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How We've Addressed the Issue of Fake Followers on Cohley

This past week in Cannes, France, Unilever CMO Keith Weed drew a hard line in the sand on the subject of influencers who've purchased fake followers. He vowed that all of Unilever's powerful brands, Dove, Axe and Talenti among them, will all avoid collaborating with influencers who've purchased fake followers 

“The key to improving the situation is three-fold,” Weed said. “Cleaning up the influencer ecosystem by removing misleading engagement, making brands and influencers more aware of the use of dishonest practices, and improving transparency from social platforms to help brands measure impact.”

His deep feelings of frustration on the subject were made loud and clear throughout his speech, and we understand where he's coming from. Why waste time, budget, and resources in working with influencers only to market to bots? Flagging influencers who've purchased fake followers and verifying each influencer's audience has been an important part of the Cohley platform for quite some time. 

We monitor this audience credibility and engagement data across our influencer base and display these metrics so that our customers can clearly see this data before deciding to partner with an influencer. See below:


The Audience Credibility percentage denotes what percentage of a creators’ followers are real accounts and weed out the bots. If the Audience Credibility percentage is below 90%, we'll act swiftly to flag and remove that influencer from the Cohley network.

The Trending Engagement metric is also an important piece of the equation. High follower counts with low engagement rates are tell-tale signs of an account with fake followers. By extracting engagement rates from each influencer’s last 30 posts rather than the lifetime of the Instagram account, we can give clients a much more accurate predictor of how a potential collaboration will perform. Historical data is helpful, but it doesn't always provide accurate insights, especially if an account has recently purchased fake followers.

“This is a deep and systematic issue, an issue of trust that fundamentally threatens to undermine the relationship between consumers and brands,” Weed went on to say.

Cohley can help you avoid these pitfalls. Reach out to us at to find out how we can the guesswork out of your influencer efforts. 

You can read the full article in AdWeek here.