the bad: fake followers, paid content pandering and how to navigate them all…

it’s a gold rush out there, but with very little gold. yes, granted we do live in a time where truths matter little and brand integrity has taken a back seat. where the same plastic faces appear to endorse horribly unwanted mass brands as well as the top luxury brands, where brand character and brand distinction has become a great fog. but as long as consumers are responding why should we care? well, as everything does, they will change too, what we should care about is… our brands true character and the “long term” relevance of the brand. remember the 80’s and the mass licensing of dior, halston and YSL? they all did financially well in the rush to cash in, but they left a large bill for those who came after to clean up. brand integrity should not be taken lightly, especially when it comes to social media. not long ago the new york times published a damning exposé on “fake followers” and “paid content pandering” by socialites raising legal theories regarding “engagement fraud.” the brands, which we will omit here, are major brands. but that aside, do these expensive efforts actually work?

the answer is they sometimes do, and for a variety of reasons, but not always. we’ve done them all, sometimes against our recommendations, as we are here to not only advise, but to execute. but its important to note that as digiday reported in 2017, a single day’s worth of posts tagged #sponsored or #ad on instagram contained more than 50 percent fake engagement, and out of 118,007 comments, 97,065 created by bot accounts. the bigger the influencer, the higher the chances of contamination. that is why we prefer more realistic, hand selected, micro influencers with smaller but more authentic engagement, or when possible real genuine endorsements without actual payment (ask us about our efforts with white house black market, wardements, and krug champagne). we will be happy to present a case study on them. the moral here is stay true to your brand, who you are is not always about what you do, but what you resist to do. that’s how characters are born. reference article.