Automotive influencers on Instagram - Fraud is booming.

Automotive journalism in Germany has long suffered from many different problems. When a new division started over 10 years ago, primarily digital enthusiasts who were categorized as bloggers by the media sector - this could neither solve the crisis of credibility nor of media refinancing. On the contrary, the rapid digital change, the striving for click numbers and the power struggles over the shrinking cake led to an acceleration of the crisis. 10 years later, pure “automotive bloggers” are just as rare as classic print editors.

Evolution also eats the offspring

The digital media change quickly led from short-lived blog articles to even more short-lived “content”. Stories about cars quickly turned into aging content. The digital revolution has ended the evolution of media makers. The principle of the “authentic sender” has prevailed, not least because of the Internet principle of eliminating the middleman. Today influencers are among the hope of the automotive industry.

Influencer, the holy grail of the media world?

True miracles can be heard from the credibility of Instagram media makers. Authentic content every second. The credibility of the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages is only one grain of dust in relation to these influencers compared to the sand stock of the Gobi Desert. But what's wrong with the holy grail of the media world? What can Instagram influencers do better than classic journalists?


The US company "hype Auditor”Was made by the Habbymedia GmbH (the company behind this website) asked to provide an evaluation of the scams by Automotive Influencer (on Instagram) in Germany. The results are frightening. 

Of the more than 4.980 identified influencers, more than 50% are involved in the fraud around their real reach. Particularly noticeable are the micro-influencers with 5.000 to 20.000 followers, here “HypeAuditor” has recognized a fraud rate of more than 61%. There are three main ways that Instagram defines fraud:

  1. Buy followers
  2. comment pods
  3. follow / unfollow strategies

The micro-influencers (5k-20k) in particular stand out when “buying followers”. 38,32% of all micro-influencers buy followers. And this group of influencers is also particularly noticeable with the “follow / unfollow” strategy. In this strategy, the time-limited "following" is referred to by other Instagramers. As soon as these “follow back”, you unfollow them again. The goal is to pump up the followers without letting the number of those you follow grow too much.

Comment pods, that is the agreement in small groups, uses primarily the group of nano-influencers with 1.000 to 5.000 followers. Influencers organize themselves in digital groups (Whatsapp, Facebook) and motivate each other to interact with the influencer profiles involved.


Download the study: German Car Influencers





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