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The social media influencer marketing space is filled with mouse traps.

To save your brand from harm, here are four deadly influencer marketing traps to make sure you avoid.

  1. Hiring fake influencers who bought their followers
  2. Overlooking micro-influencers
  3. Failure to comply with disclosure regulations
  4. Being too scared to let them create their own content

Read on for the nitty-gritty.

  • LS

    Lisa Sicard

    over 1 year ago #

    Thanks for sharing this one! I always think an influencer is someone who engages with you and has an impact on what you do in the future - whether it is to read more of their articles, purchase something, or change a habit of yours. That is what an influencer is in my mind. It's not someone who just has a lot of followers. Followers can come and go. But those who you engage with are more likely to stick around :)

  • BP

    Brenda Pace

    over 1 year ago #

    Hey Bill,

    Great read for sure! It's amazing to me that fake "influencers" feel they can get away with buying followers and comments and no one will see through it. Why do so many think it's alright to cheat your way into peoples lives? I believe in hard work. I've built my following over years of engaging, networking, blogging, etc. I think everyone should do the same. Maybe it's an age thing. The older folk take their time and the younger generation wants a get rich quick theme? I'd like to think I've avoided the traps you've talked about but some that are less knowledgeable than myself may not be so lucky. I'm passing this on as I think all should read it and understand it. Thank!

    • LR

      Lorraine Reguly

      over 1 year ago #

      Yeah, it's sickening how "fake" some "real" people can be.
      I'd rather engage with someone who actually WANTS to engage with their fans/followers/friends!

      Numbers aren't everything. Relationships are!

      • JB

        Jay Borenstein

        over 1 year ago #

        So true. I'd much rather spend time and effort on the micro-influencers who already enjoy our brand rather than the big fish who are completely dispassionate. The little guys are the ones who will really go to bat for you when you do right by them!

    • BW

      Bill Widmer

      over 1 year ago #

      Thanks, Brenda! Glad you found it helpful.

      People see these huge numbers and think that's what you need to succeed. But quality >quantity!!

  • RC

    Ravi Chahar

    over 1 year ago #

    Hey Bill,

    Everyone wants to become an influencer but it's as easy as people think. I like how you have mentioned the Catfish trap. I have experienced it a while ago.
    Charging too much for a single post, low-quality followers, and much more.
    Thanks for pointing it out.

  • RB

    Ryan Biddulph

    over 1 year ago #

    Even when I was a green newb Bill I had a tough time figuring why you would buy followers? Like, you spend money to boost numbers to improve perception I reckon. But numbers never bought anything. A number never hired me. Numbers are smoke and mirrors; humans build empires by befriending you, by enjoying your service and by spreading your word on social. As Lisa said; influencers engage and impact. No way to buy stuff to get those things done.


  • DG

    Dana Gore

    over 1 year ago #

    I'm not exactly shocked that inauthenticity is an issue.
    Followers are bought all the time because this is, unfortunately, the world in which we live.
    I do see a bright side to all of this, though, and that's (large) the number of people who, by contrast, appreciate authenticity and do things the old-fashioned way - through building relationships.

    I can always spot a fake comment on my own work. It does nothing for the discussion. The comment's section is for conversations to take place, so things like "cool post" obviously won't cut it.

    Thanks for putting this out there.

    • JH

      Joy Healey

      over 1 year ago #

      I agree Dana - when I get an "Awesome post" comment on my blog, or other such inane comments, I just "Spam" them. Often people who you'd think would know better fall into this trap. I'd rather they said nothing!

      Likewise buying fake followers.... I'm wracking my brains to remember a story from the news the other day about a really big brand and it turned out they'd bought their followers. It's so short-sighted, actually, because a fake follower isn't going to engage - so it's hardly a long-term strategy for success.

      Great article, Bill. Thanks for sharing.

  • CR

    Cori Ramos

    over 1 year ago #

    Hi Bill,

    Thanks for sharing these pointers for working with influencers.

    I'm going to echo what other folks have said here - that I would rather work with a micro influencer who engages with their followers. It's not about the number of followers they have like celebrity influencers who don't care to engage at all. Besides, I think our audience can relate more to a micro influencer than any celebrity.

    Awesome post Bill! Thanks again for sharing this.


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