Since the evolution of social media in 1996, it has managed to influence half of 7.7 billion people and even more across the world. Due to this humongous popularity, the major social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. are also tripling their users/followers over the years. From a total of 970 million users in 2010 to more than 4.33 billion users at the beginning of 2021, social media has risen intensely. With the continuous widening of social media networking sites, it has also given birth to another section of class or you can say online celebrities known as “Influencers”, “Influencer Marketer” or “Influencer Marketing”.
In recent years, more and more companies and brands have shifted their focus towards influencer marketing to promote their product or services and to reach the masses. As a result, the influencer marketing industry is enlarging unapologetically and is expected to be worth more than $15 billion by 2021-2022. But the question is “is it worth having a social media influencer to keep your brand or business afloat”?. This article will take you through the hard-hitting reality or dark side of influencer marketing that you’re probably not aware of:
What is Influencer Marketing?
As the name suggests, influencer marketing is a type of marketing tool or strategy that involves social media influencers to endorse companies’ products or services. A brand uses a social media person or technically known as an Influencer in the online world with a large loyal and dedicated audience. An influencer uses his creative content to inspire users, improve brand recognition, and maximize sales.
Unlike prominent celebrities, social media influencers can be anyone and found anywhere. An influencer can be a blogger or vlogger, journalist, photographer, makeup artist, or gamer.
Nowadays, influencer marketing has become a “BIG” thing in the digital world. Small as well as big brands are looking for a true and responsible social media influencer. Not fake or fraudulent.
Having said that, let us unfold the harsh reality of social media influencers that might shock you.
The Horrifying Statistics Related to Influencer Marketing That You Didn’t Know About
Do you know involving a cheap influencer with a fake following has cost companies more than $1.3 billion in 2019? This happens when a brand connects with the unknown influencers and promises to pay and work with them without researching.
Here are some shocking statistics related to fraud influencer marketing that brands should be aware of:
- 50 percent of marketers have claimed that they have spotted fake followers that is the biggest challenge for the industry.
- More than 63 percent of brands have admitted to having an unpleasant experience with fraud social media influencers.
- Up to 20 percent of mid-level influencers with only 50,000 and 100,000 followers are likely to be fraudulent.
- 38 percent of influencers are into crappy tactics that artificially maximize number of comments and likes in the posts.
- Over 60 percent of social media influencers use artificial methods to grow followers or fans on their accounts.
- The engagement level of up to 50 percent on sponsored content is bogus.
- Most mega-influencers and notable celebrities with millions of followers are involved in fraudulent activities.
Fake Social Media Influencers: The Major Risks
In the last decade, influencer marketing has become a blazing trend allowing businesses to inflate sales or revenue without spending millions. However, partnering with a fake Social Media Influencer can negatively affect the growth of your business. And can leave a bad impression in people’s minds forever.
Here are the dangers of working with shady social media influencers that brands must know about:
- The most common risk is financial loss. Working with fake influencers can bleed you dry while negatively impacting the brand financially with little or no significant result.
- The kind of loss may or may not completely shut down the small as well as large brands’ growth.
- The marketing team effort will go in vain in crafting a powerful marketing campaign. Because developing a powerful strategy is not a joke. It takes a lot of time, minds, and resources in creating a solid social media influencer campaign.
- The presence of fake influencers can have a long-term impact on the brand and eventually break the trust of many.
- The people and community will further doubt brand loyalty and credibility in the future.
In this challenging and complex internet world, it sometimes becomes daunting for brands to find and search for real social media influencers with a genuine fan following. It is extremely important for upcoming brands to note the trending areas. And keep an eye on the activities of social media influencers before contacting them. And take preventive measures to protect your brand name.
Therefore, inspire, motivate and win the trust of your audience by spotting authentic social media influencers to create a successful marketing strategy.