Using social media influencers to convince their large follower base is a common tool for digital marketers. At first glance, getting an influencer to promote a brand to 100,000 or more followers seems like a cost-efficient marketing effort, but in some cases, most of an influencer’s “followers” can be fake software-generated accounts or “bots”.
These bots would automatically like, comment and share paid social media posts, making it appear that brands got the engagement they paid for. In the past, there was no way to be sure if an influencer was using fake accounts to inflate their numbers and jack up their asking rates.
Such a practice was called “influencer fraud” and it was both difficult and time-consuming to detect – until now.
Last January, social media marketing agency Social Chain launched an AI tool that could determine whether an influencer’s engagement is genuine or fake. Called “Like-Wise”, the AI tool used machine learning to collect data from tens of millions of bots, and build a database of fake engagement on influencer’s social media accounts. Like-Wise would then cross-reference those profiles with tens of thousands of other influencer accounts to generate an “engagement graph” that compares an influencer’s engagement over time with an actual organic engagement curve. If the engagement looked suspicious, Like-Wise would flag the fraudulent activity.
Social Chain also acts as a “middleman” for brands and influencers as well, and initially they launched Like-Wise as an in-house measure for policing their influencers. Now, they offer Like-Wise as part of their services to protect against fraud; the audit’s cost is taken from the influencer, in the form of a 5 percent deduction from the influencer’s fee.
Social Chain also offers a Like-Wise influencer audit to interested parties for $7,250 for at most 50 influencers, and $35,000 for at most 400.
As of this writing, big companies like Amazon, FIFA, Tik Tok, Disney, Nokia, Dreamwork, NBC Universal, Superdry and Häagen-Dazs have used Like-Wise.
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