Quality vs. Quantity

How to Avoid Fake Instagram Engagement

It takes time to build a genuine audience on today’s social media channels. We are followed for our content and creativity. Anyone who knows anything about social media knows it is a full-time job. Hours of time and dedication go into building a loyal Instagram following. Strategizing, networking, and engaging are only a few of the ways we try to create and deliver quality content.

These productions all take time, and time is money! This is why leading by example is the way to go! Being real and original is how and why most of the first Instagram personalities and successful brands are still around today. Of course, being the first is always a plus, but being engaging is the key and consistency is also an absolute MUST.

Leading By Example

Esthetician Edit by LNEonline is the fresh-faced younger sister of Les Nouvelles Esthetiques & Spa Magazine. With original video content, on-location interviews, in-depth marketing tutorials and step-by-step facial protocols, the duo behind the name aim to provide professional skin care education through a second-generation blog platform with the distinct polish and high standard of the sister publication.

With the goal being to produce quality and professional content, the team consists of two very important parts. A licensed esthetician who curates the skin care and spa educational content with distinct knowledge and experience and a Marketing expert that creates content and tools for skin care and spa professionals to grow their business in today’s modern, digital society. Everything produced by Esthetician Edit is genuine, factual, and more than anything REAL content. The Instagram page following has organically grown by connecting with the latest generation of skin care powerhouses and estheticians around the globe.

Being engaging is the key and consistency is also an absolute MUST.

Some would say the success of the skin care blog came from the creation of the #esty2esty chronicles, founded by the duo. Every so often, they have interviews with estheticians from near and far who are making a name for themselves. Some of these relationships have bloomed into wonderful collaborations and educational online videos! From these organic relationships and follow backs, the platform continues to grow, while using REAL engagement.

The Rise of Fake Followers

Your Instagram is a reflection of you and your business. In fact, many people have made a career out of their Instagram accounts, while others use it as their main advertising tool. With the Instagram marketing industry becoming more competitive, the rise of fake followers and fake engagement has grown.

Instagram users looking to grow a fast following are using third party companies to purchase followers, likes, and comments. This tactic is especially deceptive when used by Instagram profiles looking to market their followers to advertisers, promising huge exposure for brands when in reality, their followers are mostly robots and fake accounts.

Let’s explore, shall we?

Fake followers, likes and comments are deceptive to brands. They are lead to believe that this abundance of engagement is where they should focus their future efforts, when in reality they will just be wasting their time and money. Just how do you measure your ROI… what about the reality of your Brand Awareness?

Want to learn how to spot a fake following? Here’s how…

The Buyer

These accounts buy their following. How can you tell? They purchase majority of their following, but “cheapen out” on buying the likes. Why? This can become a costly habit, considering you have to buy likes for each picture that has been posted. Therefore, they have minimal engagement for the number of followers they claim to have. You can usually spot “The Buyer” when they have… 40K Followers and only 60 likes… Or 1.1M Followers and 20 comments. It all depends on how engaged your audience is, but normally an account with over a million followers is one of the pioneers of IG and has a consistent like and comment to follow ratio.

The Shopper

This buyer knows that shopping for an audience is not enough, they must also purchase engagement to make their accounts look “legitimate.” Likes are not the only other thing you can buy besides followers… Comments are also available for sale. Keep a look out for repetitive emojis or plain jane comments like ‘nice’ or ‘great photo.’ Most of the time, these comments are irrelevant to the post. Some other obvious ways to spot them are when the comments come from an account that is irrelevant to the page. For example, a dog food brand commenting on a makeup tutorial.

The Tease

This method is usually performed by following an immense amount of accounts and then unfollowing the majority later on, so that they can look at your profile and maybe follow if they like what they see. Follow 600 profiles one day, unfollow 400 the next… This is technically a way to cheat the IG algorithm by getting eyes on your account that you normally would not.

Another fun fact… these are usually computer systems that do all the work of following and unfollowing, since it is in bulk! Think about how much time the instagrammer would have to take of their own to find hundreds of thousands of new users to follow. This “Teasing” behavior is usually a paid for robot, some sort of app, or computer system!

Whether you’re a brand, follower, or in the most relevant case a business owner trying to sell a service… fake engagement is deceitful for everyone involved. Take the brand spending tremendous amounts of their branding budget hiring photographers, stylists, production crews and more! An esthetician or spa owner trying to produce quality content to gain clientele, a name in the industry or just a student follower trying to learn from the very best examples.

All of the above will not be able to be measured. The real results of money, time, and energy spent working on digital presence all goes to waste on phony engagement. Let’s not forget the measure of authenticity. Brands have started to hire influencers with fake followings without knowing the true value in their following. Most find out the disappointing truth after the transaction.

Right now is just the beginning of the digital era. With so much competition, it is difficult to see the authenticity out there. Your advertising budget is important and should be used efficiently. There are too many companies out there trying to fool brands and beat the system. With all this being said, watch out for fake IG engagement!

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