Business Intelligence and Investigations

Social Media Influencer Risk Assessments

Helping clients assess and contextualize risks presented by social media influencers.

The rise of social media has provided a powerful new channel for organizations to expand their reach by tapping into the networks of people with large online followings. But working with a social media influencer is a double-edged sword. While your organization may benefit from the influencer’s network, you will also be associated with anything the influencer does—or has done—online, which can result in reputational, regulatory and legal consequences. Furthermore, the ability of influencers to monetize their followings has led to an underground market of “fake followers” that can deceptively inflate an influencer’s market value. 

Kroll helps organizations control the risks presented by social media influencers though comprehensive due diligence and ongoing monitoring. We begin by applying a sophisticated portfolio of tools to identify and analyze an influencer’s complete online presence across text- and video-based platforms in multiple regions and languages. Our advanced technologies allow us to build a comprehensive digital dossier of the influencer more quickly and cost-effectively than in-house resources. Kroll’s experts in risk-based analysis then contextualize the material we have gathered to filter out false alarms and flag items that present a meaningful level of risk to the organization’s brand. 

While analysis of an influencer’s content is at the center of our profiling, we go further and conduct a holistic appraisal of their complete online presence, including their interests, personal affiliations, legal and regulatory issues, and negative media coverage, to create a complete picture of their reputational standing. 

In addition to examining an influencer’s digital profile, we also scrutinize their online following. By analyzing changes in the size of their online networks, we can identify how likely it is that those networks are the result of legitimate organic growth rather than the purchase of “fake followers” that will contribute nothing to a brand’s online strength. 

Once risks are identified and assessed, we advise on how they can be managed and how the influencer should be counseled to remediate any issues. Ongoing monitoring can help ensure guidelines are adhered to and any new problems are quickly addressed.

Our social media risk assessment services are also used as part of the due diligence process for prospective board members, executives and individuals in the talent space, such as celebrities selected for TV appearances or advertising campaigns, where clients need a fuller profile of the subject to identify possible reputational risks.

 
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