The secret to gaining followers on Instagram is to either post nudes, have a theme-focused account, or have a habit of frequent engagement.
But until then, fake it ’til you make it right?
Every now and then, you might get a comment on a post which goes a little something like:
Click Link In Bio ————-> for 100s of followers! 👋🌍👑
But what happens when you do click through?
Two South Africans put it to the test and created an Instagram account, with the aim of seeing how easy the process of gaining fake followers and fake likes really is.
Memeburn picked it up and wrote about their experience:
The duo made it very obvious that their account was for nefarious purposes, calling it fake_fake_fake1981 and declaring that it was a fake account in the profile. If that wasn’t enough, the writers were uploading low-quality snaps as well, such as a cooler box and a bare foot.
They bought 1000 followers for US$9, following that up by purchasing 100 likes from a service for US$3. Of course, they used all the likes on a photo of a white block.
In an email exchange, the women told Memeburn about why they created the account:
We work with a lot of brands and have recently been shocked by the amount that are now working with ‘influencers’ who’ve clearly bought their following. Having to sit at launches with Insta-fakers and watching brands lavish expensive campaigns on them has become seriously grating.
We know how hard it is to work for years to garner a genuine audience and watching morons who buy it and then blacken the words ‘influencer’ and ‘blogger’ with their resultant rubbish ‘engagement’ is nothing less than maddening.
And it’s not an overseas phenomenon either. In South Africa, van den Berg reckons 80 percent of South African Instagram superstars with more than 100 000 followers are faking it.
Our PR bestie who we won’t name emailed one of our suspected fakers this morning (30 March) asking for her rate card. The faker’s worked with several retail chains that should know better and has charged them R20 000 for a ‘monthly online presence’ but she won’t hand over her blog’s stats.
Sadly, this isn’t a unique situation in the least.
For one, their ‘influence’ isn’t real. Any message they’re relaying is going out to a mix of of dead/abandoned accounts and bots who have zero interest in what they have to say. Even likes, video views and comments can be bought and its not expensive either. It’s like buying an ad in a magazine that tells you it’s got millions of subscribers but in reality they’re only printing ten copies.
In short, its a waste of ad spend that could go to someone sparking genuine engagement with an authentic targeted audience that trusts their opinions. The whole movement towards consumers taking notes from influencers (as opposed to things like magazines) is the personal element and the notion that you’re hearing from an individual that you assume has integrity.
But how do you identify when an account has fake followers?
Of course, going through an accounts list of followers is one way, but there are also online tools that identify the real from the fake.
In other words, just do your homework before engaging with an influencer.
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