How Fake Accounts on Instagram Will Change The Influencer Marketing Game

Influencer marketing has continued to grow and a lot of brands look at it as an essential way to get their message across to the masses. While influencers are utilized across multiple channels, Instagram remains a great way to get high quality content and with the right influencer, excellent reach. With the recent changes made by Instagram, it’s going to shake up the influencer game a little.

Not that long ago the news hit that Instagram had shut down third-party sites and apps like InstaPlus, PeerBoost and Instagress due to them violating Instagram’s Community Guidelines and Terms of Use. These sites and apps were designed to allow influencers to pay for the number of likes and comments they wanted and a bot would take care of the rest. You may have seen some of the bots comments that generally were “This is so awesome!” or “Love it!” and provided little value to the content, only boosting engagements. Another step that Instagram is taking called “shadowbanning” accounts will make it so pictures with spammy hashtags will not be visible in search or on the Explore tag. By taking this action, the content will be less spammy and more authentic.

You can see in the image below from an article published by The Next Web the difference between real user comments versus fake user comments. To the left is the real comments, to the right are fake comments which mostly consist of emojis and add no value to the content.

What does this mean for influencer marketing? This can be viewed as a positive thing for brands because it helps to ensure their message is actually making it in front of the eyes of real people. When finding the right influencers to promote a brand message, reach is one of the decisions maker. If that reach is even 30% bots, what is a brand really paying for? By removing these third-party programs, it helps ensure the message is making an impact and not just landing in front of faceless accounts.

With influencers that are just starting out however, this news may panic them a little. Impressions dropping may reduce the desirability factor to brands. However, they shouldn’t panic. As influencer marketing has evolved, content quality carries a heavy weight and will continue to. If an influencer has high quality content but lower numbers, boosting and syndication come into play to push their message to a wider audience. Meaning, though reach is great, it’s not all about the reach.

It’ll be interesting to see how this change adjusts how brands and agencies look at influencer marketing on Instagram. If you have any questions about influencer marketing, reach out to us, we’d love to help.

Ignite Social Media