Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc., are great tools for marketing. They allow us to connect with our customers and potential clients in ways never before possible.
But they also come with their fair share of challenges. One of them is fake followers. These are often created by spammers who want to increase their follower count without having genuine interactions with real people.
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There are several ways to identify these fake accounts, some of which are mentioned below.
Sometimes out of sheer curiosity, I visit some brands’ social media pages to see what they’re doing.
But on careful inspection, I find that although they have several thousands of so-called ‘followers’, there is little to no engagement in the type of content they share on their brand’s social media pages.
While we may be quick to blame the social media platform for ‘hating their brand’, or their lack of using relevant hashtags, these are not always the case.
Yes, I agree that on some social media platforms like Facebook, their algorithm affects how content pages – ours inclusive – can organically reach your target audience. So we’ve seen a drastic reduction in the reach and engagement in our posts.
But the problem is not with the social media platform or their algorithm. The problem sometimes lies in your marketing strategies and followers’ quality in your social media community.
Unfortunately, with some brands with a large following on social media, many of their so-called followers are fake!
Yes, fake followers and spam accounts. Fake social media accounts are created by dubious persons and organisations who claim they can help you or your brand get thousands of real followers on social media for a ridiculous amount of money.
But in reality, you are paying them for ‘bots’ or robots, i.e. fake automated accounts created to deceive innocent users/advertisers. These bots are programmed to perform various tasks, including following your account, visiting your blog post, retweeting your tweets, clicking any clickable link, etc.
So I have formed the habit of reviewing and scrutinising the accounts I follow (or follow me) on my personal or business pages on social media to find and get rid of any fake accounts.
Occasionally, I have found and deleted a few bots on my Facebook and Twitter accounts. But fortunately, most of my followers on social media are genuine.Fake social media accounts are created by dubious persons and organisations who claim they can help you or your brand get thousands of followers on social media for a ridiculous amount of money. Click To Tweet
So how can you find and weed out these bots? Here are my top five tips on targeting genuine followers on social media.
How to Target Genuine Followers on Social Media
Users Who Don’t Have a Profile Picture!
Although there are some exceptions, this is one of the first signs that the account is fake!
During the sign-up process on any social media platform, one of the first things you’re encouraged to do is to set your profile picture. Some people have a picture or two of themselves on their phone or laptop that they can use to sign up.
Your profile picture serves the purpose of making you likeable, trustworthy and competent. It’s not meant to make you look appealing. So don’t use any weird, full-body photos. A simple portrait photo is fine.
So I see no reason someone’s profile on social media should not have a picture! But there are some exceptions.
For instance, there are some platforms like WhatsApp that I’m not fond of myself. So I’ve not bothered to put up a profile picture. Maybe now that I’m on the subject, I should probably do it now. I will, but then again, I may not!Most of my followers on social media are genuine. Click To Tweet
Sometimes, if the account’s profile picture looks too ‘polished’, it can signify that it is a bot. Some tools place a generic banner or profile picture on the user’s profile promoting some sort of followers growth scheme, e.g. “Get 5000 followers, etc.” avoid them. They could get your account suspended.
Users Who Don’t Have a Proper Profile/Bio
Be genuine. People following your account want to know that you are honest and not just trying to sell them something. If you post content about yourself, make sure you have some purpose behind it. You can’t just post pictures of yourself eating pizza and expect people to follow you.
Okay, this is another telltale sign that the account is a bot! Whenever I get followers who don’t have a proper bio, I cut them.
I don’t follow such accounts too! Since most bots are not intelligent enough to create different bios for each account, this is one unique way I use to discover them.
Use hashtags. Hashtags are a great way to connect with other users with similar interests. Hashtags allow you to search for specific topics and find relevant posts from others. Using hashtags, you’ll be able to target your audience better and increase engagement.
These days several important activities can take up our time and prevent us from being active on social media.
So it would be wise to caution before labelling an account or inactive business profile. But from my experience, if an account has not made a post/tweet in several months/years, it’s a clear sign that it’s inactive.
It’s best to unfollow or block such inactive user accounts if they are the ones following you. Social media is for active users, engagement, and interaction between active users and followers. There is no room for being an inactive user on social media.
As a business owner, when you are active on social media, you stand a chance of growing an engaged audience and reaching potential customers.So how can you find and weed out these bots? Here are my top five tips on targeting genuine followers on social media. Click To Tweet
Users Not Speaking The Language of Your Country/Region
If you don’t speak Chinese or another language, why follow someone who tweets in Chinese?
Similarly, why have followers who don’t understand your primary language? The best thing is to get rid of them! Sometimes, the account is a bot too! But not always. Either way, it’s better safe than sorry.
Post quality content. It’s not enough to post a picture of yourself doing something fun. Make sure that you’re posting relevant content that is worth reading and sharing. People don’t want to read about how much you like your job or how many followers you have. They want to hear what you have to say.
Time is a precious commodity. There’s no need to waste it scrolling through several pieces of irrelevant content such as fake news, clickbait articles or video content.
I tell my clients to have a content strategy based on their buyer persona. Pick a handful of topics or popular hashtags they are passionate about and stick to reading and sharing related content. This will help you attract potential followers interested in similar content.
Let all your posts stay on topic, and people interested in your chosen subject will find and follow you. You likewise will follow those whose topics are of interest to you. All others are time wasters.
On content, another good way to know if your followers or another brand’s followers are genuine is if they create user-generated content related to your brand. If your followers are actual persons, they will have an opinion or experience with your brand. They will express these opinions/experiences with the brand in their tweets and posts.
Creating user-generated content is simple! Start by asking your customers and followers to share their favourite experiences and images with your products using your branded hashtag. Doing so will help quickly create brand awareness for your company to a broader audience.
Now that we’ve seen how to target followers on social media, let us go into specific. Therefore, I’ll now focus on the platform where I receive the most queries related to gaining followers, i.e. Instagram!Please use these tips with some personal discretion! Don't hold me responsible for removing a sizeable chunk of your followers on social media if you discover they are fake. Click To Tweet
How Do You Gain Instagram Followers?
I am often asked how to get followers on Instagram. Where should a newbie focus? Let’s look at a few ways (in no particular order).
- To get followers on Instagram for free, make it easy for people to find you. First, make sure your Instagram profile looks good by customising it. Be sure to entice them to follow you by telling them who you are and what you do.
- To develop an Instagram following, partner with a brand that already has a following. You can grow your follower base organically this way.
- So much of getting more Instagram followers depends on your activity on the platform. Your Instagram followers will grow organically as you follow and engage with people.
- Another great way to gain Instagram followers is to collaborate with others through partnerships or influencer campaigns.
- Getting more Instagram followers can sometimes be as simple as gaining visibility on the platform. Your other social media pages should link to your Instagram account. Periodically let those followers know you’re on Instagram and encourage them to follow you there. TikTok is an excellent platform for showing off your Instagram content and then teasing it on TikTok so that you can get Instagram views.
- An influencer taking over your account can also help you gain more followers on Instagram. Invite people regarded as experts or influencers in your industry to be guests on your Instagram account. Let them temporarily take over your Instagram account to get new followers interested in your brand.
- If you have an Instagram business page, pay attention to data from your analytics. You can also sign up for third-party tools to track and get reports on your Instagram account. You can gain insight into how to get more followers on Instagram by looking at engagement rate, new followers, Instagram un-followers, and inactive accounts. Examine your performance on Instagram stories and growth reports so you can adjust your strategy for Instagram marketing. Find out how many likes and comments were left on your account over several periods. Track followers count change and see precisely when and how many accounts followed or unfollowed yours.
- Get new followers by seeking your closest competitors’ Instagram accounts and engaging with their audiences. Simply following your competitors, these people have already shown interest in your products.
- Another way to increase your following is through being creative and hosting your very own Instagram game! Invite people to follow your account to take part in your game and allow them to win mouthwatering prizes.
If you follow the strategies listed here, you’ll be able to gain more Instagram followers quickly and leverage this massive audience for greater brand recognition and loyalty.
How Can I Get 1000 Followers on Instagram?
You need to find people who follow brands to get that coveted initial 1000 followers on Instagram or any other social media channel. So how do you do that? First, unlike the tactics to grow Instagram followers mentioned above, this one usually isn’t free. However, if done correctly, it’s of good value.
To get 1,000 followers on your personal or professional Instagram account, you can do a few things right now to get 1,000 followers. Investing your time and energy where it counts is critical. The fastest way to do this is through paid ads on the Instagram platform!
Well, this isn’t exactly a free way to get a massive amount followers on Instagram, but Ads on Instagram provide an effective way to reach people who otherwise wouldn’t see your content.
Let’s face it; many social media platforms are now pay-to-play. Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., generate income through advertising. Many of these platforms have tweaked their algorithm to provide more visibility and engagement to their paying customers!
So whether you’re looking for how to get 1,000 or 37,000 followers or millions of followers on Instagram, your best bet is through paid ads. You can target your ads to reach your ideal target audience.
Another way of getting 1,000 followers on Instagram is to buy Instagram followers! However, I strongly advise you to avoid this route! Take precautions against phishing scams. Since Instagram started cracking down on bots, trash accounts, and the operations that supply them in 2014, many fake Instagram follower suppliers have gone out of business.Social media is for active users, engagement, and interaction between active users and followers. Click To Tweet
Most of these ‘bought followers’ are fake accounts and bots. You can usually identify such bots using the tips mentioned above. Ensure that the profile posted has many followers (rule of thumb: They should have more followers than they’re following). Also, when was their last post? Did it receive any engagement? They hardly ever engage with your content, nor do these accounts post any content! They’re fake accounts created mainly to follow gullible Instagram users.
It is not worth it to waste time and money buying Instagram followers. Your account can get deactivated for this fraudulent practice. Then all your time and effort will be flushed down the drain. It could do a lot of damage to your brand.
In conclusion, targeting genuine followers is essential because it helps you build relationships with real people who share your interests.
So there you have it, my top 5 tips on targeting genuine followers on social media.
We can automate this entire process using some specialised social media tools. But I would not urge you to go this route.
I prefer to grow my following on social media naturally. Yes, it takes a lot of time and patience to do it naturally, but it’s safer in the long term.Now that we've seen how to target followers on social media, let us go into specific. Click To Tweet
If you automate the process, be careful about the tool you use. Some of these tools can get your account banned or deleted by the social network for breaching its terms and conditions.
So I have warned you. Automate your social media marketing at your own risk!
Contact us. I’ll be glad to help you improve your business online and make you more successful.
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