top of page
  • Writer's pictureKyle Hjelmeseth

Is my Influencer Keeping it 100?

Where did the organic feel go?

“‘Instafamous’ feeds have shifted from giving me life envy to constantly promoting lifestyle products that I’ve always been skeptical about.”

— Lucy Slater, PR Account Executive

What’s sponsored and what isn’t?

Brands are feeling like they are engaging more with their audience by using famous influencers, but often now users tend to feel a little bit of a fake vibe when it comes to promoting a certain item or service. Why does this happen? Because there’s a fine line between strategically mentioning a product, and getting paid for you to “fake it ‘til you make it” with any brand that comes your way to say that you support them and are with them 100%. Let’s call it the Dark Side of the Moon of Influencers.

In the end, it all comes down to the way a brand perceives an influencer and if they feel like they can add some value to their investment. If you go to YouTube right now, there are TONS of videos with theories on how X or Y influencer sold their soul out for X or Y brand. And even if you think things like “any advertising is good advertising”, TRUST AND BELIEVE that that is not the case and it won’t add anything of VALUE to your strategy.

So what’s real? What’s organic? What’s an honest recommendation?

If we flip a coin on saying that any influencer is an actual influencer because of their community, then we first need to evaluate if their community is real or if there’s even an actual fan base hearing and seeing all of their sponsored content.

There’s an article by Tom Ward on Forbes that actually gives you a higher perspective on micro and large influencers. He gives us some good points on how to consider an influencer real or not. Here are our top 4:

How can you spot the fakes?

  1. Sudden Spike In Followers: There are really only two reasons for a sudden spike in Instagram followers: They were named a suggested user or they bought followers. If a user randomly had a massive spike, you should be suspicious.

  2. Heavy Overseas Follower Count: An influencer with a large percentage of foreign followers should be audited. I’ve found that most of the sites that sell fake followers get them from accounts in Eastern Europe or South America.

  3. Shady Followers: Scroll through their followers. Are there a large number who’ve never posted, or don’t have a profile pic? That’s a giant red flag.

  4. Read The Comments: Are they real or are they generic statements, like “Great pic!” If there isn’t actual commentary, you should be wary. Also look at the languages used. Are they in the influencer’s native language or a foreign one?

The most important lesson to learn here is to never believe what other people tell you is successful. The key is to check for yourself. Use reporting and social media management software to help you find, form and deepen real connections with the people who love your brand. Sprout Social is one of our favorites because it has a holistic approach to social media by not only assisting you with reporting and monitoring your engagement but also helping you understand where you go wrong or where you can improve your strategy. Here are a few features you can find useful if you sign up:

  1. Analytics and social listening: Data analysis, measurement and reporting, and qualitative insights.

  2. Social management: Content planning and publishing (mapping themes against brand initiatives), campaign and conversation management (create and track campaigns and their engagement) and measurement and optimization (access rich and detailed date to measure and drive your performance).


“If you think your strategy has lost the organic feel or if you even consider that it’s starting to take the fake promoting road with any influencer, be open and express your thoughts and concerns. Yes, an influencer may know how to work but sometimes a lil’ push to calibrate never hurt nobody.”

Photo courtesy of Rachel Iwanyszyn (@jaglever)

#GNBFamily likes to stay in sync with our clients, following up and integrating you into our team. From helping you choose the right influencer that suits your brand the best, to the strategy and communication that this will entail. We always make sure that we keep it 100 with our clients, to reinforce trust. Ready to start trusting again?


bottom of page