As a millennial and extreme user, I religiously rely on the Instagram algorithm to inform me about the newest trends. It is the easiest way for me to learn about Herbivore’s new skincare product that is going to change my life forever or the latest GTD app that is going to transform the way I work, allowing me to live a more balanced life. And, I am not the only person who does this as Instagram is number one for the most social media engagement, and it has over 800 million active users. That is 800 million people who all want to be Insta-famous!
The intrinsic drive to build a following has transformed IG from merely a creative communication app to the seminal social media app for content, influencer marketing, and networking. This immense competition can cause users to spiral into desperation, prompting them to buy their followers rather than gain their audiences honestly and organically. Don’t do this. Fake social media followers will never be a smart investment, and here are 5 reasons why:
1.Low Engagement is Embarrassing.
I can’t think of anything more embarrassing than having 10,000 Instagram followers but only twenty to thirty likes on my posts. Hootsuite conducted an experiment to prove buying Instagram followers is a bad investment by creating a new account and paying $9.95 USD for 1,000 “legitimate” followers. After 24 hours, Hootsuite’s account hit 1,000 followers, but they had received zero comments and likes. Buying followers do not lead to higher engagement or increased sales. However, it is the perfect way to expose your fraudulent self.
2.“Keep it a hundred, I’d rather you trust me than to ‘love me’.”
Are you willing to put your brand’s integrity and reputation at risk for fake love? Please say no. The new Generational Icon, Kendrick Lamar, hits home with his statement, “I’d rather you trust me than to ‘love me’.” Brands and influencers should consider this as trust takes precedence over love in the business world. If people don’t trust you, people won’t actively follow you or invest in your products or services. In an interview with Racked, Siel Devos, a well-known fashion blogger, said the trend in buying followers was depressing-- “you begin to realize after a while that it's all fake. The focus is not on fashion, it's about how they can get bigger and richer and more famous.” It comes down to a question of morality.
3.“People don’t buy what you do; people buy why you do it.”
To ensure success as a brand or influencer, it is extremely important to attract the right audience. From the words of Simon Sinek, marketing consultant and bestselling author of “Start with Why,” “people don’t buy what you do; people buy why you do it.” It is this emotional connection that drives a person to become a follower—they must believe in what you believe and what your brand represents. Unless your target audience is bot followers, buying followers will only hurt your brand’s reputation and hinder your ability to organically grow. Dishonesty transcends. The last thing you want is for people to start associating your dishonesty with the quality of your products and services.
The Instagram purge is could be upon us once again. Back in 2014, Instagram deleted all of the fake Instagram accounts. This affected everyone. For scale, Justin Bieber had over 23 million followers and in one fell swoop, he lost 3.5 million followers. Now, this isn’t so scathing on a celebrity’s status; however, this was detrimental for some influencers who readily relied on fake accounts. An extreme example is the ChirangChirang78 account. After all was said and done, the account dropped from 3.9 million followers to eight. This shows how the number of followers one has can be totally irrelevant to one’s success, which is a great segway to the next point.
5.No One Cares
It turns out people have stopped chasing followers on social media. Just this last month, IBR Conferences held their annual forum on Future Social Media Strategy for 2018 in Melbourne, and the general consensus was to “move beyond fans, followers, and likes into a new realm of social possibility” which largely involves the ever popular, micro live video. According to Evan Asano, CEO and founder of Megakix, another influencer marketing company based in Santa Monica, “Brands are getting more savvy. They're looking at the engagement rate per post compared to your number of followers." Essentially, follower count has become an inaccurate method for brands to research influencers.
There are no shortcuts. Building an engaged follower base requires time, effort, and an integrated intelligent approach. If you want to capitalize on your IG without sacrificing your brand’s integrity or deceiving your social media community, there are still several tips you can employ to build your following like ensuring creative and genuine content by making scheduled posts, hosting giveaways, crafting your unique Instagram style, branding through hashtags and creating a company hashtag. Most importantly, you should understand your market and actively engage with your account.
The process of growing your IG follower base is time-consuming and many people find it overwhelming. Using a professional platform such as Scrunch can transform IG marketing experience. If you need assistance, contact Scrunch today!