3 Issues That Brands Should Consider When Working With Influencers - BrandBase (2023)

Three issues brands should consider when working with Influencers...

19 Feb 2019 5987 Views

Written by Lusiyana Dimitrova

I guess all of you on some level follower aninfluencer, celebrity or a famous person on your social media accounts, likeInstagram. An influencer is someone who can change or affect the way thatpeople behave, through their social media presence with blog posts, videos, pictures, tweets, and so on(Cambridge Dictonary, 2018).

But why are social media influencersrelevant? Why are they so attractive to online marketers? Studies have shownthat credibility lies on the factors of trustworthiness and experiences. Wetrust what people tell us to buy, we listen to them and specially if they havea lot of followers, then they must be relevant!

This type of marketing can becategorized as subconscious marketing, since brands are trying to shape ourthoughts, attitude and behavior, without us being aware of it (Medium, n.a). How can we beprotected from this subconscious marketing? The ICC: International Chamber of Commerce (2018) actually protects consumersby making influencers write ‘’Incollaboration with …’’ when doing sponsored posts by brands, so that we asconsumers are aware.

Today 75% of marketers are using influencer marketing to targetconsumers (Veirman, Cauberghe, & Hudders, 2016). It’s very important that brandsfind the right influencers suitable for their brand image and identity.Otherwise the massage that they want to send will be irrelevant and they willnot achieve any profits. However, there are some obstacles that can misleadbrands when choosing influencers, which can be critical for the company.

Here are three important issues thatcompanies should be aware of:

  1. Anyone can become an influencer
  2. Fake followers and likes can bebought
  3. Influencers are creating a FAKEreality

Those problems will be explained more deeply in the following sections.

‘’Incollaboration with…’’ – Anyone can become an Influencer!

Intoday’s society anyone can become an influencer, if they have as little as 1000followers on Instagram. They just have to apply to an intermediary agency, thatserves as a network that connects different brands with influencers. As soon aspeople enter this agency, they are called influencers or ambassadors, and can startdoing sponsored posts for brands (Boostified, 2018). Social media influencers (SMIs) areseen as third-party endorsers and become a part of a brand or organization topromote their products or services (Freberg, Graham, McGaughey, & Freberg, 2010).

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Theinfluencers definitely get paid, they can directly get money from the brand orthe network agency that they are in. They can also make money if someone opens alink that they are sharing and get commission on sold product from that link(Adviral Media, 2018).

Isn’tthat disturbing? How anyone can become an influencer and start making money ofits followers? Depending on the number of followers that they have, the morepower and money they possess. There is a law of network externality that can beused to explain the statement, that the more people that participate in anetwork, the more others are likely to join(Jan van Dijk, 2012). In this case itlooks like that there is a pressure to connect and become an influencer.Everybody wants to join the network of influencers and start doingcollaborations with brands.

3 Issues That Brands Should Consider When Working With Influencers - BrandBase (1)

However, the fact that it’s so easy to become an influencer today, makes it difficult for companies to find influencer that will be truthful, relevant and a good representation of their brand. They should try to avoid influencers that just want to be a part of the network community, and not really care about the products or the brand. Brands should really take the time to try and find the perfect influencers for them!

Crossing the line – Fake followers & likes

Influencer marketing has become themost popular and mainstream marketing strategy in the recent years. The successbehind a social media campaign lies’ in the right message and photo created bythe influencer and communicated to the target group. Furthermore, high numberof followers can potentially result in larger reach of the marketing campaignand massage (Veirman et. al, 2016).

It’s tempting for brands to chooseinfluencers with large number of followers, but this may not be the bestoption! Unfortunately, a lot of influencers on Instagram have fake followers.They can easily purchase them on the internet, for instance you can buy 2,500followers on Instagram for as little as 15 dollars (Buzzoid, 2018). In this way influencers scam thebrands that they are working with, which leads to long term problems for bothparties. Because of this problem brands are losing money, considering that theyare paying the influencers to spread a campaign to followers that are not real.Additionally, buying fake followers gives a very unbalanced social media account,since thousands of fake followers, result in low engagement on the photos ofthe influencer (Influencer Marketing Hub, n.a). Another thing thatinfluencers can buy is fake likes, and it works exactly the same way as withthe fake followers.

So, let’s brake down the math and talkabout engagement! The percentage of engagement on influencers’ photos is thething that distinguish them from a normal persons’ Instagram account. A normalperson has between 1-3% engagement rate, which is calculated on the percentageof followers. For example, if you have 10000 followers, 3% engagementwould be 300 likes on photos. The level of engagement for influencers isnormally between 3-6%, above 6% engagement rate is considered to be very rareand hard to achieve (Scrunch, n.a).

Consequently, when influencers buyfake likes and achieve 30-40% engagement rate on photos is totally fake! One ofthe laws of the internet states, that there is a limit to attention because ourtime to read, listen or view is limited (Jan van Dijk, 2012). The more people and influencersproduce content and post it on Instagram, the smaller there is the chance tosee their photos. Instagram’s algorithm is in sync with that law, isconstructed in a way that only a small percentage of the followers actually seethe posted photo (The Digiterati, 2018). This is why it’sunachievable to reach 30-40% engagement rate, brands should have knowledge ofthat information.

Brandsand network companies have to be aware of those dilemmas! Solution for those problemscould be to use analyzing tools when recruiting influencers. Unfortunately, theexisting platforms can only identify limited information about influencers suchas number of followers and engagement percentage. The platforms are unable todetect fake followers and likes (Veirman et. al,2016). This insight indicates that the high number of followers does notguarantee success. Brands should consider choosing the influencers based on thetopics that they post and the reach in term of interests and activities.

Fake beauty standards – This hasto STOP!

3 Issues That Brands Should Consider When Working With Influencers - BrandBase (2)

Brands have to be aware of the fact that some of the influencers on social media are struggling with mental health and are promoting unsustainable beauty standards, creating a fake reality! Throughout the recent years some of the most famous influencers on Instagram have done plastic surgery, lip injections, botox, lash and hair extensions, and so on. They have totally transformed their faces from their original ones and are now totally different people! Furthermore, even all their photos are heavily edited with editing software’s such as photoshop. Those influencers continue to have millions of followers and brands still use them to promote beauty products and clothes.

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A study conducted of women in the age group 18-35, showed that frequent use of Instagram is correlated with depressive symptoms, self-esteem, general and physical appearance anxiety, and body dissatisfaction (Sherlock & Wagstaff, 2018). This study could be interpreted as how those negative impacts, are based on the fake reality that influencers are creating! The study doesn’t take into consideration the young girls under 18, which are the ones right now that are growing up with social media and thinking that this is ‘’real’’. When clearly influencers are creating fake descriptions of their life’s where everything seems perfect.

Are those influencers even relevantto the brands? Doesn’t their fake image ruin the brands reputation? If thebrands’ products are beauty and skincare, doesn’t their brand value decreasewhen they use fake influencers? In the short run the brand will make sales, butit will not be sustainable in the long run! It’s unhealthy for everyone, for companies,influencers and specially for all the followers that consider this fakeness assomething normal, and something that they have to follow!

HealthyMind leads to Healthy Life!

To conclude, companies should thinkabout the society and all of those issues when choosing to work with different influencers.If companies connect their values and vision with the right influencers, they cancreate stronger brand identity and build meaningful relations with their targetgroup. The campaigns will be relevant to their customers and a positive imageabout the brand will be created. Brands can contribute to society by workingwith influencers that inspires’ its followers to live better in every aspect oflife trough positive messages and truthful photos.


Adviral Media. (2018). Retrieved from http://www.adviralmedia.com

Boostified. (2018). Retrieved from www.boostified.se.

Buzzoid. (2018). Retrieved from https://buzzoid.com/buy-instagram-followers/

Cambridge Dictonary. (2018). Definition.

Freberg, K., Graham, K., McGaughey, K., & Freberg, L. (2010). Who are the social media influencers? A stufy of public perceptions of personality. Public Relations Review, 90-92.

Influencer Marketing Hub. (n.a). How to Spot Fake Instagram Followers. Retrieved from https://influencermarketinghub.com/instagram-fake-follower-bot-checker-free/

(Video) Moneyball: He Gets on Base (MOVIE SCENE) | With Captions

Instagram. (2018). Account of Nikoleta Lozanova. Retrieved from https://www.instagram.com/nikoleta_lozanova/

International Chamber of Commerce. (2018). Retrieved from http://www.iccwbo.org

International Law Office. (2018). Retrieved from www.internationallawoffice.com

Jan van Dijk. (2012). The Network Society. London: SAGE Publications Ltd.

Loesq. (2018). We are all celebrities today – the right of publicity & commercial value social media has created. Retrieved from https://www.loesquire.com/thoughts/2018/5/29/right-of-publicity

Medium. (n.a). Under the Influence: The Power of Social Media Influencers. Retrieved from https://medium.com/crobox/under-the-influence-the-power-of-social-media-influencers-5192571083c3

Scrunch. (n.a). What is a Good Engagement Rate on Instagram? Retrieved from https://blog.scrunch.com/what-is-a-good-engagement-rate-on-instagram

Sherlock, M., & Wagstaff, D. (2018, April 12). Expoloring the Relationship Between Frequency of Instagram Use, Exposure to Idealized Images, and Psychological Well-being in Women. Psychology of Popular Media Culture.

The Digiterati. (2018). Retrieved from https://thedigiterati.com/instagram-algorithm/

(Video) Channel MKTG 104 by Haseeba Saddelin

Veirman, M., Cauberghe, V., & Hudders, L. (2016). Marketing through Instagram influencers: the impact of number of followers and product divergence on brand attitude. International Journal of Advertising, 36(5), 798-828.

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Tags: Influencer Marketing, Instagram, Instagram marketing, social influencer

BrandBase | @BrandBa_se
Students from the International Marketing and Brand Management program at Lund University are the contributing authors for the BrandBase blog.


What is one of the biggest challenges for influencer marketing? ›

According to a recent survey studying businesses that handle influencer marketing campaigns in-house, knowing how to measure the ROI and results of their campaign is the biggest challenge brands face. As many as 28.1% of them list it as a concern they have.

What are the 3 main challenges when rolling out an influencer engagement strategy? ›

The three biggest challenges in influencer marketing
  • Identifying the right influencer. ...
  • Measuring ROI. ...
  • Getting their attention and engaging them.
19 Feb 2016

Why do brands want to work with Micro influencers? ›

Micro Influencers are Hyperlocal.

One of the most strategic reasons to partner with micro influencers is that they usually have concentrated audiences, meaning they offer a way to reach a specific target audience.

What are the problems with influencer marketing? ›

The high number of fake influencers on social media platforms not only troubles the brands but also takes users for a ride. In many cases, influencers have fake followers which further takes the campaign down the drain. Moreover, the users start doubting the brand in question which impacts the organization negatively.

What are some of the potential risks for brands when working with influencers? ›

These are five of the potential pitfalls businesses should be wary of when utilising influencers as a route to their target consumer.
  • Past controversies. ...
  • Unexpected publishing breaks. ...
  • Deletion of sponsored content. ...
  • Ownership of the consumer relationship. ...
  • Tracking audience sentiment.

What three steps should brands take to overcome influencer fails? ›

  • Quickly Own It: Take ownership of the influencer's mistake too. ...
  • Timely Response: Issue an immediate response to the influencer's gaffe. ...
  • Fix It: Demonstrate a commitment to rectifying the problem by supporting whatever cause was tarnished due to your influencer's actions.
22 Jun 2021

How do you engage micro influencers? ›

In order to collaborate with relevant micro-influencers, it is necessary to conduct some research.
  1. Check their audience demographics.
  2. Check their audience quality.
  3. Check the quality of the influencer's posts.
  4. Check metrics like engagement rate, follower count, and reach.
  5. Check their content format and niche.

How do you find micro influencers for your brand? ›

Find micro-influencers for your campaign

Using an influencer search tool will help you find micro-influencers who fit your criteria at scale. To begin your search, you need to know what audience you're looking to target, on which social media platform, plus which keywords will help you find a creator in your niche.

How is social media influence measured? ›

It's crucial to measure both the number of followers, the number of posts, and the number of interactions and influencer produces, and track how both of those numbers change over time. Facebook Insights, for example, has an effective metric called “People Talking About This”, and it measures how many unique users have ...

What are some of the dangers of using an influencer to endorse a product? ›

6 Dangers of Influencer Marketing
  • Instagram influencer engagement is nearing an all time low. ...
  • Inauthentic partnerships and content. ...
  • FTC regulations. ...
  • Morality conflicts. ...
  • Follower farms. ...
  • Ethical implications.
11 Jul 2019

How do you deal with influencers? ›

How to Work With Influencers
  1. Decide the platform for your Influencer Marketing Campaign. ...
  2. Find niche influencers to work with. ...
  3. Conduct an in-depth analysis of your shortened influencers. ...
  4. Decide your budget before you approach Influencers. ...
  5. Approach Influencers. ...
  6. Set Campaign Briefs. ...
  7. Giveaways and Contests. ...
  8. Product Reviews.

What are the 5 biggest problems with social media? ›

Cons: Why is social media bad?
  • Online vs Reality. Social media itself is not the problem. ...
  • Increased usage. The more time spent on social media can lead to cyberbullying, social anxiety, depression, and exposure to content that is not age appropriate.
  • Social Media is addicting. ...
  • Fear of Missing Out. ...
  • Self-image issues.

What problems are we facing as a business that social media can help address? ›

The biggest challenges businesses face with social media are lack of resources, no formal strategy, building a community of followers, and tracking results. Learn how to overcome these challenges with case studies and success stories.

What are the challenges when using social media? ›

7 Common Social Media Challenges And How To Overcome Them
  • 1) Creating a social strategy that performs. ...
  • 2) Proving your social media ROI. ...
  • 3) Keeping up to date. ...
  • 4) Improving social media engagement. ...
  • 5) Growing your social media following. ...
  • 6) Building authentic connections. ...
  • 7) Making sure your visuals are on point.
16 Jun 2021

Why is influencer marketing risky? ›

One of the main risks of an influencer marketing campaign is that the influencer does not meet their commitments concerning the promotion of your products and/or services: delayed schedule, non-compliant content, pure and simple cancellation, etc.

Why is influencer ineffective in marketing? ›

Consumers find influencers 'fake'

As such, the consumers have minimal trust in influence marketers, just like the brand they represent. That's why some influencers tend to conceal any information that might make their audiences know that they've been paid to promote certain brands or products.

What do brands look for in influencers? ›

Quality, authentic content

Brands are looking for quality content, although that doesn't mean your content has to be retouched to perfection. People crave relatability when it comes to influencers, so many brands have turned to nano and micro influencers, who come across as “real people” and not celebrities.

How do you approach brands as an influencer? ›

How to Pitch to Brands: The Elements of a Great Pitch
  1. Craft the Perfect Subject Line.
  2. Introduce Yourself.
  3. Highlight What You Love About the Brand/Product.
  4. Create and Attach a Media Kit.
  5. Share a Verified Instagram Analytics Report.
  6. Make a Call to Action and Share Your Rates.
20 Apr 2021

How do you collaborate with influencers? ›

Find An Influencer

You can either look for them on different social media platforms and use hashtags to zero-in on your results. Reach out to them via Direct Message (DM) or email. Influencers generally include their contact information in their profile bios for collaborations so contacting them should not be an issue.

How do brands charge influencers? ›

Micro influencers (10,000 - 50,000 followers): $100 - $500 per post. Mid-tier influencers (50,000 - 500,000 followers): $500 - $5,000 per post. Macro influencers (500,000 - 1,000,000 followers): $5000 - $10,000 per post. Mega influencers (1,000,000+ followers): $10,000+ per post.

Why brands should work with influencers? ›

Working with the right influencers not only leads to more sales and better-qualified leads, but also an incredible boost in brand awareness, which traditional advertising would not be able to compete with.

How do brands pay influencers? ›

There are 6 types of influencer payments and incentives for creators: Cash, Branded Rewards, VIP Experiences, Exclusive Access, Promo Codes, and Product Gifting. While cash is the most desired form of payment for an influencer fee, there is no specific incentive that is inherently better than the others.

How do you find Nano influencers and micro-influencers of your brand? ›

10 tips for finding the right nano- and micro-influencers
  1. Be clear about where you want your product to go. ...
  2. Find influencers who understand your product. ...
  3. Start with your own followers. ...
  4. Look at other people in your circle. ...
  5. Dedicate time to research before you recruit influencers.
5 Aug 2022

How do you get influencers on Instagram to promote your product? ›

Create Relationships With Influencers

Once they are familiar with you and your brand they will be more open to promoting your products. Interact with your potential influencers by liking posts and hanging out in the comments. Support them by cross-promoting their user-generated content on your social media channels.

Who are some micro-influencers? ›

The following are 14 of the top micro-influencers on Instagram in various categories:
  • Chelsea Martin – Travel & Adventure.
  • Dan Carter – Travel & Adventure.
  • Adam Northwest – Travel & Adventure.
  • Gvantsa Ivanishvili – Fashion & Beauty.
  • Evelyn – Fashion & Beauty.
  • Nana Agyemang – Fashion & Beauty.
  • Elizabeth Moye – Food & Nutrition.

How should companies measure social media marketing success? ›

Monitor such information as: traffic volume metrics, such as the number of visits, page views and fans. engagement metrics, such as the number of comments, liked posts or favourited/shared tweets versus your page's total number of fans. competitive position (compare your engagement metrics to your competition's)

How do you measure effectiveness of social media marketing? ›

Retweets, likes, bookmarks and time spent watching your stories or videos can be monitored in real-time. To do this, you need to use social analytics software and web tools. You can also measure customer engagement using a specific formula: customer engagement = (amount of interactions/reach of posts) x 100.

How can social media track brand awareness? ›

Social Media Brand Awareness Metrics You Can Track
  1. Impressions. The number of times your content has been viewed, including repeat views from a single person. ...
  2. Reach. The number of people who have viewed your content. ...
  3. Engagement (Rate) ...
  4. Brand Mentions. ...
  5. Share of Voice. ...
  6. Audience Sentiment.
29 Aug 2020

What are some of the dangers of using an influencer to endorse a product? ›

6 Dangers of Influencer Marketing
  • Instagram influencer engagement is nearing an all time low. ...
  • Inauthentic partnerships and content. ...
  • FTC regulations. ...
  • Morality conflicts. ...
  • Follower farms. ...
  • Ethical implications.
11 Jul 2019

How popular is influencer marketing? ›

In recent years, influencer marketing has really been on the rise. What was a $1.7 billion industry in 2016 has since grown to become a $9.7 billion industry in 2020. In just 2021, it grew to $13.8 billion and is projected to expand to $15 billion in 2022.

How do social media influencers get paid? ›

Social media influencers make money with sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, brand partnerships, merchandising, and direct donation (tipping, subscriptions, etc.).

What do you think are the biggest challenges nowadays with Facebook ads? ›

Here are the top 4 problems you might encounter with Facebook advertising:
  • No target customer personas and Facebook marketing goals.
  • Not knowing what kind of content works for your brand.
  • Struggle in creating enough demand for your content.
  • Difficulty in measuring ROI in Facebook ads.
20 Jul 2022

What is the issue of Facebook? ›

The use of Facebook can have negative psychological effects that include feelings of sexual jealousy, stress, lack of attention, and social media addiction that in some cases is comparable to drug addiction.

Why does Instagram not allow me to promote? ›

If you're having trouble boosting posts and stories on Instagram, it may be caused by the following: You're not using a professional account. To create ads on Instagram, you must convert your personal profile to a professional account. You're not a Page admin.

What are the disadvantages of influencers? ›

The Need to Qualify the Most Suitable Social Media Influencers. A key disadvantage of social media marketing is that digital marketers need to choose the most fitting social media platforms to ensure that their overall marketing campaign and specific social media marketing strategy are both effective and efficient.

Why is influencer ineffective in marketing? ›

Consumers find influencers 'fake'

As such, the consumers have minimal trust in influence marketers, just like the brand they represent. That's why some influencers tend to conceal any information that might make their audiences know that they've been paid to promote certain brands or products.

What is an influencer strategy? ›

Influencer marketing is a strategy where businesses rely on an influential leader to recommend their product to their target audience. These leaders usually have a large social following or captivate a market segment.

How do brands use influencers? ›

Influencer marketing is a way brands can promote their products through endorsements or recommendations from influencers and content creators on the internet. Social media and blogs are home to the majority of influencers, although other creators like podcast hosts can fit the bill, too.

Why do consumers trust influencers? ›

Influencers also provide insight into their personal lives, and interact with their followers. Responding to messages, giving their opinions on products, and their accessibility set them apart from their celebrity counterparts. These actions create a relationship and generate trust between the consumer and influencer.

Who is the highest paid influencer? ›

1. Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano) As a famous Portuguese football player who is also a great model and public figure, Ronaldo is the most-recognized person in the world. He is not only a well-known celebrity but also the richest influencer on Instagram.

How do influencers get brand deals? ›

Get Creative and Stay Persistent

For example, make videos where you test their products and rate them, reach out to them on social media, or approach them with examples of some of your previous work. You can also start using brand-related hashtags and tagging the brand's account under your posts and videos.

Who is the biggest influencer? ›

The Most Popular Influencers on Instagram 2022
  • Lele Pons. 44M followers. ...
  • nusr_et. 35.6M followers. ...
  • Dan Bilzerian. 32.4M followers. ...
  • Amanda Cerny. 24.8M followers. ...
  • Zach King. 24.3M followers. ...
  • Chiara Ferragni. 23.9M followers. ...
  • pewdiepie. 21.7M followers. ...
  • Cameron Dallas. 21.6M followers.


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