe that working with the creators of culture – influential ones – is the best, the most authentic and the only way for advertisers to survive.