Over the last week and a bit I have been following an online thread regarding Instagram fakers who buy; their followers, likes, and comments. Wait what? Yes, guys you can actually buy: Instagram followers, automatic likes for your posts, and comments to make it look like you’re a somebody. Maybe the idea of having big (yet fake) online following makes those fakers feel like it will attract more brands, and attract more followers because of the big (fake) following. It’s so strange to me, because although I knew it was thing, I didn’t really think that “online influencers” would actually go ahead, and buy into all the faking. (hashtag welcome to the future)
So, when this online thread first appeared, I was taken aback that some brands fall for it. They fall for the fake, without questioning the actual social media interaction and engagement rate, through to the genuine and authentic influence between influencers and their audience. In my last online honesty post I spoke about how some (not all) online influencers fabricate a lifestyle, or portray themselves to be something online, that they actually aren’t. It’s the same with people who feel the need to buy an audience. Because who are they speaking to ? —> SPAM – fake accounts that’s who! And who is interacting with them? —> Generated fake comments: “like for like, follow for follow, nice, this is good, good pic. etc” Their numbers may be huge, but their authentic (real) following is actually quite small. Must be quite lonely on that side of the fence, hanging out with fake accounts.
It reminds me of “cat fishing” : when people fake an identity, and find someone online, then when confronted with them in person they are not what their profile picture promised them to be! The same goes with having a fake following, it becomes catfish for brands. Brands that think “wow look at those followers!”, then brands invest in influencers that “catfished” them. OUCH! But the good news is that brands and other influencers / bloggers are cottoning on to the online fakers. Brands are becoming more aware of looking into audience interaction, stats, organic reach and authentic influence between followers and influencers. Yay!
Moral of the story : Don’t fake it, it’s not worth it!
Upon following said thread, which was so eye opening, was how bitter it made other influencers / bloggers feel. Especially, because some of them have worked so hard to build just a couple of thousand followers organically over the years. Then they get thrown under the bus when brands choose to work with fake influencers! I am not going to lie, I feel for them, and I think it’s only fair that they shake it up with PR companies and brands by shedding a light on the issue of online fakers. You go guys! However, we shouldn’t let the fake influencers completely consume us to the point of crazy. Make note of it, yes, but we shouldn’t relish in it and obsess over it. Yes, it’s not fair that there are others out there online who are cheating the system, but I believe that brands are becoming more aware of this issue.
Moral of the story : make note of the fakers, but don’t let it distract you from what you’re doing. Stay the path, keep working hard, because all of your handwork will pay off!
Then there are a few people like me, who are watching, and learning through observing, and we keep on going regardless. WHY? Because I know my brand, I know the heart of what I am doing, I know that my heart and motives are pure, and I know the purpose that it serves. I am becoming more familiar with my target audience, and I know what I love, and I know what my audience loves. Therefore, I know that the right brands will want to work with me, and my platform at the right time. I try to avoid getting into all the online drama, gossip, tension, and frustration. We need to always use wisdom, and think long term when it comes to what we allow ourselves to entertain online or offline.
Sometimes, we can get so caught up in what everyone is / isn’t doing online. It then becomes time consuming, and emotionally draining. Someone else’s fight does not have to always be our fight.
Moral of the story : You do you boo, always! Smile and wave, smile and wave and happy typing! 🙂
- Remember why you started blogging in the first place, or whatever it is that you do online.
- Hold onto the vision of what you stand for.
- Do not compare your followers, reach or audience with anyone else’s. Who you are speaking to is your unique audience – celebrate and acknowledge that sweet factor!
- Whatever you do online, make sure it speaks of you, and speaks of your brand 100%. Therefore, do not replicate somebody else success. Just do you boo!
- Don’t try to buy fame by buying an online following. Be secure and brave enough to grow your online following naturally. It may require extra handwork and effort, but it will be worth it.
- Know your audience that you are targeting and trying to reach.
- Acknowledge and interact with your online audience, and remember to appreciate them. They are the reason why your following grows, or sustains long term.
- LOVE what you do – let your love, heart, and passion always shine through whatever you do.