The Dangers of Influencers

How to avoid 3 potential pitfalls

influencer picture

Social Media influencers are all the rage right now for good reason. For the cost of some free items, you get your brand and product in front of thousands of people. We are seeing influencers being used in many industries like hotels, clothing, beauty, food, and more. Top celebrities are even dipping into the influencer profession and making hundreds of thousands of dollars per social media post. If everyone is doing joining the trend, why shouldn’t your business? Here are three dangers to watch out for and how to avoid them when it comes to investing in influencers.

1. Fake Followers

It is very common practice for individuals to buy followers. These followers are essentially fake profiles that artificially inflate people’s follower counts. Some influencers have been sued as consequence of doing this, as their clients were paying to reach an audience that was faked.

To combat this issue there are many online services that audit followers of social media accounts. By doing an audit you can see if their followers are organic or fake.

2. Poor Quality Followers

Sometimes influencers may have real followers, but poor-quality followers for advertising purposes. For example, many influencers follow other influencers. This isn’t malicious like artificially inflating your follower count – they are following and engaging with other professionals in their field, and it lets them all profit more. This becomes an issue with influencer posts because the likelihood of other influencers purchasing your product is lower than the average person who sees your post.

This danger here is a little harder to solve, as you essentially have to gauge the quality of engagements on their previous posts. If they have been promoting a specific item, you can request conversion data to see how successful their post was for that specific item. This will help give you a better frame of reference than looking at follower count alone. When searching for the right influencer for your brand, ask them why their follower demographic is the right audience for your brand.

3. Weak Brand

Make sure you have a strong brand before investing into influencers. Getting your content in front of a lot of people is great, but their next auction after seeing your brand on an influencer’s post will be to come to your website or social media account. If your brand isn’t strong, you could lose those people once they get to your page.

Combat this by investing into the foundation of marketing your brand first. Influencers are not marketing managers — their content is essentially digital word-of-mouth. The posts are focused on them using your product, and shouldn’t be used as the only or primary marketing efforts for your brand.

All things considered, influencers are a very cost-effective way to reach potential customers. Word-of-mouth has always been one of the most successful ways to get new customers, and this is the digital age’s version of word-of-mouth. If you have a good foundation with your marketing efforts, then I encourage you to seek out an influencer who could benefit your brand. Set up some back end analytics, give them a free sample of your product, and watch the results come in!