How to tell if their followers are fake...

March 16, 2017

At ParkLU, we’re all about quality blogger and influencer collaborations, ones that really influence how people view your brand. With so many content creators out there and common occurrences of fake engagement, it can be challenging to know who is going to bring you a good return on investment. If you’ve already posted a Campaign Invitation with us, you probably now have an overwhelming number of KOLs to go through and choose from. Our dashboard was designed to extract, analyse and display some key info such as average engagement, number of followers, and focus of content, but you’ll probably need to investigate a bit deeper to narrow down your choices and find the perfect fit.

Here are 10 things to watch out for when choosing a KOL to work with:

  1. Content focus: if she’s a beauty blogger, her sponsored post on fashion might not get much attention from her audience. Take a browse through her content in the last week to see whether your product fits into what her fans expect to see. Look for posts about similar products and see whether her fans engaged.
  2. Social media platform: look at which platforms the KOL is active on; for a company looking to expand in mainland China, an influencer who posts mostly on Instagram isn’t going to be useful.
  3. Cash budget: filter out the KOLs that ask for more than you can afford.
  4. Too many sponsored posts: when a KOL gets “famous” and creates too many sponsored posts (tell-tale signs include official hashtags of brands and discount codes), her credibility can become compromised. Try seeking out mid-fluencers or micro-influencers instead to influence niche markets, or look for up-and-coming bloggers.
  5. Low engagement: a KOL with 100s of thousands of followers, but only 20 “likes” on a Weibo post, is a sign of fake followers.
  6. More “thumbs up” on a WeChat post than number of reads is a sign of purchased engagement (ie fake)
  7. Weibo comments written by users with names made up of mostly digits, for example @Inke2090472821998 . These are usually paid followers or bots.
  8. Your competitors: a KOL who has posted a lot for your competitor may not be a good choice for you
  9. Voice: a KOL whose voice is sarcastic and funny probably wouldn’t do well promoting a luxury brand
  10. Audience: are her followers your target customers? Research shows live-streamers are 80% female, but with 80% of their audience being male. Companies looking to work with live-streamers would see more immediate results by promoting shaving razors rather than lipsticks. Through ParkLU’s chat function, you can always ask the KOLs what their demographics breakdown is to determine if it’s suitable for your product or message.
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