Instagram is a medium where every brand wants to grow big, as quickly as possible. One of the key metrics, by which Brands or Influencers show their might on Instagram, is the number of Followers on their account.
But, this is only half of the Story! Followers are mere numbers, and without equivalent engagement, it means nothing. It brings ZERO value to the business or the Brand.
What is the harm in growing Instant Ghost Follower base?
It is tempting to instantly grow the Followers count on your account and showcase to the world that you are big! Buying them is cheap — Only $90 will get you, 1000 Followers. (Google “buy Instagram followers,” and you’re inundated with options). You will quickly get the numbers to show. But, what about the business? The amazing content you publish on your handle will have no Viewers, no Likes, no Comments. Because, all you have are Ghost Followers, which do not react to anything!
You want a high number of followers on Your account to showcase your content to the larger audience, drive traffic on your Website, generate enquiries, and grow your business. Nothing seems to happen if you have not acquired the REAL followers, who followed you because they loved what you post.
Social Media Marketing is becoming the largest traffic driver for Content-based businesses. And, if you are not doing well on Social Media flag-bearer Platform Instagram yet, then better start focusing on it now. But, the right way!
Four major issues in adding Ghost followers.
One — Instagram gives your Content less Priority on Feed.
The Instagram algorithm constantly pushes up the content from an account which is highly engaging. Now, how does Instagram determine the engagement number? This is simple. Let’s say, you have 10K Followers, and you generate 1K Likes on a Post. So, your engagement number is 0.1 (1K Likes / 10K Followers). Now, you added 40K Ghost Followers. So, total Followers now is 50K, but the Likes generated stays the same, which is 1K. So, your new engagement number is 0.02(1K Likes / 50K Followers). The Instagram algorithm will now give substantially less priority to your account vs another account, which has genuine 10K followers and slowly the other account will go past your follower base with real followers count.
Two — Instagram may suspend your account.
Instagram wants that its accounts remain engaging enough to continue building the Platform’s reputation and Utility in the Industry. Accounts, which add Fake followers, do not remain engaging enough. This gets tracked by Instagram algorithms, leading to deprioritization and drop in engagement. Eventually, leading to suspension or deletion of an account by Instagram. This would be extremely bad for the business, which you so meticulously want to build and grow!
Here is the link on Instagram that prohibits account to do this. We would go to the extreme and recommend to delete the Fake followers from your account if in the past you have done so. This will help you start with a fresh slate.
Three — Audience would know that you have Fake Followers.
Fake followers do not react to the post. So, if you have, let’s say 50K+ Followers on your account, out of which 45K+ are Fake ones, then only 5K Followers are contributing to Likes & Comments on your posts. On average, any account on Instagram generally generates 1–5% Likes count for the followers it has. So, for 5K followers, you would generate average likes between 50 to 250. Now, you have 50K+ followers, which should bring between 750 to 2500 likes.
If users see that you have huge followers base, they might click to your account. But, once they start browsing your content and see that no one is engaging, they’ll know that either you’ve bought your followers or your content is bad leading to distrust between them and your brand.
Also, the follower's count does not increase substantially in a short period (1–2 days).
Notice the graph below. Towards the end of Feb 18, the account (one of the Influencers in Wedding domain in India) has added bulk Followers to the tune of 10K+ in 2 days. Again, towards the end of Jun 18, it added approximately 10K+ Bulk Followers. All these just to beef up the followers count with ZERO real value to the business. Or, if there is :). Maybe to pull Vendors with the fake numbers.
A Wedding Influencer Account in India, which has bought Fake Followers at different intervals.
Four — Your Fake Followers Unfollow you every day slowly.
They are not real followers, so they do not grow on their own. Companies, which offer Ghost followers, have these followers in limited supply. They create hundreds of thousands of fake users on the Instagram platform just to run this business. If some of you have done this, you would notice that your Followers count is decreasing with each passing day or week. Companies generally add followers in Bulk and gradually with time they keep unfollowing your account. We have seen numerous accounts where the same pattern is visible. In a day, accounts’ followers increase by 10K, but everyday followers reduce by 25–100. Accounts get ever dependent on adding Bulk followers leading to no impact on business.
Followers trend of an Anonymous Account, which has bulk Fake Followers.
Three things to notice
Above Anonymous Account added Ghost Followers on April 2016.
Followers count continuously dropped between July to Oct.
Account added Ghost Followers again on April 2017.
For a much in-depth study about Ghost Followers Economy on Social Media, do check out this NYTimes Article.
How do you spot, if an account has Fake Followers?
First. Likes count should be a minimum of 1% of Followers count.
Generally, for an average engaging account, Likes Count is about 1%–2%. For an extremely popular or engaging account, Likes Count goes up to 10%–12% of Followers Count.
So, if an account has 10K Followers, it should generate average Likes between 100 to 1000 depending on how engaging it is for its audience.
For example, @eventilaindia Instagram handle has 380K Followers at the time of writing the post. On average, a Single post is generating 5K to 15K likes. So, an astounding 1% to 5% Likes for the Follower base. This number is among the highest in the Wedding Influencer accounts operating in India. Other similar accounts in Weddings domain are generating Likes in the ratio of 0.5% to 2% for the Followers base they have.
Second. Followers count almost always shrink with time.
So, if an account has 10K followers today, the count will decrease over the time. You can notice the pattern if you track an account over a period of time.
Third. Followers growth is never abrupt.
Let’s say an account has 10K followers today and the account has been operating over past one year. Suddenly, the follower's count grows up to 15K in a week. This can’t happen Organically. Something fishy.
Fourth. Most fake profiles are easy to spot.
Scan the followers base of accounts which have Below average engagement. Their Followers would have no profile picture, no photos, and only a few followers if any.
You may realize by now that fake followers are bad for business. So, if you’ve purchased fake followers now is the time to get rid of them. There are easy ways on the Internet available. Just do a google search “Remove fake followers on Instagram” and you will get links which will guide you.
Happy building Social Profile. Feel free to comment on the post. We would be happy to answer any query you have :).
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