Brands, your media war against fake influencers may not work if you don’t do these 5 things.

From time to time brands launch media PR campaigns to complain that the influencers they hired “were fake.” For example, the following was promoted and mentioned on Google 255,000 times (that’s a quarter million!).

Unilever- urgent action against influencer fraud
“At Unilever, we believe influencers are an important way to reach consumers and grow our brands. Their power comes from a deep, authentic and direct connection with people, but certain practices like buying followers can easily undermine these relationships,” said Keith Weed
Source: https://variety.com/2018/biz/news/unilever-social-media-influencers-advertising-1202848790/

And Casper – the mattress company – stated in their S-1 filing, under “risk factors” that one of Casper’s disclosed risks is “the network of social media influencers it uses to advertise.”

For me, this is equivalent to them saying something like: “I’m making a decision to choose bad partners, and my partners – therefore – are a risk to my company.”

Source: https://www.businessinsider.com/casper-ipo-filing-instagram-influencers-risk-factor-mattress-startup-2020-1

So, here is the question that needs to be asked (and let the debate began):

Brands, why are you partnering with bad partners in first place?

The influencers you hired are unethical – they did dishonest things (e.g. buying votes, sorry … followers)

You partnered with unethical.

Are you asking yourself why you hired unethical people/partners in the first place? Perhaps you should take a hard look at your hiring/contracting process and make the changes so it will not happen again.

Here are 5 things to look into and fix that can help you do it right next time:

  1. Review your vetting process. Find out what you did wrong in the past and how you can avoid repeating it. I’m happy to advise you on vetting influencers.
  2. Your name, your brand is EVERYTHING. And yet you entrusted it to unethical people. Consider putting a policy in place and a better process for external people who handle your brand messages.
  3. Review your company social media account on Insta/LinkedIn/Twitter/etc and your BSMP. Do each of your company posts have at least 10 comments? If not, it’s a sign that your story is boring and people probably spend less than 3 seconds on your posts. It’s time to rethink your strategy and, if you can’t come up with a more creative one consider hiring someone new who can or taking a break from social. Don’t maintain social media accounts for the sake of having them if they don’t do anything for your brand.
  4. And a word about “fake”… influencers are community leaders and so they mirror their communities and they mirror you, since you selected them. So, consider this:
    a. Are you leading by example on that topic? It is known that most brands have fake followers, including bots, and that they are possibly purchased. Is your brand on top of that? Do you regularly remove your fake followers, comments, and likes? Before you attack influencers, you should look at your own followers before you ask influencers to do the same. Because if you don’t do it, your community sees that and influencers see your behavior as an example!
    b. Are you using (or about to use) virtual CGI-generated influencers? Those are very cool and most of them are very successful in achieving results. But…they are “fake”… have you thought about that?
    In other words, be the leader in fighting fake, not by fighting influencers but taking care of your own accounts first.
  5. Review the rest of your practices: Is it easy for people to remove themselves from your mailing list and email list? When you we visit your site do you invade our privacy by tracking our web activities? Are you transparent enough? Are you really caring? Do you celebrate your customers? Do you treat people as a means to an end? When people contact you on website, do you answer with an automated template or as a human? Lead by example.

Because, if you don’t answer those questions, if you don’t fix the problems, after your PR campaign against “the bad influencers” winds down, your company will still need to break through, and it won’t be able to.

Miquela, Noonoouri and Shudu - CGI influencers - all three are very loved by their IG communities.
Miquela, Noonoouri and Shudu – CGI influencers – all three are very loved by their IG communities.

Takeaway: Instead of hiring media to announce that “you hired bad influencers and you will fight against that” >>

  1. Lead by example
  2. Rebuild your vetting process for partnerships.
  3. Rebuild your social media messaging.

Your thoughts? Let the debate begin!

Related:

Which Influencers NOT to Hire, no Matter What (and The Power of ♥)
Which Influencers NOT to Hire, no Matter What (and The Power of ♥)

Related:

I like to keep it real, which some people consider contrarian… well, so be it: check out my articles that have been tagged “contrarian”

Why does everyone want to be an influencer?

Everyone wants to be an influencer because they confuse influencers with the beautiful celebs who sail on beautiful yachts… It’s not the same thing though. Most SMI* are unknown to the public and yet they influence. The job requires so many working hours a day of content creation, photography, editing, re-editing, publishing, marketing and – yes – engaging all day long…

Continue reading Why does everyone want to be an influencer?

Are Influencers and Brands Pirates?

Many good marketers were and are pirates. Brands and social media influencers are no different. They “pirate” by introducing various ideas to relevant their audience and see what bites.

As you must know by now, I’m a big favor of testing until perfecting, and testing the story-telling of your brand in particular. Some go to the extreme of pirating, and that’s (sometimes) ok too:

The Amazon Pirating Way

How about Amazon as an example of a pirate? Are they successful enough by now to use as an authoritative example 🙂 ?

Continue reading Are Influencers and Brands Pirates?

Brands: DM is the new ‘phone number’ for social media!

Brands: So we know by now that not having a presence on social media is like you… do not exist, since that’s where your audience is. Your social media account is your business card, your face, your talking point, your front-line, your border, your mom and pop, your puppy too.

Once you choose the right social media platform for the audience you want to reach, and you activate it, it’s…YOU. Make sure that from then on it reflects … YOU indeed.

Your communication with your audience should now be via social media. And so – for example – if someone sends you a DM instead of calling your phone, it means that they want a response via DM (= direct messages) and they most definitely do not want to call you. So make sure you address that.

Brand, create Instagram account only if you can handle it.
Brands: create an Instagram account only if you can handle it – use direct messaging as your new phone.

Or alternatively:

Continue reading Brands: DM is the new ‘phone number’ for social media!

Absurd following? Not necessarily!

Here is my question: should you follow someone back whose message is “follow me and I’ll follow you”? Before you answer…,

You should know by now that Twitter/Instagram/YouTube etc. are platforms for community building.

And SMI*? They are community builders, they are the people (or pets) that build a community around the clock, around a (often niche) topic they are crazy about, such as:

"I love to travel to Asia so much"
"Anything that has Orange in it"
"My mutt dog is so cute at home"
"We are proudly overweight"
"I have an attitude at school and I'm not ashamed of it"
"My respect for Gameboy is unlimited"
"Let's talk about black holes"
"I'm a bimbo"
Etc.
Continue reading Absurd following? Not necessarily!

Branding Your #SocialMedia Profile Series No. 10: Your BSMP Influencer

Branding Your Social Media Profile (BSMP) is a new 1-on-1 program that helps brands bring their social media profile and presence to the next level.

This series of articles is an introduction to some of the techniques and experiments that have been proven to make this underutilized real estate work for you. 

Brands and others looking for customized analysis and guidance specific to their profile(s) can register for 1:1 coaching here.

In past BSMP* series article I explained how you can optimize YOUR story-telling through your profile photos, extended name, update line, profile description, hashtags, CTA and URL. Today I will show you something new, related to SMI* on – yes – your profile.

*BSMP = branded social media profile, a term that was coined by… me.

Continue reading Branding Your #SocialMedia Profile Series No. 10: Your BSMP Influencer

Powerpoint (Mobile Growth Virtual Summit 3.0 – “How to Transform Your Social Media Branded Profile to a Sales Funnel Machine, by Dear Mishu’s Dad”)!

Branding Your Social Media Profile (BSMP) is a new 1-on-1 program that helps brands bring their social media profile and presence to the next level.

This series of articles is an introduction to some of the techniques and experiments that have been proven to make this underutilized real estate work for you. 

Brands and others looking for customized analysis and guidance specific to their profile(s) can register for 1:1 coaching here.

On February 10th, 6:15PM ET, I shared my tips on building a sales funnel with your BSMP (Branded Social Media Profile) with the awesome community of the Mobile Growth Summit 3.0.

*BSMP = branded social media profile, a term that was coined by… me.

Continue reading Powerpoint (Mobile Growth Virtual Summit 3.0 – “How to Transform Your Social Media Branded Profile to a Sales Funnel Machine, by Dear Mishu’s Dad”)!

Influencers for 5 Dollars? Really?

I still see a lot of that – brands that have no understanding of social media influence and relationship building. Are the influencers you ask to work for you really worth $5? Really?

Are the influencers you ask to work for you really worth $5? Really?
Are the influencers you ask to work for you really worth $5? Really?

Related:

Should I pay SMI (Social Media Influencer)?
Should I pay SMI (Social Media Influencer)?

Related:

I like to keep it real, which some people consider contrarian… well, so be it: check out my articles that have been tagged “contrarian”

https://www.dearmishudad.com/engage-your-engagers-influencer-first-command/

Oh oh They Hit the 7,500 Limit Once Again?

Oh-oh, all Micro+ SMI have been there – the Instagram 7,500 followers quantity limitation…grrrrr….:

Instagram 7,500 following limit, does it make sense?
With Instagram’s 7,500 following limit, Zeppelin & Lydia cannot follow more dogs. Bummer!

I guess the platform’s reason for setting this rule was that:

Continue reading Oh oh They Hit the 7,500 Limit Once Again?

How much to pay Influencers (recommended rates included)?

It’s super popular to hire SMI* these days — for many good reasons (if done the right way): they bring attention, awareness, trust, influence, change opinions, and offer advice on turning your business around to meet the needs of relevant communities as never before. But how much should you pay influencers?

What Influencers Bring to the Table: dialogue, attention, community building, category leading, positive bias, high level story-telling, etc.
What Influencers Bring to the Table: dialogue, attention, community building, category leading, positive bias, high level story-telling, etc.

So, how much should a brand pay influencers, one might ask?

Should brands pay Influencers (SMI)?

For sure yes, you/we should pay them. Their social media accounts are the way they making a living, and if you find a good SMI, make them even better by taking them seriously.

Continue reading How much to pay Influencers (recommended rates included)?