Don’t Get Catfished By Fake Instagram Accounts

Don’t Get Catfished By Fake Instagram Accounts

Don't Get Catfished By Fake Instagram Accounts. Fake Instagram accounts are a big problem. They created two fake accounts: A lifestyle influencer and a travel photographer. Next, they purchased fake followers and engagement from a number of different sites that offer these services. Once the fake accounts reached 10,000 followers, they qualified to use influencer-marketing platforms (many influencer marketing platforms have minimum thresholds of 5,000 to 10,000 followers). As long as there’s big money to be made, people will continue to work the system. According to Mediakix, “The Instagram influencer market size is currently $1 billion. If the user has tons of followers, but low engagement, they’re either buying fake followers or they’re not creating content that resonates with their audience. The rule of thumb is that accounts should have at least a 10% engagement per post. If an account is relatively new, and has a sizable number of followers, they’re probably not a real influencer.

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Fake Instagram accounts are a big problem. OK, it’s not famine or nuclear war but it’s a big problem for advertisers. How do they know if the influencers they’re using are real?

Influencer marketing company Mediakix released an interesting study this week. They created two fake accounts: A lifestyle influencer and a travel photographer. They hired a local model and had a one-day photo-shoot that generated the entire lifestyle influencer’s content. For the second account, they used free stock photos of scenic destinations, such as Maui, Paris and Yosemite.

Next, they purchased fake followers and engagement from a number of different sites that offer these services. For each photo they purchased 500-2,500 likes and 10-50 comments.

Once the fake accounts reached 10,000 followers, they qualified to use influencer-marketing platforms (many influencer marketing platforms have minimum thresholds of 5,000 to 10,000 followers). They started applying to new campaigns and soon scored four paid brand deals; two for each account. They received money, free product or both.

Sounds pretty easy, right? It is. That’s why it’s important for brands to investigate their influencers before they throw money at them. As…

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