MusicPromoToday takes a closer look at fake Instagram followers: we investigate how to spot them, why artists still strive to pay for bots, and what consequences getting fake followers can create.
There are many strategies to organically increase your social media engagement and grow the number of followers you have. Unfortunately, it’s time consuming and requires a lot of effort, creativity, and consistency.
Many Instagram users, including major artists and celebrities, decide to take a shortcut and simply buy followers or use bots to increase engagement. Bots become more advanced in an attempt to fool the social media network: with a profile picture, bio, and posts, they look like regular people. But don’t let them fool you.
Wired estimated that there are over 95 million near-perfect human bot-accounts available to be purchased at anytime. You can get them from thousands of available services online that provide you with followers within a few hours.
It’s a common practice for celebrities and top artists to support themselves with fake followers. The recent research carried out by the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance (ICMP) proved that celebrities worldwide, including the Kardashian family members, top musicians, actors and models have a great amount of fake Instagram followers.
The queen of purchased fans is Ellen Degeneres with over 49% of fake Instagram followers! In this top 10 you can also find stars like Ariana Grande (46%), Miley Cyrus (45%) and Katy Perry (44%).
So once we know how a fake IG account looks like, can we spot accounts who use them to grow vanity metrics?
As much as fake engagement is extremely easy to notice, users still spend a lot of money on purchasing it. You might ask why? Well, let’s review a few reasons.
Roberto Cavazos, a University of Baltimore professor and economist in the Business of Fashion report, admits that buying followers is an investment that brings revenue but is also dangerous for branding, “There are significant further indirect costs — notably erosion of trust and potential brand impact,” he explains.
Instagram is obviously not OK with what is happening. Curators and developers are fighting with bots that create fake profiles and users who decide to purchase them.
The Cut recently published a piece about a user who described experiences of supporting accounts with bought follows, “My follower demographic went from mostly women in Chicago, to being 60 percent foreign men between 18 and 24. It’s not a big deal, but if you’re trying to market yourself as having a certain niche, it could make a difference,” she confesses.
In the age of Instagram influencers, many think that having a bunch of followers is a must to succeed in marketing. A report by cybersecurity firm Cheq shows that fake fans will cost brands $1.3 billion in 2019 alone, and in 2020 this number is predicted to grow.
If you are a beginning influencer or a marketing specialist who runs your company’s social media, remember that by using bots you are sabotaging your own marketing strategy. Bought engagement never brings real results in business.
If you want to grow your audience organically, make sure to check out what we offer at MusicPromoToday. From customized Instagram Influencer Campaigns to content and visual creation, to execution with real results, everything to bring loyal fans and valuable engagement to your profile.
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