Marketing Series: Influencer Marketing and Fake Followers

What is influencer marketing? The trend has been on the rise for the last few years, with more brands buying into the ambassador advertising model. The social media marketing involves endorsements from people, bloggers and organisations who possess an expert level of knowledge and social influence in the respective field.

Even though influencer marketing is a relatively new strategy, it continues to be a viable solution for marketers. Especially, those who are willing to think outside the box when building trust with their target market.


Should I buy Fake Followers to boost my Instagram?

We all know that having real followers is better than fake, but have you ever considered the consequences of these artificially inflated follower counts? As the old saying goes, it is not the size that matters, but how you use it. This is something brands will be looking at too, and it is something to use in your favour when approaching them.

How many times have you seen somebody pushing you to buy Instagram followers cheaply? To somebody hoping to make it as an influencer, it must be tempting; an easy way to boost your Instagram clout without having to work for it. But as with most things in life, there is a catch. Bought Instagram followers are not the same as the followers you genuinely earn through the quality of your posts. Indeed, buying Instagram followers can lead to quite a few problems and shred your online reputation at the same time.

Whether fake followers have been bought or they are bot-generated, they will not do anything meaningful, and they are against Instagram’s terms and conditions. There are even programmes that spam likes and comments in the hope of a return, but these are not fooling anyone. We have all seen these in the comments.

Accounts with high fake follower counts lack authenticity, legitimacy and are likely to be less trustworthy as a result. Influencer marketers and bloggers need to assess their accounts realness before reaching out to work together. A brand will need to know that they are going to get their return on investment.

How can I check how authentic my Instagram following is?

IG Audit by Authentique is a free tool which brands, bloggers and influencers can use to access this. At the time of writing this blog, on my Instagram account, I have 89.6% real followers. My likes are lower than expected, but I have a higher than expected engagement. As a brand, I would be looking at this, seeing that it is a real account and that followers are more likely to write and comment on what they have seen and read.

IG Audit
IG Audit by Authentique is a free tool to check how real your followers are

How do I block fake Instagram followers?

You should be able to spot a fake follower or ghost follower pretty easily. Generally, they have no followers, posts, profile picture, or only a profile picture, low or no follower count and nothing personal in their bio. If you have an Instagram Business Account, the only way to block followers is manually. To do that find their profile by tapping the (…) in the top right-hand corner and hit ‘Block’.

It can be daunting to do this and take the initial dip in followers. However, in the long run, it will be extremely beneficial to you. If it is too scary for you, you could remove a few spam followers every week while you continue to build real followers.

How to Build an Authentic Following on Instagram

Whether you want to grow your business or want to develop your personal brand, one of the most crucial resources that will allow you to do this is your followers. It is challenging, but there are a few tactics that can help you grow your audience authentically.

1. Make sure your profile is public
2. Follow genuine accounts and engage with them
3. Use relevant and trending hashtags
4. Get in on the conversation, join threads and even start discussions
5. Be patient, it is not going to happen overnight

Don’t be scared to get rid of the inauthentic audience. You have more value as an influencer or blogger with real followers and a good reputation, rather than having an account with some artificially boosted numbers.


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