What Can Fake Followers Cost Your Instagram Campaigns?
You can’t buy friends, but you can buy Instagram followers. A simple search will provide you with resources that enable you to significantly bolster your follower count for as little as $6. However, buyer beware: that boost comes with several pitfalls. Reports reveal that influencers who’ve inflated their social media status with the help of fake followers can cost advertisers(Instagram Campaigns) up to $1.3 billion per year, or more.
There’s more to be lost on fake followers than money, though.
How common are bots among your followers? Let’s dive into the issue and see how Mr. Roboto has changed the way marketers need to interact with consumers on social media.
Follower Boosting and Influencer Marketing
While influencer marketing is on the rise, it’s also becoming costly for marketers in ways they may not have expected. To make themselves appear more marketable, some influencers are using their funds to purchase followers. When they receive influencer partnerships, the companies they’re working for are losing money. This follower fraud makes up 15 percent of the reported international marketing budget. If you don’t research your potential influencer partner, you may find yourself contributing to that loss.
Additional Fake Follower Costs
Alongside the financial pitfalls of fake followers, you’ll also see some of the additional detriments:
- Engagement Drop-offs: While a hefty follower count will draw in partnerships early on in your social media career, those engagements will quickly drop off. Compare that instant gratification to organic growth, and you’ll find that long-term audience generation builds your reputation among consumers and potential partners.
- Distorted Performance Metrics: Fake followers will like and share your content as readily as real followers will. However, because none of these bots are capable of making a purchase, your analytics will be blown out of proportion to the point where they’ll no longer be able to aid your financial predictions.
- Social Media Purges: Some platforms, such as Instagram Campaigns, routinely purge robotic followers from existing profiles. If you’ve invested in fake followers, know that your count won’t last long. Instead of investing more money in follower replenishment, why not focus on engaging with the audience you do have?
Running a Social Media Audit
If you think you may have accidentally invited fake followers onto your social media accounts, you can run a social media audit to weed them out. Some of the best ways to do so, outside of using third-party tools, include the following:
- Assess a follower’s comments for repetition or originality.
- Check the follower count of your own followers and compare it to the quality of their content.
- If a follower unfollows you after you follow, you’re likely dealing with a bot.
- If an account only has a few followers but is following a high number of accounts, you may be dealing with a bot.
Image attribution: faraktinov – stock.adobe.com