How to know when an Influencer has fake followers?

instagram fake followers

In a world where you can click your mouse a few times and legally buy yourself the title of Lord or Lady, it’s no wonder Instagram users have succumb to utilising virtual fakery to boost their egos and, more audaciously, their brand deals.

Fake followers, likes and comments are on the rise in the Instagram space, with brands often losing out to influencers claiming they have a larger following than they actually do. Often purchasing them in their thousands, an influencer or a brand has the opportunity to increase their ‘audience’ with little more than a direct debit. With Instagram attempting to clamp down on those providing these fraudulent marketing schemes, brands are increasingly savvy when it comes to identifying those faking it. For those less in the know, there are some easy ways to spot the authenticity of a user’s followers:

Engagement rates

Despite a large following, a user’s posts might not be receiving the likes and comments you would expect for someone of their size. The reason? Their followers might not even exist! Engagement rate is simply the average number of engagements an influencer gets per post, divided by their number of followers, and multiplied by 100 to give a percentage. If this number is less than 1%, you can almost guarantee that a portion of their followers are bought bots.


Ever see photos spammed with emojis and generic comments such as ‘cool pic’ or ‘love this’? This is a tell-tale sign that the remarks are automated and are not posted by genuine followers. Fake engagers aren’t paid to make the comments sound authentic and personal – they’re designed to increase the popularity of a photo by creating a sense of buzz around it. As technology develops, companies, such as US based Dovetale, are helping businesses identify these types of bots and shut pages down. However, the boost in awareness surrounding this type of fraudulence is helping everyday users recognise it themselves.

Growth in their following

If followers are purchased, the non-organic growth of a page is easy to identify as it will highlight itself as a spike in their data, whereas genuine growth will run on a consistent trend line. There are a few exceptions to this, for example, if an influencer was involved in a viral piece of content this may rapidly increase their following, but more often than not, growth will be steady.

Follower location

Although this information can be difficult to source, follower location can be a huge giveaway when it comes to fake followers. If a UK-based influencer has their largest audience in the Middle East, the misalignment could well be a revealing piece of demographical data. Understanding a brand’s target audience in relation to their product or brand message helps identify followers that would not be invested in a user’s content.

While the short-term gain of brand deals and momentary popularity might seem appealing to some Instagram users, it clearly undermines their genuine influence and authenticity. While you might not be able to identify every faker out there, be sure to have a quick read of their comments to suss out anyone trying to pull a fast one!

From Intern to Account Manager - A Socially Powerful Story....

socially powerful careers story

Meet the Team: From Intern to Account Manager

At Socially Powerful we look to source and develop the most innovative and creative minds. Situated in a rapidly changing and evolving landscape, we firmly believe fresh and innovative perspectives are key to driving growth and developing as a business. We asked one of our former interns to share their experience of starting in a start-up.

Coralie, one of our first interns, started in July 2017 after graduating from the University of Essex with a degree in Language and Linguistics. Now an Account Manager, Coralie is one of our driving forces in business development and plays a vital role in mentoring our new talent.

What initially attracted you to Socially Powerful?

The week after graduation I received an invitation to come for an interview. I had always wanted to be involved with digital marketing, my friend had previously undertaken an internship with Google and then moved to a smaller agency. She told me that the industry was great and the work environment supportive. I researched the company through their vlog and social media and found it looked like a fun place to work and was drawn to the varied workload. One moment they were off travelling, pitching to new clients and the next minute out managing influencers.

What have you learnt from your time with Socially Powerful and what has been your most valuable lesson?

A hell of a lot. I had never studied any form of marketing at University so had limited knowledge on the industry and especially influencer marketing, it’s such a new space. Skill wise I have learnt how to organise and prioritise. Our workload varies and at times can be quite substantial so these capabilities have been necessary to avoid running out of hours. One of my most valuable lessons would be confidence; if you believe in what you are saying so will others. The way in which you put things across can be so important.

What ways do you think working in a start-up differs from larger companies?

First of all, you get the unique opportunity to see every aspect of the business; be it contract negotiation to pitching to clients. It’s a great platform to build confidence and become an all-rounder. We also have a lot more input when it comes to creatives than  we would in larger companies, it doesn’t matter if you are the director or the intern the best and most inventive idea will win and be put forward to the client. In a start-up you are going to have to work make a difference, but this is what makes it so rewarding.

Any advice for people looking to go into influencer marketing?

Have patience. You need to remember that influencers are just people, some of whom who have other priorities and may make mistakes. Learning to prepare for any issues before they arise is vital. As the main point of contact between the client and influencer, you need to communicate to the client that the influencers are not actors but creators themselves. This authenticity is what makes influencer marketing so great and is what gives the brand a unique platform.

If you were an influencer, what would your name and passion be?

My name would be Cheesy Pits and I would be a food influencer. All I eat in the office is cheese and pitta bread, so it makes sense to dedicate my internet presence to the cause.

If you are interested in kicking off a career with us and feel that you would be a good fit for our team please do not hesitate to get in contact:


Instagram - the integral part of a fashion brands social media strategy?

instagram fashion strategy influencer marketing

Instagram has quickly become an integral part of the social media strategy utilised by fashion brands. With its simplistic format, eye-catching photography and total creative freedom, it is a tool to showcase the best clothing pieces designers have to offer in an accessible and authentic way. But is its rapid growth and universality shifting the fashion industry from an art form that requires years to master to a free-for-all for all aspiring fashionistas?

Launched in 2010, Instagram now has over 800 million monthly users and appears to be growing at a rate that will see it hit 1 billion by the end of the year. Its global reach allows users to present trends in a saturated market without becoming repetitive, and the variation of posts enables individuals to create a brand identity that their followers can recognise. It's become increasingly obvious that for any brand to fully cement themselves as a key player in the world of fashion they require a strong presence on Instagram to drive of sales and overall brand awareness. Emphasis is placed on moments being 'Instagrammable' and brands take huge pride in creating an Instagram feed that not only looks beautiful but persuades the user to purchase their products over a competitors. 

Instagram has become a platform of opportunity with more and more homegrown brands using it as a place to generate attention - and income - from their products. Similarly, established brands are aware that it has a huge influence over consumer sales. Official Instagram figures indicated that 1 in 3 of its users has bought an item of clothing after discovering it on their feed. Using photoshoots and 'easy on the eye' flat lays to generate revenue is a tempting prospect for companies, who, when implementing an effective and strategised posting schedule, can add real value to their brand. Posting regularly, following trends and racking up the likes is a surefire way to convert posts into purchases. 

Using the application, fashion brands are easily able to connect with thousands of influencers who have a significant impact on their own followers' buying choices. Not only can the brand create a direct line between themselves and the consumer, but by paying influencers to promote their products, they're able to further increase their reach. There is concern within the fashion industry that Instagram is facilitating a new age of fashion branding where ever-changing trends are increasingly accessible and brand exposure makes way for cheaply made 'dupes'. It is, however, difficult to deny the opportunities the platform creates for brands to identify trends and meet consumer demands accordingly. 

A huge benefit of Instagram for fashion brands is the means of communication between them and their customers. Having a comments section allows for instant feedback on products, as well as customers being given an opportunity to seek customer service support. Building trust, particularly as a new brand, is vital in retaining customers and generating new sales, so this open line of communication seemingly adds to the customer experience. 

It's undeniable that Instagram has made a big impact on the fashion industry. Instagram brands might not be a sustainable alternative to traditionally marketed fashion labels, but creating your brand from your fingertips has certainly never been easier. 

instagram fashion influencer marketing blog

How to measure sentiment in Influencer Marketing?

how to measure sentiment with influencer marketing

In the past few posts we have highlighted the power of influencer marketing in this new social media age and how you can measure its effectiveness. When negotiating with agencies specialised in social, you’ll undoubtedly hear terms such as reach, engagement or sentiment analysis – all three holy grails to qualm nerves and measure branding success (if you’re unfamiliar with these, check out our post below!).

The latter, sentiment analysis, is a buzzword that has taken the online marketing scene by storm. Here we break it down for you by explaining what is meant by sentiment analysis, why it’s important, how it can be measured, and how we at Socially Powerful use it to inform our campaigns.

What is sentiment analysis?

Social media platforms have drastically changed the relationship between producer and consumer. The top-down one-way channel of communication common to traditional media has been torn down by UGC, opening up dynamic spaces for consumers to collectively and individually voice their opinions on brands. This, in turn, has made it far easier to understand how your target audience feel about your product and/or your marketing strategy, whether that be through the like/dislike ratio, influencer story polls or (and this is the most fruitful) the comment section. While engagement is a useful metric to gauge a post’s relative popularity or the amount of interest it peaked, sentiment analysis allows you to further refine and optimise your content strategies to effectively maximise ROI.

So why doesn’t everyone carry out sentiment analysis?

They do. Sentiment analysis is featured as a metric on many social media insight tools used by agencies – hence its buzz on the marketing scene. However, often these metrics are used without fully understanding how they work. Some rely on the like/dislike ratio mentioned above. Other more specialised analyses will examine the language used in the comment section, and here is where the problems arise.

Sentiment and opinions are highly subjective and open to interpretation. As such, the grammatical and syntactical conventions used to express positive or negative emotions are hard to generalise with precision.  To circumvent this, some tools such as LIWC use sentiment lexica, i.e. list of words organised by their bipolar semantic orientation (positive/negative). However, this offers only a crude interpretation of language, which ignores the intensity of a certain sentiment or the contextuality in which words are used – a feature particularly crucial as words often have multiple meanings. Even tools that incorporate valence scores for intensity (e.g. VADER) ignore the lexical features native and ubiquitous in UGC like acronyms, emojis and slang.

Other more recent attempts at sentiment analysis (e.g. Naïve Bayers classifier, Support Vector Machines, etc.) have made use of growing expertise in machine learning and natural language processing to learn and identify sentiment-relevant features of text. However, the issue with such tools and UGC is that they require large sets of validated training data which represents as many of the lexical features as possible. Such data sets of UGC are hard to acquire due to the spare and short nature of text on social media.

How then does Socially Powerful analyse sentiment?

Here at Socially Powerful we understand why sentiment analysis is hard and we, therefore, like to do everything in-house to ensure the highest degree of quality and certainty for our clients. We carry out our own comprehensive sentiment analysis, integrating easily identifiable metrics such as like/dislikes and influencer polls, validated sentiment analysis tools and analyses of multiple samples in comment sections, carried out by different expert analysts. This way ensures we cover the drawbacks of each method. It also means we can be more creative and offer a more fine-grained bespoke analysis for each piece of content.

Why is this important?

Thinking back to last year’s Pepsi-Kendall Jenner advert provides a perfect example of the importance of sentiment analysis. Viewing it on the basis of engagement, the advert was a huge success. However, as everyone knows by now, it drew widespread criticism from around the globe for its insensitive and farcical content.

Kendall Jenner Pepsi influencer marketing.jpg

In influencer marketing, for example, an influencer may post to Instagram holding the product in hand so that it gains exposure to their followers. Any of the sentiment analysis tools mentioned above will then analyse the language in the comment section to get a rough picture of how it has been received. However, going the extra step allows us to fully understand whether the positive or negative sentiment recorded is actually directed towards the product or just other features of the post (i.e. outifts, quality of photo, background, etc.) – if the latter is the case then it is classified as neutral. In other words, it allows us to fully understand the context in which views are expressed, because ultimately it is that context that shapes our opinions.






"The quality of content will be the decisive factor for success"

Today, we caught up with Tanya Rybakova, from Russia. Tanya is a health and fitness influencer, who in her early years, was bullied for being severely overweight. Tanya rose to prominence after her story hit international news, as she lost almost half her body weight! Tanya has grown an enormous social media following with over 380K subscribers on YouTube and over 200K on Instagram, she now makes a living advising others on eating well and body confidence.

Tell us about you, your background and how you came to start on social media?

There was a time in my life when I was severely overweight. I weighed over 200 pounds, and now my story of success is shared all over the Internet from one «before and after» photo.




Then I started to get a lot of questions about how I did it and continued to share my answers in social media.

Tell us about what you do on your social channels? 

To get where I am today, I researched tons of scientific studies and articles, studied fitness and nutrition and helped many people to lose weight and change their lives. My content about health, food and lifestyle. Also I like to share travel moments because they open everything from the new side

What social channel have you grown your following on? 

I love Instagram because of the possibility to transmit energy through photos!


How often do you post and update your audience? What content works best for you?

Usually  1-2 post in a day, most of the audience likes motivational posts!

When did you first start seeing you were building a following? What did it feel like?

My audience began to grow along with the development of an Instagram and a trend towards a healthy lifestyle. It was nice to feel needed!

What are your ambitions with your social channels? Where do you want to take it?

My audience helps me to develop and create useful projects, the goal is to grow it further

If you could work with any brand in the world, who would you choose and why?

Whole Foods - we have the common ideology.

Who’s an influencer you admire most and why? 

@sonyaesman – beautiful girl inside and out

@sheidlina – amazing artist

I love @jlo account - she is a magnificent example of a woman.

How do you think the influencer marketing industry will change in the next year?

I think that it will be growing. The quality of content will be the decisive factor for success.

What relationship do you have with your followers? How do you engage with them?

This requires regular communication with the audience on different topics. Subscriber comments often become topics for new posts.

What do you enjoy most about social media?

Opportunities to learn because everything changes very quickly

What do you enjoy least about social media?

Sometimes there are things you don’t want to talk about, but this is very interesting for the audience.

Is there something you wish brands knew about influencers?

Quantity doesn't always mean quality!

What’s the toughest thing about running your own social media? 

Social networks provide many opportunities, but sometimes you have to meet the expectations of people - it can be complicated

Can you give any advice to people looking to start their own Instagram, YouTube etc? How can they stand out from the crowd?

- It is necessary to understand why you are doing this
- don’t be afraid to try

- be yourself

- content plan

- pay attention to constructive criticism

Where can people follow you?


"I’m an influencer as a result of doing something influential" Jonny Comparelli


We caught up with Jonny Comparelli for the next Influencer feature on the Socially Powerful Blog! Jonny is a 26 year old entrepreneur and has an awesome story! Check it out below and be sure to follow him on his social channels, linked at the bottom of this article.

Tell us about you, your background and how you came to start on social media?

What’s groovy! My name is Jonny Comparelli, I’m 26 years old and am the founder of “Qriket LIVE” the first live game show anyone can be a contestant of using their smartphone or tablet to win cash prizes every day!

As our app and live show became more popular, I felt strongly about being a founder intimately connected to my fan base and began to interact with my viewers beyond the show on Social Media and that’s how it all started!

What does Social Media mean for you?

Social Media has always been about engaging with the fans of my live show beyond the shows themselves. Truly connecting with my viewer base and building an inclusive community has always been a big part of what I do - especially because this is rare in the technology industry. It was my goal from the beginning to not to be another “brand behind a logo”, but rather intimately share the work our team does behind the scenes, entertain our viewers with the fun projects we do – and ultimately share a genuine look into my life using social.  I share the authentic experience of being an entrepreneur, laugh off the bad days, and soak in the good ones and my fans have come on the journey with me the whole way! 

What social channel have you grown your following on? 

My app Qriket now has over 2M users so far and our live show has over 450K live viewers per month.

The social channel I like to use most is, Instagram (

But I also use Snapchat (@Jcomparel) and twitter on a daily basis as well! (

When did you first start seeing you were building a following? 

I think many people are under the impression that followers and social status arise overnight. But truthfully, while I beginning to build my following one by one and as I continue to do so, I try to be present and engage directly with my fan base constantly – it is about being social after all J No success I’ve ever found has come from making it about me. It’s always been about the fans and giving them a place where they can come to brighten their day, be entertained and be a part of the journey of building our passion – which just so happens to be something they love to interact with as well!

How would you say you’re different to other influencers in your space? What do you look for that others don’t?

I would say what makes me different is that I’m an influencer as a result of doing something influential.

On a daily basis I’m managing a team of 25 people, running a company and also documenting and sharing the experience of being a young entrepreneur – which more often than not is more stressful than it seems. In fact, interacting with my fan base on social media has been therapeutic at times. Social has pulled me into a positive place on the hard and stressful days and has also helped me be truly grateful when times are good.  It’s always been about our fans, our family – and regardless of what kind of day it is, pulling out a smile and being a source of inspiration for everyone participating.

Can you give any advice to people looking to start their own Instagram, YouTube etc? How can they stand out from the crowd?

I’m still learning and growing every day so this is always a tough question! So far, I’ve learned that simply beginning and taking the first steps in the direction in which you’d hope to see you idea evolve is all it takes to bring a new one to life. That being said, being realistic with those ideas is also important. A brilliant idea isn’t always a “Eureka!” moment, but rather comes from building and improving your simple ideas too!

Where can people follow you?

You can find me here:



Snapchat: @jcomparel


Paul Beaman, is a 29 year old fitness entrepreneur from England – World traveler and fitness addict. His life changed dramatically in his early 20s when he was sent to prison for a firearms offence.

Paul discusses his time in prison and how it impacted his life, to push him to greater things. Paul is now a fitness influencer and shares his story of how he got into social media upon his release from prison.

Paul's Instagram :

Paul's Facebook :



In the aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein scandal a new social media hashtag campaign is quickly gaining momentum. As we live and breath all things Social here at Socially Powerful we sent out Emily and the production team to collect some thoughts from Londoners on what remains a controversial topic.

How big of a problem is sexual harassment in the work place and in the world today? Is enough being done to combat it? Do hashtag campaigns like #metoo help provide solutions to the problem? Tune in to hear what London thinks and leave your comments thoughts and opinions below.