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We live in a world where social media reigns supreme. Having a large online following is seen as the ultimate sign of fame, success, and influence.

Some people, however, take shortcuts to boost their numbers, such as by buying fake followers. But does it really make a difference?

Believe it or not, there’s an entire industry dedicated to fake followers.

Fake followers, or bots, have been around for a long time. Let’s take a look at how influencers are boosting their numbers through these online practices.

Why Do People Buy Fake Followers?

But why do people buy fake followers in the first place? It’s simple – they want to appear more popular and influential.

There’s a misconception that having many followers automatically means you’re an important person, celebrity, or influencer.

For businesses and influencers, a large fake following can trick others into thinking they have a sizeable audience to market to.

Influencers and other online content creators may seek to present themselves as having tons of followers. But why?

They do this to benefit from influencer sponsorships, such as receiving services and products in exchange for reviews.

The Follower Factories

Using automated software, agencies can generate thousands of fake accounts and followers, which they can then sell online.

All an individual has to do is pay a sum. In return, their follower count can skyrocket overnight. It’s an easy way to fake online fame and for those who look at the follower count.

However, be wary of using such services. Those working in this industry may sometimes be involved for other reasons – such as to steal sensitive information or commit cyber crimes.

Do Fake Followers Make a Difference?

Buying followers online used to be a very popular move back in the earlier days of social media and influencing.

These days, however, businesses and individuals are getting wiser and catching on to these tricks.

How To Tell If Followers Are Fake

Those who measure influencer popularity solely by the number of followers they have may well still be duped by fake followers.

But many employees whose job it is to scout social media for influencers to partner with have wisened up – they know what to look for now.

Have you ever seen an account with thousands and thousands of followers, but their posts only get a couple of likes? Do all the followers’ profiles look fake or completely bare?

These are just some of the signs that followers are fake. Other signs include:

  • Extremely high follower count compared to engagement rates.
  • Followers with default profile pics, no bio, and minimal activity.
  • Sudden spike in followers over a short period of time.
  • High ratio of followers versus people they’re following.
  • Followers with random usernames and creation dates bunched together.
  • Influencer’s followers are primarily from different countries than their target audience.

Those are telltale signs of bots or fake follower accounts. And ever since it’s become more widespread, social media platforms have begun to penalize this practice.

If certain platforms detect a lot of fake followers, they can suspend an account, or simply remove all the fakes.

Influencers may sometimes wake up and see their follower count plummet. Not only is it a bad look, but it may also jeopardize any brand deals obtained during this period.

Why Fake Followers Alone Won’t Boost Your Online Presence

Buying some fake followers might make numbers look higher at first. But fake followers won’t actually help make your social media presence bigger or better.

Fake accounts controlled by bots or computer programs can’t engage with your posts by liking, commenting, or sharing.

They don’t buy products or spread your message to their friends either. Those fake followers can be rather limited in terms of reach and engagement.

While they can help make your online presence appear larger, fake followers alone won’t be enough to send you to the top.

Not only that, but buying fake followers online can run some risks – that’s why it’s important to always cover all your bases and be mindful of privacy.

The Better Alternative

Safer alternatives do exist though. If you’d like to make use of these services without jeopardizing your safety or privacy, you must take precautions.

First, research the social media marketing agencies offering these services. Thorough research and vetting is necessary before you purchase anything.

Then, download a VPN app to cover your tracks and protect your personal data. This way, you can avoid being traced by nefarious individuals.

It’s a quick way to get some new followers while also protecting your privacy and online security.

For an additional layer of security, it’s a good practice to have a separate email address and phone number to keep personal information private.

If you’ve purchased followers online, it’s now a good idea to start working on creating authentic, relatable content to boost your social media presence to the top.

The Better Path Forward

If you’re buying anything online, it’s always a good idea to think about your safety and privacy.

Do your research, use a VPN, don’t enter any unnecessary personal information, and use a separate email address.

Then, start working on your social media strategy and boost your engagement. Create authentic and meaningful content and watch your numbers grow.

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