Influencer Audience Authenticity: Why It Matters More Than Follower Count


April 09, 2024

Follower count isn't a key when it comes to influencer campaigns. A high number can be a misleading metric in the age of "buy followers" schemes. What truly matters is the genuine engagement between the influencer and their audience. This is where audience authenticity comes in.

Why Pay Attention to Audience Authenticity

Imagine this scenario: a brand partners with an influencer boasting millions of followers. The campaign generates initial buzz, but sales figures remain stagnant. Why? Because a significant portion of those followers might be fake accounts, bots, or inactive users. This lack of audience authenticity translates to a lack of real interest in the brand's product and poor campaign performance.

Fake followers and inauthentic engagement not only waste a brand's budget but can also damage its reputation. Partnering with an influencer whose audience doesn't genuinely connect with their content can create a sense of disconnect and inauthenticity that reflects poorly on the brand.

Furthermore, skewed data from fake audiences can lead to poor campaign decisions. When engagement metrics are inflated by bots, it creates a false impression of the influencer's reach and effectiveness. This can make it difficult for brands to accurately measure the success of a campaign and optimize their strategies.

How to Spot Inauthentic Audiences

So, how can you identify influencers with potentially inauthentic audiences? Here are some red flags to watch out for:

  1. Engagement Metrics: Look beyond follower count. Analyse the ratio of likes to comments. A healthy ratio suggests genuine interaction, while an excessively high like-to-comment ratio might indicate bot activity.
    Social media benchmarks are regularly updated by research companies. To effectively evaluate influencer activity, always check them to understand what constitutes a good or bad ER.
  2. Comment Quality: Pay attention to the content of comments. Generic, one-word comments or emojis could be a sign of fake accounts, as well as irrelevant comments, including those in different languages.
  3. Follower Growth Patterns: Sudden spikes or dramatic dips in follower count can be suspicious. Look for a steady, organic growth pattern.
  4. Audience Demographics: Does the influencer's content resonate with their follower location and interests? Inconsistencies might suggest a geographically dispersed or uninterested audience.

The Extensive Influencer Audit

Companion offers a tool that analyses audience authenticity, providing brands with valuable insights in one click.

This functionality allows you to see the private stats of the creator, uncovering data about their audience, content and previous campaigns.

Using AI Companion checks every single follower of an influencer, evaluating whether it’s a real person or a fraudulent profile, summarising it in an authenticity rate – a percentage of genuine followers compared to the follower count.

Along with general authenticity, Companion provides the percentage of adult audience within these followers, gender split, age prevalence, language, location, and the growth dynamics assessment.

These are the top-level stats you need to know before going into further collaboration with influencers. For deeper diving, the tool generates an extensive report with up to 30 pages of detailed data about the influencer, including brand affinity, a breakdown by platforms, previously sponsored content and its performance, audience interests, and many more.

This kind of analytics protects your brand from unpleasant collaborations and ineffective marketing investments, so we would not recommend signing off a contract with the creator before checking this data.

You can try this functionality for free for 14 days – sign up for Companion to play around.

Authenticity is the Key to Influencer Marketing

Only by prioritising audience authenticity, can brands unlock the true potential of influencer marketing. Here's why:

  • Higher Conversion Rates: When influencers connect with a genuinely interested audience, their recommendations hold more weight. This translates to higher click-through rates and, ultimately, more sales for the brand.
  • Brand Trust & Advocacy: Consumers are drawn to influencers they perceive as genuine. Partnering with authentic influencers builds trust in the brand and fosters a sense of community among engaged followers who become brand advocates.
  • Organic Reach: Authentic content shared by an influencer with a real audience has a higher chance of organic reach and can spark genuine conversations around the brand.


The influencer marketing landscape is evolving rapidly, and some influencers resort to fraudulent tactics to stand out and secure better brand deals. However, the future of influencer marketing lies in transparency and fostering genuine connections between influencers, their audiences, and the brands they represent.

By focusing on audience authenticity, brands can build stronger relationships with consumers and achieve long-term success. Let's move beyond the follower count facade and embrace the power of real connections, by only choosing influencers with genuine audiences to collaborate with.

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