Mango Digital Digest: October 2019

From the latest software updates, to the most talked about digital campaigns, the Mango Digital Digest is the monthly roundup that will help you stay up-to-date on all the social media news you need to know.

This month’s trending topics…

1. Twitter takes a stand against politics

This month, Twitter announced that it will ban all political advertising on the platform saying that the reach of such messages “should be earned, not bought”. Since making the announcement, Twitter have received global praise for acknowledging the effect these adverts have on voting and for doing their part to put a halt to the problem of political misinformation … No pressure Facebook!

2. LinkedIn Engagement Continues To Rise

A report published by Microsoft earlier this month shows that not only were LinkedIn revenues up 25% but that LinkedIn sessions grew 22% – generating record levels of engagement and job postings. So, if you haven’t been paying attention to LinkedIn, perhaps it’s worth more of your focus in 2020!

3. Instagram rolls out a series of new features

Instagram has been hard at work this month, rolling out a variety of new features to keep users engaged and help make navigating the platform easier. From adding a new DM filtering feature for creator accounts to removing the ‘following’ tab which means you can no longer see the activity of the people you follow (sorry Insta-stalkers!) – there’s been plenty of small changes rolled out over the past few weeks. And let’s not ignore the rumours that they’re currently testing out a new way to categorise who you follow and prioritise who shows up in your feed… #StayTuned

4. Facebook and Instagram ban ‘sexual’ emojis including aubergine and peach

Sorry fruit lovers, but the aubergine and peach emojis are among those that have been deemed too promiscuous for Facebook and Instagram, who have recently rolled-out a new policy which will ban the use of such emojis if used in a ‘sexually suggestive’ way.

5. TikTok tops download charts

Is TikTok part of your digital marketing plans for 2020? Well, if you’re looking for an authentic way to engage with Gen Z consumers and video content is central to your social media strategy, then perhaps it should be! As reports indicate that it was the most downloaded app both on iOS and Android for the month of September – with close to 60 million installs!  

Dubbed Vine 2.0, Tiktok is unlike other platforms as it’s content driven as opposed to connections driven, meaning creators have to get creative if they want to create the next viral sensation. Our only question? Which brand will be the first to truly rise to the challenge…

Influencer Fraud: What It Means and What To Look Out For

Influncer Fraud Cove

Fake it until you make it, a phrase that up until a few months ago would have been the mantra for many aspiring influencers. However, as the influencer marketing industry continues to grow and the cost of a single sponsored post easily costing in the tens of thousands of pounds, the question still remains – how do you know that what you’re getting in return is genuine?

Research carried out last year by CampaignDeus found that out of the 700,000 Instagram accounts which it analysed, with followers ranging from 5K – 5M, as many as 12% had shown signs of buying fake followers.

So as the cost of influencer marketing is increasing, how can brands be sure that their budget is being used effectively and delivering the right results? The answer? Figuring out who is cheating the system and learning how to spot any influencers that are using or buying fake followers to ensure that your next campaign reaches real people and not just bots….

So what should you be looking out for?

Well, the good news is that many social networking sites have already been cracking down on the issue – by actively removing anything that it deems as inauthentic. Last year alone, Twitter purged tens of millions of suspicious accounts, while Facebook (who also own Instagram) began heavily investing in machine learning tools that would help them to detect and remove any suspicious account activity. But despite their best efforts, there are still influencers out there manipulating the system. Therefore, we’ve outline our top tips on what you need to look out for when vetting potential influencer partners…

Step 1 – Closely analyse their profile

When looking at any influencer profile there are a number of red flags which can pop up at any time. Firstly, look at the persons engagement rate. If they have a high number of followers, but little to no post engagement then there is a very high chance that they have previously bought followers. Secondly, scroll through the comments of a couple of their posts – this is often where you can spot any programmed bot interactions. Look for generic comments like ‘nice feed’ and ‘great shot’ as this will indicate that the interactions are unlikely to be genuine. Lastly, have a brief scroll through the influencers list of followers to see if they look like real accounts. If there are lots of accounts with no profile pictures or unusual usernames, then this could be another red flag.

Step 2 – Stick to the stats

It is widely known that many of the sites that sell fake followers operate the fake accounts from places like South America and Eastern Europe. Therefore, before you agree to work with any influencer you should ask for a direct screenshot of their follower demographics to verify that their audience is both legit and relevant to who you want to try and target.

Step 3 – Dig deeper with a third-party site

There are a number of different apps and programmes that claim to have found the ultimate algorithm to spotting fake followers. However, the truth is that no one platform has the answer you’re looking for, but they can occasionally help as part of the wider vetting process. Social Blade is the preferred platform for most, as it allows you to track user statistics across Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and more. Here you can find things like influencer’s engagement rate, their average number of likes and comments and most importantly their daily followers and following. It’s here that you are looking for any unusual spikes in new followers or lots of following and unfollowing. The latter strategy often involves following hundreds of new accounts one day and then once they have followed you back, quickly unfollowing them to leave themselves with a higher number of followers. While this technically doesn’t count as buying followers, it is a way for influencers to manipulate the algorithm and inflate their stats, which again could indicate that you should approach with caution.

Step 4 – Look for external mentions

While painstakingly obvious, a simple Google search of any authentic and well-respected influencer should produce a series of valuable external mentions. Look for published articles or interviews with the influencer to get a feel for their online credibility and history of past collaborations.

Step 5 – Trust your instincts

You can often get a feel for when something isn’t right, so always trust your instinct when it comes to working with influencers. Until an industry wide solution emerges, vetting influencers will rely on brands and agencies being able to closely understand and manage their relationships with social media stars. Therefore, if you’re unsure about anyone and have a inkling that they are up to no good, then keep searching until you find someone that perfectly connects with your brand.