Fake followers: how to spot them and why is it important for your business

4 minuti

Are you thinking about buying followers for your social media accounts? Or are you considering working with an influencer who has a suspiciously high number of followers? You might want to think twice before doing so.

I know the struggle of growing on social media channels and I know that that number up there near the profile picture makes you feel great when it grows.

In recent years, the practice of buying fake followers has unfortunately become increasingly common, with many people believing that having a large following is the key to success on social media. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Not only is buying fake followers dishonest, but it can also have serious consequences for your brand’s reputation and success.

Here’s why buying fake followers is a bad idea:

  1. It’s dishonest: When you buy followers, you’re essentially lying to your audience and potential customers. You’re portraying a false image of popularity that doesn’t truly reflect your brand’s reach or influence. This can erode the trust that people have in your brand, ultimately damaging your reputation.
  2. It doesn’t lead to real engagement: Fake followers won’t engage with your content or share it with their own followers. This means that your content won’t reach a wider audience, defeating the purpose of having a large following in the first place.
  3. It can damage your organic reach: Social media algorithms are designed to promote content that is engaging and resonates with real people. When you have a high number of fake followers who aren’t engaging with your content, it can actually hurt your organic reach and visibility on the platform.
  4. You are feeding exploited labor: the majority of time, people are paid really a few for constantly creating new profiles and follow who buys the fake followers, being in a room full of smartphones all day long.
  5. It’s a waste of money: Buying fake followers is not only dishonest, but it’s also a waste of money. You’re paying for followers who won’t engage with your content or purchase your products, so the money you’re spending isn’t leading to any real returns on investment.

Let’s talk about Influencer marketing

We talk about influencer marketing when we want to create a strategy in order to show and sell our products through influencers.

This is directly related to fake followers.

When it comes to influencer marketing, it’s important to vet the influencers you’re working with and make sure they have a genuine following. This can be done by looking at engagement rates, comments, and the quality of the followers. An influencer with a smaller, but engaged and authentic following can often provide better results than one with a large number of fake followers, or followers that don’t engage.

Take a look at the proportion between the number of followers and the engagement under the posts. Usually, more the following the less the engagement rate. SO if you have an engagement rate of 5% in a micro influencer, you may have an engagement rate of 1% in a big account. It’s normal.

A rapid exercise to do is: take the number of the followers – calculate the 1% of it – take a look under some posts if it correspond more or less. Then take a look at the comments: does this person have comments? Are thy just emojis or useless words like “nice post”, “love it”, etc? Then the engagement is not great.

This may not lead to the conclusion that this person bought followers, but for sure her followers don’t engage and this is bad for you if you want to invest in her.
If you give her your products to advertise, this may lead to nothing and you may just have lost the money.

In conclusion, buying fake followers is never a good idea. It’s dishonest, doesn’t lead to real engagement, can damage your organic reach, it’s based on exploited labor, and is a waste of money. Instead, focus on building a genuine following through quality content, engagement, and building relationships with your audience. And when working with influencers, choose those who have an authentic engaged following and are a good fit for your brand.