How to find out if bloggers have fake followers and if they have fictitious engagement rates on Instagram.

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Influencers with Fake followers

Real followers – real awareness. Fake followers – 0 awareness!

Real Instagram users are usually not following too many people, they have some photos, information about themselves in the bio, and some followers, often have private accounts. Fake accounts usually don’t have any photos or have stolen ones, following too many people 1.5k +, they don’t have any information in the bio or strange info, they usually don’t have followers or very few of them around 5-50 people. Fake followers never engage and are not interested in the content, so they basically just make a good number of followers for bloggers. Such influencers will never achieve good awareness and simply use brands and hotels, without giving anything in return. Why are some bloggers still buying followers even though it is illegal? Bloggers are always under pressure, there is high competition on Instagram and it is very hard to grow organically lately. It is much cheaper to buy followers from special services, which Instagram doesn’t approve than paying targeted promotions on Instagram that bring them real followers who are interested in the blogger, places, hotels, brands, and anything else that influencers share on their channels. A sad reality, however NOT all bloggers do that. It doesn’t matter how many followers an influencer has, as long as the audience is real and targeted. It is important that followers are interested in the influencer’s content, engage, trust, and interested to buy the products or stay in the same hotel that the blogger promotes. If is a luxury travel blogger with 10 thousand followers, who are interested in travel and can afford to stay in luxury resorts – this will be a very good awareness for any hotel in the same niche. If a blogger has 100 thousand followers but only 10% of his/her followers are interested in luxury hotels, means that the hotel will receive the same awareness as with the first blogger, who has only 10 thousand followers. Sometimes a number is just a number. Any blogger can have suspicious followers this is normal, as long as there is not a large percent of them. Of course, bloggers who have 1 million followers and many of them are interested in luxury travel, will make much higher awareness for any hotel or brand than bloggers who have only 10 thousand people, however, they highly likely have different audiences and followers from different countries, so it’s good to collaborate with micro-influencers and big influencers. In both cases, you will get good promotion of your brand. Bloggers who have only 10-30 thousand followers often try harder than big bloggers, since they really want to make a good impression and get new contracts, they will probably provide more content (although it is not always so).

How bloggers make fake engagement on Instagram?

Many bloggers have engagement groups and buy special services to improve their statistics. If a blogger has comments under each post only from other bloggers and communities, and never from her/his followers or usual Instagram users, be sure that this is an engagement group, and followers are not interested in the blogger’s content. If a blogger has comments from followers and normal users, also from communities and other bloggers this is a real engagement, the audience is interested in the blogger’s content. If an influencer has too many comments, it means only 3 variants – he is an amazing influencer who can communicate with her/his audience, or this blogger is a member of many engagement groups, or she/he is buying comments and likes from special services (bots).

Follow – unfollow.

I have already said that it is difficult to grow on Instagram lately, so many bloggers, especially at the beginning, when they have only 5-50 thousand followers, use the “follow- unfollow” tactic. This means they follow people to be noticed and then unfollow them when they see that they have followed them back. Why are such followers also not perfect for brand awareness? Because usually, these are accounts similar to the accounts of bloggers, travel groups, other travel or fashion bloggers, people who want to become influencers, and some strangers who started following them only out of kindness. Thus, these followers are again not interested in the blogger and probably will not buy anything from this blogger. How do you find out if an influencer uses this tactic? It’s simple, check how many accounts the blogger is following to, more than 2 thousand? That is a lot! In 95% she/he is using this tactic. This is also noticeable when you see when a blogger follows 500 people this week and 1 thousand next week, be sure it is a follow-unfollow tactic. Of course, there are always exceptions, some bloggers follow many people for real, but most of the time there is something else.

Why did I write this blog, after which, probably, some bloggers will hate me?  I think we need to improve this industry and build a trustful relationship between influencers and brands. Any collaboration should be based on a mutually beneficial partnership, and not only on the benefit for one party. When a blogger has a good audience and makes good advertising, brands should pay for this work, if a blogger has a fake audience, he should not work with any brand.

I hope that I was able to help you, and you learned something new about bloggers. Please be attentive when you start collaborating with any influencers, and always check their followers and comments.

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Travel experience photo from Atravelgirl Blog

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