Real Truth About Fake Accounts And Followers
If you’re a small business this information will be of interest to you. This isn’t news but if you’re fed up with the whole ‘fake’ thing everywhere on Social Media, you’re not alone. Facebook is letting its REAL users down across the FB platform and Instagram platform. We think this is an important issue. As a brand, our Instagram account had a small following compared to competitors in the same genre. This is because we decided not to buy fake followers and prefer to present a real face to our customers. We value honesty and place ourselves in the shoes of a customer. No one likes being ripped or lied to.
Some would say, who cares if you have fake followers or not, it looks like you have loads of followers, right? And therefore, people will trust you more. That’s been the big sales pitch to businesses for some time. More followers, more trust equals more sales. That people won’t buy from brands with a low following. We are a small business and this does not ring true. Internet users are way more savvy these days than businesses, agencies and marketers give them credit for. Many businesses and influencers buy fake followers to supposedly give them more credibility. Oh the irony. As Facebook or Instagram real users, investing a huge amount of our time on social media platforms, we need to educate ourselves and not blindly believe everything presented on these platforms.
It is estimated that there are 95 million bot accounts on instagram! What are fake accounts and followers? Well fake profiles are either created by bots or teams of people. Social Buddy stated that, “fake followers can have negative consequences on engagement, could spam your account or hack it, or could lead to Instagram penalizing your account with a shadowban if you have too many…..add that, fake followers won’t actually like or engage meaningfully with your posts, hurting your overall engagement. Engagement is a factor in the Instagram algorithm, which can affect how people see your posts.”
Many fake profiles are created in Indonesia. Social Buddy explains fully, what Instagram fake followers are, how to spot them and what. sort of activity you might expect from them.
Looking Closer At Instagram
We started to do some research of our own by monitoring our own followers on Instagram. Not surprisingly, we found fake accounts, which we removed. Unfortunately, after a few days, more would be added, so this is an ongoing thing. Businesses need to monitor this as overall as it is not good for business. Brand Watch Instagram stats, mentions that, one study reported 8% of Instagram accounts were fake spam bots and 29.9% of accounts were inactive.
BusinessOfApps.com reported from data on Instagram Statistics that, “Of the money spent on Instagram influencer marketing in the US & Canada in Q2 2019, no less than $58 million went on fake followers according to Instascreener’s detection methods. Unsurprisingly, this is a major concern for marketers using influencer marketing.”
How and Why Fake Accounts Dominate Instagram
According to Wired.com, “the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance ran 100 of the most successful Instagram accounts through IG Audit, reporting that up to half of all the people following celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres, Korean boy band BTS, Kourtney Kardashian, soccer player Neymar, Ariana Grande, and Taylor Swift weren’t real followers at all. The list was written up as news in at least 10 publications “.
Is Hiding Likes Going To Improve Instagram?
The Guardian Newspaper recently commented on Instagram testing hiding likes. Here’s some of what they reported – about “64% of influencers admitted to buying likes, a 2018 study from influencer marketing platform HYPR found. Many reputable brands had already wised up to the epidemic of influencers buying likes and followers long ago, said Matt Zuvella, a spokesman for influencer marketing platform FamePick, and hiding likes will only speed along the process.” It has been well documented that businesses have been at risk of being ripped off this way for some time.
Mashable tell us that, “Instagram cracked down on third-party apps that boost your account using fake followers and likes late last year, promising that there would be repercussions for users who continued to buy bots. (It’s unclear what, exactly, those repercussions were.) But that didn’t mark the end of fake followers…”. Mashable.com also outline, how to spot a fake account. To top it off, then there’s the fake discount account. This is definitely worth a read. Mashable’s advice, “In general, it’s a bad idea to get involved with bots at all — and inflating your follower count artificially won’t have any benefits that are actually meaningful. The better option is to grow your account organically as best you can. You can still use as many annoying hashtags as you want.”
And That’s Not All
Read What’s New In Publishing’s, real people are turning their accounts into bots to find out more.
In the end, what should a business do? Don’t fall into that trap of buying fake followers or likes unless you’re happy to throw money down the drain, as it were. Businesses need to put themselves in the customers’ shoes and ask, what sort of business would I buy from? One who is up front and real or one that misleads potential customers? Or is this too big a problem for Instagram to defeat? Just one big algorithm problem out of control. We no longer use Instagram because of the issues raised above. If you were a follower, sign up to our A-List now to benefit from our special offers and more.
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