The Frustration of Fakeness

1 March 2017
If you are a regular reader of my blog you will know that back in April of last year I faced the decision of whether to start a new instagram account, specifically dedicated to my blog. After a twitter poll and a list of positives and negatives, I started my new account but this meant starting from scratch. I had zero followers and wanted to grow quickly to catch up with similar bloggers whose accounts were 3 or 4 years old but at no point did it cross my mind to buy fake followers.

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Now nearly 10 months down the line and with 1370 loyal followers to my name, I am starting to realise that many others have chosen not to genuinely grow their account like myself, and I'm not the only one who has started to notice it. Most days I will see fellow bloggers complaining on Twitter about the frustration with high profile instagramers with large numbers of fake followers and low engagement. This is not out of jealously of their 'large' following but out of despair that PR's are sending working their way. 

Blogger Laurzrah shared on twitter her findings after she investigated how easy it really is to buy fake followers. According to her tweets, it costs about £10 for 1000 followers, to which another user responded with a screen shot of a website stating how safe and easy it was to buy followers with no repercussions. With figures like these it is no wonder many are tempted to buy the amount of followers that it's taken me nearly a year to build up, in just a matter of minutes. But just because it is tempting does not mean that it is right.




Now it is quite easy to spot an account with a large proportion of fake followers. Often I will see people with 10 times the number of 'followers' that I have but receiving similar amounts of engagement, with photos averaging around 350 likes. Yet because they have a lot of 'followers', they have brands left, right and centre wanting to work with them. Now this post is not about wanting more brands to work with me, as I understand that my account is very much in its infancy stages but instead my confusion as to why brands will work with bloggers often knowing that the majority of their following is fake?

Perhaps it's down to the fact that social media is still a relatively new concept in terms of marketing. A lot of people working higher up in marketing at brands may be of a slightly older generation and are hence may be still getting to grips with social media while to us millennials it comes naturally. Perhaps many do not realise that likes and comments are just as important as followers and instead ask their PR's to find bloggers who meet certain criteria in terms of followers but not engagement. With PR's being under huge amounts of pressure they may not have the time to check accounts for fake followers or perhaps simply do not care. 


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But at the end of the day, businesses are the one's who are losing out on their investment. They're paying and sending products to bloggers with a 20k following, hoping to get that following to engage with their brand. But when only 2000 of those 20,000 people are real, then only a third of those people are engaging with the account and even less than that will go on to engage with the brand, brands are not getting a very good return on investment.

Not to mention it seriously damages bloggers motivation. What's the point of me working hard to build a genuine following when Sally over there is buying followers and getting praise for doing nothing?



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What I Am Wearing | Missguided Jumper, Boohoo Shirt, Topshop Jacket (Similar), Topshop Jeans, Coach Nolita Bag, Adidas Superstars

All I hope is that Instagram does another big clear out of all of these fake accounts and these people are put back to square one. I also hope that PR's start to realise that fake followers do nothing for their business and start to work with bloggers based on levels of engagement. Until then I shall keep struggling on and being honest, knowing that I have never cheated my way to success.

Eleanor xx
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