Fraud Fraud Fraud, and here’s another one. If you are reading this article, I am sure you are no stranger to influencer fraud. Recently, there has been a new type of influencer fraud circulating around the influencer community.
Micro/Nano-influencers who have yet gotten their first collaboration with brands are faking sponsored posts in hopes to gain credibility and prestige. These posts look no different from your regular type of sponsored posts on Instagram. But the question is — does it really work?
- Prestigious value
As a nano-influencer, with a following as little as 1K, being sponsored by brands is almost like receiving the stamp of approval to call themselves an influencer. Of course, not to forget the endless admiration from friends and family that would come pouring in.
You never know the length people are willing to go for fame and self-efficacy.
- Collaboration opportunities
It is a common practice among brands to keep track of new and rising influencers. Faking sponsored posts may make the influencer seem like hotcakes with brands begging to work with them. From there, brands may hire that influencer due to FOMO (fear of missing out).
Brands are also keeping track of influencers who mention them. If the fake sponsored post performs well, the influencer may gain recognition from the brand and eventually work together.
- Gaining credibility
Faking sponsored posts help influencers to gain recognition. When one is heavily sponsored by beauty brands, he or she will be known as a beauty guru. With “a history of being sponsored by prestige brands”, it also shows that the influencer is ideal for an influencer marketing campaign.
If the influencer gets exposed for faking their sponsored posts, they might be negatively viewed. The amount of backlash they will receive from their followers will be massive. No brands will want to be associated with a liar. There goes their reputation and career as an influencer.
Many brands may think that influencers faking sponsored posts for them may not be that big of a problem. At the end of the day, it is free advertising. However, brands should take note of their brand image. Allowing your brand to be associated with influencers not aligned to your brand values can cause great damage. Thus, think twice before enjoying all the free advertisements from influencers.
On the other hand, with high competition in the influencer community, standing out among the others can be really tough. However, engaging in dishonest acts and Influencer frauds should never be an option for any influencer. Technology is getting more advanced each day and many brands are adapting influencer analytics platforms like Popular Chips to help detect influencer fraud. Always make wise choices 🙂