Brands keep partnering with social media influencers with large number of followers to market their products. But according to a report by The Economic Times (ET), several of these followers are fake. So, the authenticity of the influencers is now in question. Companies are in a fix as they face difficulties in identifying which followers of the influencers are credible and which are non-credible. It creates a negative brand reputation when an influencer with fake followers markets their products. India currently has over 80 million social media influencers and hence, the task of verifying the authenticity of influencers is a challenging task.
A report by Klug India (a tech platform) stated that more than half of Indian social media influencers have over 60% inactive i.e. non-credible followers. The influencers are buying these fake followers to boost their following number. These fake followers are either synthetic bots or fake human farms.
While marketing products on social media, brands mainly consider the number of followers an influencer has. As influencer marketing is currently growing at a large rate, the problem of ‘fake influencers’ is a big one. Due to this fraud, advertisers have also lost 15-20% of their influencer marketing cost.