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The Business of Content

May 1, 2018

The influencer marketing industry is estimated to generate $2 billion a year, with $1.6 billion coming from Instagram influencers alone. That number is only set to increase, with 39 percent of marketers saying they plan to increase their influencer marketing budget this year.

It’s now pretty much impossible to open up Instagram or YouTube without seeing #sponsored posts popping up from your favorite stars, from Kim Kardashian all the way down to food Instagrammers who only have a few thousand followers.

But whenever there’s this much money on the line, you always have people who are trying to game the system. It’s incredibly easy these days to inflate your follower count by purchasing bots or engaging in other kinds of shady activity. If you’re a company who’s thinking of hiring a social media influencer, how can you ensure that their followers are real?

Well, you’ll probably turn to someone like Erick Schwab, the COO of a company called SYLO. SYLO is a tech platform that can scan social media accounts and detect fraudulent activity. I interviewed Schwab about the state of social media influencer fraud and how his platform is able to tell when an Instagram account is propped up by an army of bots.