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How to spot a fauxfluencer in 3 simple steps, so you don’t waste money on your next marketing campaign.

The explosion of cryptocurrency in the last few years and the tight restrictions on advertising have created a huge demand for influencer marketing. This has also created an opportunity for fauxfluencers (fake influencers who have gamed the system) to take advantage of projects needing to reach new audiences.

Unfortunately, top-line metrics (followers and engagement) don’t accurately portray an account’s true influence. After auditing 429,956 Twitter accounts, it’s clear that many influencers only have a fraction of the influence they claim.

The biggest problem Project Owners and VCs face is effectively tracking the results of the campaign, relying heavily on Tweet engagement to judge success. But when you can’t tell if the engagement is real or coordinated by the influencer, success becomes impossible to measure.

Here are three simple ways to tell if the influencer you want to hire is legit or a fauxfluencer trying to scam their way through your marketing budget.

1. Look for suspicious engagement

Read through the comments of their last 10–20+ Tweets. You’re going to be looking for replies that are the same or very similar to each other, low-quality responses (e.g. great post, love your posts, this is great).

Accounts using coordinated engagement rely on you only looking at surface-level metrics (likes, replies, and retweets). They know proper due diligence is time-consuming, and most won’t do it.

If you’re planning to spend thousands of dollars for a few tweets, it’s absolutely worth your time. While your campaign may get a lot of engagement, very little of that engagement will be qualified leads.

2. Look for a sudden increase in engagement on their account.

If you don’t see any major red flags in the replies, it’s time to start looking back at the last several months (or years) of tweets. You don’t need to continue checking all of the replies. Instead, see if there’s a sudden and sustained increase in engagement.

One of the great things about Twitter is that any Tweet can go viral, despite your follower account. What’s rare is seeing a majority of tweets suddenly getting lots of engagement.

Even big accounts with legitimate followers will often see sporadic engagement, with only a few tweets getting a large number of responses.

3. Audit Their Followers

Many influencers will simply buy followers to inflate their numbers without setting up coordinated engagement campaigns (those are expensive). This results in more normal engagement numbers. These influencers will use their follower count to increase their prices and bet that you haven’t done your due diligence.

When auditing their followers, look for accounts with the same profile picture (dead giveaway), accounts created at the same time, and accounts with a small number of followers.

10 or fewer followers is a strong signal the account is fake. If you’re seeing this over and over again when auditing their followers, you can be confident the influencer is gaming the system.

But I don’t have time to do all of that…

We don’t blame you. It’s incredibly time-consuming and exactly what these fauxfluencers are hoping for. Don’t worry. We have you covered. We just released our engagement quality scores and added the Suspicious Follower score to user profile pages.

You can create your own lists of influencers you’re vetting and quickly see who’s getting real engagement from real followers and who’s gaming the system. Instead of spending days researching dozens of influencers, you can know in minutes who you should hire.



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Learning in public to inspire others to start the journey. Current Topics: Crypto/Economics | Brand & Authority building | Systems Thinking & Theory