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Influencers are rising, but companies in a fix over their fake followers

Companies are struggling to verify the authenticity of social media influencers as a large number of these have non-credible followers


BS Web Team New Delhi

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The rise of influencers in social media marketing has been quite evident, with brands roping in some of these with large numbers of followers to sell their products. But with this, a problem has also come forth.

According to a report by The Economic Times (ET), many companies are struggling to verify the authenticity of these influencers as a large number of their followers are fake. India currently has over 80 million social media influencers, and it is making the task more difficult.

ET cited a report by tech platform Klug India to state that over half of social media influencers in India have more than 60 per cent inactive, non-credible followers. These are buying fake followers, synthetic bots and fake human farms to boost their following.

Some of the fake followers are even from Russia, Brazil and Turkey.

Also Read; Many B2C brands have shifted their focus to influencer marketing

Mayank Shah, senior category head at biscuits and confectionery products maker Parle Products, was quoted in the report as saying that the number of influencers is the main factor that is taken into consideration while choosing an influencer.

"While other parameters like target group relevance also matter, the first criteria brands look at is the number of followers," he said.

"Given that influencer marketing is growing into a large market, the possibility of fraudulent followers is a big problem. Beyond cost, there stands to be significant risk on brand reputation," Shashank Srivastava, senior executive officer, marketing and sales at Maruti Suzuki, was also quoted as saying by ET in the report.

Influencer marketing is expected to grow at an annual rate of 25 per cent to Rs 2,500 crore by 2025. According to Srivastava, almost half of all advertisers have lost 15-20 per cent of the influencer marketing cost due to this fraud.

Also Read: 70% Indians believe influencer marketing has an impact on them: Report

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First Published: Jul 26 2023 | 9:39 AM IST

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