I’ll probably get some sh*t for this post, but so be it.
As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, by day, I’m a publicist. This includes crafting pitches for clients, reaching out to traditional media and now, because of the importance of the social media influencer industry, pitching influencers as well.
By night (or just any other moment I’m not doing PR things), I’m a content creator and “social media influencer.” <—I actually hate calling myself that. I internally cringe. But for the purpose of this blog post, had no clue how to categorize myself.
So, as you can see, I work on both sides of the industry and as a publicist, I understand what influencers want and as an influencer, I understand what publicists want.
Why am I explaining this? Because as of recently, I’ve become increasingly discouraged and frusted by how many Instagrammers I’ve “caught” buying followers. Now, I don’t actually call them out on this, but you can bet that they’re immediately put on my black list as an influencer I’ll never let work with my clients. I mean, if you buy followers, what’s the point? It isn’t like you are directing your audience to my client’s busines… because the fake followers are… fake.
To help my fellow publicists, I’ve included below a basic “how to” on determining if an influencer has fake followers.
- Visit www.SocialBlade.com
- In the top right corner, type in social media influencer’s handle and choose the “Instagram” option – clieck enter for influencer’s profile details to show up.
- On left side of screen, click the “Detailed Stats” option
- Scroll down and view the line graph — above line graph I’m talking about, it’ll say “Total Instagram Followers for X”
Now, if this influencer’s following grew organically (aka – no bought followers), you’ll see that the line gradually rises with no steep jumps (see photo below).
If the influencer DID buy followers, you’ll see a large jump in followers in one day — rather than the line gradually getting higher. This shows when and how many followers were purchased (see photo below). Even better, if you see their followers decline steeply, it is most likely because Instagram did a fake follower cleanse (hehehehehe – yay!).
Lastly, some social media influencers don’t buy followers, but it could possibly look like they did. To give them the benefit of the doubt, there is a possibility that one that day, they received a huge media placement and/or a larger Instagram account shared their image. But, just to make sure, do your research and don’t just rely on the # of followers they have.