My previous commentary that focused on the idea that Words Matter pointed out a flaw in semantics with how HypeAuditor reported fraudulent behavior. That semantic difference—a simple poor choice of words—lead Campaign U.S., a popular advertising industry publications, to post the statement that more than half of Instagram influencers—”engaged in fraud”—with 45 percent of accounts—”fake.” 

Engaged was my problem. Because fraud can happen to an influencer’s account without the influencer having a thing to do with it.

HypeAuditor listened and in its May Report on Fraud on Social Media, made good with new data and new phrasing.

It turns out that on average, almost 34 percent of influencers in the U.S. are impacted by fraud. That can be growth anomalies, inauthentic comments, comments from bots, giveaway comments or comments from pods … that being groups of people gang up to comment on each other’s content just to drive up engagement rates.

The majority of the fraudulent impact comes from inauthentic comments. One-words, an emoji or two and similar structures that seem robot-like and irrelevant. 

HypeAuditor estimates that fraudulent activity can be costing advertisers up to $800 million each year. 

This episode’s commentary dives into more and indicates my previous assumptions about the level of intentional fraud that happen in influence marketing may be right.

You can find all the data from HypeAuditor’s May Fraud Report on t he HypeAuditor blog at Or by clicking the link in the show notes.

This episode of Winfluence, the podcast, is sponsored by Julius. You owe it to yourself to do a demo of Julius today!

I mention that software more than others in my book because it’s the platform I’ve been using for a few years now to find influencers, engage with them and manage campaigns. Julius has powerful filters that let me drill down find just the gardening influencers in New England. Or the people who get excited about brick oven pizza. But it certainly also gives me the mega influencers and celebrity influencers I might need to help promote anything from stationery to toothpaste.

And in most cases, it has contact information so I don’t have to go fishing to reach them.

Oh, and they have their own audience health score to help you weed out ones with suspect audiences or engagement. 

All the elements of campaign management are in the software, too. I love the fact I can assign a purchase price or value to every single social deliverable that is a part of campaign, automatically track it based on the influencer using our campaign hashtag, and get an ROI report for each element. 

You know I wouldn’t say this if it wasn’t true — You owe it to your brand or agency to do a demo of Julius today. Go to and request one. That’s

The Winfluence theme music is “One More Look” featuring Jacquire King and Stephan Sharp by The K Club found on Facebook Sound Collection.

Winfluence - Reframing Influencer Marketing to Ignite Your Brand

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