Today I'm going to be talking about three ways you can identify accounts with fake Instagram followers. Before we get started, I just wanted to say thank you to Terri for sending this topic to talk about today. So, Terri, if you're listening, thank you very much.
I'm sure most of you know, that it is possible to buy followers on social media. There was actually a story not too long ago. Someone was speculating about what portion of Donald Trump's followers on Twitter were actually fake or bots.
It's nothing new, but right now, I'm actually look at a website, and it's called buyigfollowers.biz, and I'm actually … I mean, I've known that you can buy followers, but to actually see this, is pretty amazing. You can go on, and you can buy a 1,000 followers for just $89. They also have a deal where you can subscribe to their service and get a 1,000 followers a month for $79.21 a month. So, yeah. It's pretty crazy, and it goes all the way up, you can buy up to 20,000 followers at a time. And just in case you're curious, that is going to cost you $1,799. But, wait you can't have a bunch of followers and not have any likes, so you can actually buy 500 likes for $34. Or, you can save and buy in bulk, and you get 20,000 likes for only $1,119.
3 Ways to Identify Accounts with Fake Instagram Followers
Okay, so now you see how easy it is to get fake Instagram followers. Let's talk about how you can identify accounts that use fake followers.
- The number one, the most obvious way to know is, if you see an account that has a really high follower count, but a really low engagement rate. And by engagement, I mean, likes and comments. According to a recent article by Forbes, the rule of thumb is that you should get around 10% engagement proposed. So if you've got an account that has a 1,000 followers, then you probably should be getting around a 100 likes per post. If you see the count that has a 1,000 followers and only has like 10 likes per photo, then you know that's probably something going on there.
But, one thing to keep in mind is, you want to make sure the account is newer, because if it's a really old account, it's possible that maybe that person kind of abandoned the account. And it just can kind of go dormant that way. I have a Twitter account that I used a lot in 2007, '08. I kind of just let it go for a while and really killed the engagement. The engagement really doesn't match the follower count at all. That's just something to keep in mind. If you see a relatively new Instagram account with a high follower count and low engagement, then you know something's fishy.
- Okay, the number two way to identify fake followers is if an account has a higher follower count, but very few posts. Now it is possible to have this naturally, like maybe it's a famous person, or a well-known person, or a well-known company. But, if it's just someone you've never heard of, and they've got a really high follower account, and they haven't really posted anything, then something fishy is going on, again.
- Okay, and the third thing to look for is going to be an account that has gotten a lot of followers in a really short period of time. Again, that can happen naturally, but it's only probably going to happen to someone who's either had, either been in the news, or famous, or somehow have been, had some sort of attention drawn to them.
A way that you can check this is, there's a tool that's called SocialBlade.com, and you can go there, and put in a person's username, and they will give you options for Twitter and Instagram. You just click on whichever one you want to look at and it shows you how many followers someone has gained over a certain period of time. There's a cool chart that's really useful. It's really cool to check out. So if you're curious about any Instagram or Twitter account, go to SocialBlade.com, put in the username, and you'll see some really cool data.
How to Get More Followers and Get More Engagement on Instagram
Okay, so now that we've talked about how to identify fake followers, we should probably talk a little bit about how to get more followers and get more engagement. Now I'm obviously not an expert in getting Instagram followers. You can go to Instagram.com/allthingsblogging and see that, but over the past six months or so, I have been kind of paying attention to what I've been doing since it's a brand new Instagram account. I've been seeing what's been working and what hasn't really been working. I haven't really been as present in Instagram as I should be, but I do my best.
Here are the things I've learned over the past several months posting on Instagram.
- The first thing I've learned is that posting regularly really helps. It's a lot like a blog. You want to … You don't have to do it every single day, but it's really good to try and keep some sort of a schedule. For me, I think, two or three times a week is pretty good.
- The second thing that I have learned, and this one seems pretty obvious, but you have to really post helpful or interesting content. You can't just post anything. For example, I find that when I post helpful tips, it's a picture that has some sort of a tip or advice about blogging. Those get a lot of engagement. But, when I post just a link to the latest podcast episode or the newest blog post I've done, they tend to get around 75% to 80% less engagement. I think the best strategy seems to be to post mostly helpful posts. Mostly things that are helpful or entertaining. And then, maybe one out of every five posts, you could post something that promotes your blog, or podcast, or whatever it is.
- Okay, and the third tip I have is one I actually got from my wife. And that is, to engage with others as much as you can. So if someone posts something that you like, you should definitely like it, but even better, is to just have a little comment. And it doesn't even have to be anything major. Just maybe it can be a smiley face, or LOL, or whatever it is. Those really help for people to notice you and then look at your posts. Because, after all, that's what it is. It's social media. So be social.
All right. That's going to do it for this episode. If you have any questions about what I talked about, or if you've got a question you'd like me to answer on an upcoming podcast, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll make sure to get back to you right away. And finally, if you haven't had a chance yet, please take a minute or two to give us a rating or a review on iTunes, Stitcher, the Google Play Store, or anywhere else you might be listening to this podcast from. As always, thank you so much for joining me and I hope the rest of your week is great. I hope you'll join me next week for another episode of All Things Blogging.