Why You Shouldn’t Buy Followers

Fake followers—once being an undiscussed subject in the influencer marketing industry, is now quite the hot topic, just check out this article from The New York Times. But before we dive into our stance on fake followers let’s go over exactly what we’re talking about.


In the past, many influencers have resorted to buying followers in order to appeal to brands. Most frequently what is being purchased are bots, accounts created by click farms overseas, or fake accounts duplicated to mimic a real account.

We understand why bloggers and social media influencers are often tempted to click that “buy” button. For a long time, brands only wanted to work with creators who had large follower numbers, so in order to succeed in making a business out of blogging it felt like you had to pay to play. Thankfully, the industry is changing. Brands are starting to learn that authenticity, quality photography, and ideas trump follower numbers; and that in order to reach their target audience they should be relying on paid media vs any given influencer’s organic reach.

It’s not just content creators who have resorted to buying followers either. Brands, celebrities, and publications have been found guilty of this practice as well. But the jig is up and many brands and social media sites are trying to crack down on this practice.

Tempted to buy fake followers? Here are the reasons you should pass on such an “opportunity”…

— 1

Brands are wising up about how they spend their Influencer Marketing dollars and it’s becoming customary across the industry to check influencer’s profiles for fake followers and bots prior to working with them. There are many companies and software programs now that can look at a social profile and see anomalies in growth patterns (aka Blogger X doubled his/her follower number within an hour’s time—an indication that Blogger X purchased those followers.) When a brand or Influencer Marketing agency sees this, they will choose not to work with that creator. AKA buying fake followers will cost you sponsored opportunities.

— 2

It’s deceiving. How we see it, influencer marketing has taken off due to its authenticity. Followers and buyers like hearing from a trusted source. And when influencers pretend to have higher followings or higher engagements than they do, it strips away that authenticity. These practices risk damaging the longevity of Influencer Marketing as the new way of advertising. When it’s done right—it works. Protect your business through honest practices, and you’re bound to keep this job you love around much longer.

— 3

Brands are now looking closer at engagement rate more than follower numbers. Low engagement numbers is another red flag that a creator has purchased followers (because they’re not real people, they aren’t engaging with the content.) For platforms like Instagram, a healthy engagement rate is anywhere from 3-10%.

— 4

Here at Ahalogy, all our campaigns utilize 100% paid media to reach a brand’s audience featuring the beautiful, authentic content created by our talented influencer partners. This allows us to guarantee every impression is reaching the right—and real—audience. Because of this model, and in order to maintain the authenticity our clients crave, we work mainly with micro-influencers. So if you’re worried you need 1 million followers to make a living creating content—think again. If you’re new to the scene and trying to grow your reach through hard work, we commend you. And, more importantly, we want to work with you. Whether you have 500 followers or 100,000—if you earned that audience through long hours and brilliant creative we think you should be part of our team. Join the Ahalogy Sponsored Content Program here and let us help connect you with brands who appreciate you for your skillset rather than your follower count.

We all have regrets.

Have you purchased fake followers and wish you could go back in time? Stay tuned for our next blog post about how you can get rid of your fake followers.

Kelly Killips