We’ve all dealt with fake friends in our lives, but with the rise of social media, a new phenomena has risen. Now, ghost or transparent followers pop up often and they can have a negative effect on your brand. Unfortunately, many people assume the trick to becoming noticed on Instagram is creating the illusion of popularity. This is not true because fake followers, like fake friends, are very obvious and will leech off of you if you’re not careful.
Fake followers on Instagram give you little-to-no engagement, which can affect how many people see your brand’s posts (thanks to the new algorithm) and lower the overall quality of your brand’s Instagram page. Here are some important steps you can take to make sure your account stays above this.
If a user has 10,000 followers on Instagram but their posts only receives 30 likes and 5 comments, then it’s safe to assume there are many inactive or fake accounts following them. Typically, someone with that many followers should be receiving 300 likes at the very least.
You never want to look like you have purchased followers or use bots to get fake engagement. Often times, getting followed by these fake accounts is out of your control since they’re everywhere on Instagram. They’re easily identifiable if you click through your follower list or comb through your comments. Typically these fake followers have an icon that doesn’t really make sense, is pixelated or a commercial image that doesn’t align with what the account username is. They also have very random or obviously spammy usernames.
When you go onto their profiles, they typically have zero posts and have zero or a small amount of followers, but the account is following hundreds or thousands of users.
Once you can distinguish between the real and the fake: block them. This may seem like a redundant process. Going through one-by-one and blocking these accounts is tedious, especially if you’re a brand with a larger following. Luckily, there are a variety of third-party apps and plugins you can use to mass block these fake accounts. Here is one that has good reviews.
It’s important to block these accounts because bots use each other to find more accounts to spam. If you can successfully locate and block these accounts from accessing your feed, this will help stop the process of other robots finding and interacting with you. Fake accounts only produce more fake accounts, and you don’t want the people who follow you to have spam accounts following them too.
Hashtags can be cute, useful and strategic when you use them sparingly. However, they are can also create problems for your brand’s account. Many bots will explore hashtags and invade accounts who attached a certain hashtag onto their photo. For example, a hairdresser may send a bot to invade accounts who use the hashtag #NeedAHaircut or #hairstyle, or anything related to that subject matter. We find that if you use more long-tail hashtags, you will have less of an issue. For example use #EasyVeganRecipes vs. #Recipe. Check out our blog on how to pick the right hashtags for more info.
This can be difficult to avoid, but using less general hashtags along with implementing your brand’s own unique hashtags can make a difference.
Keep it Real
The key component to running a great Instagram account is to post high quality, relatable content. By utilizing Instagram Stories, IGTV and engaging your current followers, you’ll attract a real audience. The last thing you want to do is pay for followers and make your brand’s account seem like a place where spam bots come to stay.
There’s a lot of ways you can develop your brand’s presence on Instagram and fake followers are not the answer. Just remember to keep it authentic and relevant and you’re halfway there. Click here to see how Statusphere can help you out!