Tired of Losing To Fake Influencers? Keep reading…
I always enjoyed sharing my life in written and video form on Youtube, I work hard– I can stay up for hours focusing on a blog piece or video for days. It’s become my job. In the 5 years I’ve been doing this I never took the short cut- never lied or cheated my way to have thousands of Instagram followers or deceive my numbers when pitching to large companies. Yet I still have the short hand.
How do you cheat from having followers? Great question!
Some of you may not know, but some of your favorite bloggers and influencers actually go out of their way to BUY followers and not just 50 here and 50 there, but thousands of followers making you think they have this thing called, INFLUENCE. When in reality they don’t have a pot to piss in.
Shocking, I know! I was in awe when during winter break someone who I know had 15K jumped to 30k in the matter of a day. This whole time I was looking up to them thinking if I reached 15K I would be good. This made me look into other blogger friends and influencers. Another one who I had stated following just last year jumped from about 2k to 60K. These are the same people I see here at NYC events boldly lying to PR agents faces. I know this, but HOW don’t they know this?
I can’t tell you the number of times brands and agencies have said no to me because I don’t have these tens and thousands of fake followers. Sure, I have 7k followers on Instagram, but hello I also have 11k on my Youtube channel, and get this– THEY AREN’T FAKE! It’s real influence. Real people liking and engaging in my daily posts.
How are they not getting caught? Another great question!
The bigger question is; HOW ARE COMPANIES ALLOWING THIS TO FALL BY THE WAIST? Do these large brands like Walmart, Mattel, Marriott, etc.. not really care where their money goes?
Back in 2014 Instagram purged spammy profile accounts which made a lot of fake influencers nervous, heck no one was safe. Even Mase the rapper/priest/whatever he is these days, lost 1.3 million followers making him delete his account due to shame. Agencies that sell those bots aka fake profiles, claiming to be people, have gotten a lot smarter– being active on those fake accounts, signing in periodically, basic commenting on profiles, following, and liking photos making Instagram think they’re real people. Instagram AGAIN is setting up for another ‘blowout’, claiming to hurt these businesses cheating the system and abusing the process.
So do you want to know how to catch a fake influencer? There’s this thing called Social Blade, which allows you to look up anyone from twitter, Instagram, Youtube and Twitch to see the day by day growth and unfollowing of users. It’s really that easy to check in on people. Thus, why I ask HOW does this just slip by?
Ready for some evidence?
1 in 110 people like the photo? Out of 63,000 followers, only 4 people commented? Is something unbalanced or is this ‘influencer’ not so influential? But she gets paid primo price and lands all the deals over honest influencers.
These people are full of followers like this. Obvious bot accounts look like this.
This is the daily activity of a person who buys followers.
This person has an organized buying schedule. They lose followers at an alarming pace.
This doesn’t send off any red flags? HOW!!
Smart Linkup suggest to visit the influencer’s follower page, and click through to a dozen or so accounts at random.
Your influencer may be a fake if they are followed by a seemingly disproportionate number of accounts who:
1. Follow 10K+ persons
2. Don’t have a profile image
3. Have never posted, or have only posted once or twice
4. Utilize a foreign language (keep in mind the location and language of the influencer)
5. Have Kik accounts as their URL
I’m tired of getting passed up on opportunities and having these fake influencers steal my chance at opportunities because they want to lie and deceive brand controllers. Do we blame the PR companies for creating this anxiety to reach such numbers that people have to build a synthetic brand? The PR companies that aren’t doing their research and just wanting high follower count or the influencer who steal these opportunities; free trips, speaking engagements, early release products, etc… This business is a hustler’s market, but a hustle to be hustled market?
When has it been enough?
WHAT IF: You were extremely close to said brands and you KNOW of people who steal these opportunities that they’re spending time, money and resources on, do you turn them in? What is moral…
EmmieMar 10, 2018 at 2:20 pm
I feel the same frustrations. Here’s the problem with Social Blade though – it shows those stats, but still assigns grades to each account. Even if you on the daily buy 5K followers, then lose thousands each day, you can still have a B+ rating. Whereas I’ve never bought followers and have a decent follower number and high engagement have a D- rating. So while I’d love companies to start using tools and digging like this, they also need to realize the limitations of the tool.
BetsyMar 13, 2018 at 8:35 am
Yes, I don’t know how they’re getting away with it but they are smh. Double edge sword
Why An Even Playing Field Matters: When the Influencer Field is Artificial Turf - A Grande LifeMar 8, 2018 at 1:22 pm
[…] Recently, there’s been a lot of buzz on Instagram strategies. I talked about one, Instagram loops, last month and that conversation hasn’t fizzled out. In fact, it’s grown. Now the conversation has grown into comment pods, follow/unfollow tactics and buying fake followers. […]
NatalieMar 8, 2018 at 11:04 am
Let them cheat. Don’t give it another thought. I mean it. You can’t look at anyone else. It’s not our job to judge but it’s our job to keep our site in check and our audience engaged. I do know it’s fustrating. I feel it a bit too. But instead of letting it piss you off, let it inspire you to be a better you. (geezzz I sounds like the social media Mr. Rogers. lol)
BetsyMar 9, 2018 at 9:46 pm
Lol you’re right in many ways, but it’s hard to let it go. We need to just come together and start letting brands know what the deal is.
Amy GreeneMar 8, 2018 at 10:28 am
Thanks so much for this article. I am not happy with my Instagram score, since mine is authentic. But I think you can see that, since I do not have any real spikes in my followers. I hope they look at the whole picture when they are looking at this information.
BetsyMar 9, 2018 at 9:45 pm
We should start sending snapshots of it from social blade so that can sway them to look into the other influencers they’re thinking of hiring.
SarahMar 8, 2018 at 9:52 am
Thank you for writing this. I know a blogger who I thought was just an awesome, hard-working influenecer in my niche. We started at the same time, connected and I just discovered she has a REALLY LARGE fake following. I’ve been taking a blogging hiatus bc I, well, my damn feelings were hurt. I had been passed over on oops from networks and brands and she made tons of money from working with them having FAKE NUMBERS. How? I’m still mad about it.
BetsyMar 9, 2018 at 9:44 pm
OMG! Same here– those bloggers who have been doing this for 10+ years have bought and they’re OG’s. They spit a good game and have the fake numbers on top of that it’s the brands fault for not looking into this. Don’t quit though! That never should deter you from working hard.
KarenMar 7, 2018 at 4:43 pm
Love this!!!! So many times have I sat there going WTH-how did they grow so fast? And it sucks to get turned down for being…REAL!
BetsyMar 8, 2018 at 12:05 am
Yep! It’s so obvious I’m just baffled how companies don’t do their research
Lynda NataleMar 7, 2018 at 3:34 pm
Thank you for posting . As i have said before I never claim to be whom I am not ,but when I see people who do less than nothing and have all these followers and get invited to events it makes you question why you are doing it in the first place !
BetsyMar 8, 2018 at 12:05 am
Makes you want to cheat too since apparently brands don’t care. I get it girl! It drives me crazy!
Heather Tomoyasu (@USJapanFam)Mar 7, 2018 at 2:53 pm
Ughhhhh it’s so hard, you find yourself desperate to obtain that magical milestone that’ll bring you to the next level with brands and, well, pay, but you’re right, you can’t go about it the wrong way. You have to be smart, patient, and know when and how to use your money. I’m still trying to figure this out – with IG / FB / YouTube, when to pay to promote a post for example, no wait, that’s actually a question – tell me, please!!! hahahha but seriously, I’m with you mama, it’s one thing to feel jealousy when someone shoots to fame quickly, it’s another when it’s a complete lie.
BetsyMar 8, 2018 at 12:09 am
Haha! I know! This market is so hard nowadays and I understand the want to succeed, but we shouldn’t be turned down just because we’re micro-influencers who are doing the actual hard work in obtaining a real audience.