3 obvious and 3 hidden types of cheating from bloggers

How do Bloggers get Likes, Comments and Subscribers? What is Blogger Promotion?

Cheating is any increase in the number of subscribers, likes or comments due to a non-target audience.

Don’t be confused with such a concept as Instagram or Youtube promotion. Its task is to get the target audience. The purpose of the promotion is the opposite – to overestimate your performance in order to gain more trust from customers and advertisers.

Let’s take some examples.

Massfollowing – subscribing to people in the hope that they will subscribe in response – is more likely to be considered a promotion. And when little bloggers get together and like each other, then this is already a markup, albeit a reaction from real people.

In this article, we will talk about how and why these methods work, as well as discuss ways to identify cheating.

All screenshots are from trendHERO, the Instagram influencer checker and search service. But you can use any similar service for these tasks. And our goal today is cool – to save money on advertising campaigns with influencers.

View 1. Cheat bots

There are special services that help boost bots, likes and comments. They usually do it rather clumsily. In a couple of days, you can add 10,000 subscribers or add 500 likes to all posts.

Bots are accounts managed by the service for certain actions (subscription, likes, comments). Instagram calculates this, blocks and removes bots. Therefore, on the charts, we often see a drop in the number of subscribers (mass removal of bots).

Why it’s bad for advertising: If you advertise with this blogger, you won’t get anything.

How to see: on the graph of the growth of subscribers through special services. For example, trendHERO (see the screenshot above in the article). You can also open the full report and see in more detail:

View 2. Giveaway

Giveway is a competition with other bloggers. You’ve probably noticed such posts or stories: “We are playing a car. To participate in the competition, subscribe to me and those to whom I am subscribed. “

Why it’s bad for advertising: The influencer doesn’t always reach the target audience. Firstly, it can be from different countries, which is not suitable for most advertisers. Secondly, this audience’s main interest is to get something for free. In this case, the main advantage of influencer marketing disappears – trust in your idol.

For example, an interior design blogger gathers her audience organically – people subscribe for content and her opinion. If you buy ads from her, then subscribers will trust her words. But if you buy ads from someone who has gained an audience at contests, it will be like advertising on the Internet: the audience does not trust her, but simply sees the ad in the feed. As a result, the advertiser will pay more for advertising with a giveaway blogger.

How to see: Contests of this type are very easy to see on the subscriber growth graph – a sharp increase and a gradual churn:

View 3. Like-times

Like time is a call to subscribers to like a post and each other. In fact, this is a boost of likes and comments:

  • Subscribers put their likes in the hope of getting a mutual like from other members.
  • Subscribers write a comment that they have liked.

Why it’s bad for advertising: bloggers become more active and get beautiful statistics for screenshots. Although we understand that in this situation, likes, although from real people, are still inappropriate. Don’t wait for similar metrics in your ad post.

How to see. Like times fell into obvious ways of cheating, because they can also be identified:

  1. By blogger’s hashtags (#liketime, #liketime and similar) By blogger’s hashtags (#liketime, #liketime and similar).
  2. By the distribution of likes between posts on the graph, it is complex, but if you figure it out, it will become very useful. 

View 4. Mutual likes and activity chats

There are services where you can get likes on a reciprocal basis. In addition, there are activity chats that work on a similar principle.

Activity chat (pod) is a chat of nano- and micro-influencers, where they agree to put likes and comments to each other. There is often a small fee to attend this chat. Unlike like times, outwardly there are no manifestations (obvious hashtags, designations, calls to put likes).

This is good for nano- and micro-influencers, because they get social proof: a potential client or advertiser sees a lot of likes and believes that the account makes good content and engages the audience.

Why it’s bad for ads: Mutual likes from a real, non-target audience is wasted money. At the same time, the advertiser may not understand at all that he was deceived – there is a post or story coverage, there are likes and comments (even meaningful), but there are no sales. If you don’t know where to look, then you can look for the reason for a very long time.

How to see. There are two main indicators:

  • The percentage of likes from subscribers. The percentage of likes from subscribers. It is normal if the blogger has 80-90% of likes from the number of subscribers.
  • The percentage of likes from accounts with 2,000 subscribers or more. The percentage of likes from accounts with 2,000 subscribers or more. If this is training in promotion on Instagram, then it may be more. But a blogger, shoe store, or beauty salon should have 1 to 10% likes from other influencers.

View 5. Barking from other countries

You asked a blogger from Paris for a screenshot of the audience, he sent it. Everything is fine there – 58% of the Paris audience.

But let’s imagine a situation that he has 50,000 subscribers and an Engagement Rate of 2%. This means that he has approximately 1,000 likes per post. If you buy another 1,000 likes from Indians, there will be 4% Engagement Rate – more solid in the eyes of the advertiser, and does not affect the percentage of Paris subscribers.

Why it’s bad for advertising: As always, the budget is being poured into non-target audiences. It was possible to pay a blogger with a really active audience or at least 2 times cheaper, but because of the markup, the advertiser overpays.

How to see. Be sure to look at the percentage of likes from the previous paragraph. But it is also important to look at the graphs separately for all subscribers and for the liking audience:

View 6. Removed hashtags

There is a way to hide hashtags:

  1. Write a comment from your other account.
  2. From your account, reply to this comment with hashtags.
  3. Delete the first comment.

Instagram will hide the entire thread, but your comment with hashtags will remain active, as it were, and the post can be found by this hashtag.

The essence of the cheat method is to add irrelevant hashtags or even thematic hashtags to an advertising post, but not entirely targeted.

A simple example – an Bordo coffee shop buys an advertisement from a blogger from Bordo. The blogger writes a good post about coffee and hides it in hashtags #coffeebordo, #coffee and so on. As a result, they show the statistics of the post: everything is super in terms of reach and likes.

Sometimes this method is combined with activity chats. Often in the chat they agree on which hashtag they like this week.

Why it’s bad for advertising: Apart from the obvious loss of money, this method is almost impossible to detect. As a result, the advertiser gets an interested, but inaccessible audience: they are in the wrong city.

How to see:

  • Connect a separate service to collect all comments, even deleted ones. For example, Livedune. But it will work for a future campaign. That way you can get evidence that the influencer is using irrelevant hashtags.
  • Look at the hashtags in the statistics of the post that the blogger will send you. Look at the hashtags in the statistics of the post that the blogger will send you
  • See the percentage of likes from subscribers. We have dealt with this in the previous paragraphs. This is a really good way to understand how a blogger leads an audience.

Instead of output

In articles that talk about cheating, it is always scary to scare beginners. Say, bloggers are so bad, they cheat and cheat.

But influencer testing is really not a buy / no buy. Each check helps to understand the fair price and expected result from cooperation. After all, bloggers also understand what real coverage they can give you, and set the appropriate price.

Therefore, from my point of view, the correct approach is to ask 10-50 bloggers for a price and choose 2-10 best ones.

Good luck with your influencer marketing and use online service for buying Youtube views legit.

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