There’s recently been quite a lot of talk of Instagram influencers that have done nothing more than buy their followers to con unsuspecting businesses out of their products and cash to promote them.

Personally, brands should do their due diligence before paying influencers to promote their products. However, I do draw the line at agencies who promise potential clients 1000’s of followers and heaps of engagement when employing nothing more than the same tactics.

There are ways of spotting if these agencies or “experts” employ these tactics. Here are some things to look out for:

Do their posts have streams of irrelevant comments?

You’ll see things like “Great post.” Or “I’m so glad I follow you.” Usually with lots of emojis. Especially on a irrelevant, mundane picture of a bird eating a chip or something. Something like the below…

Do they have an unusually high engagement rate?

This is slightly subjective, a pretty lady posting a selfie will always get a lot of likes. If I posted a selfie, I’d probably make more people puke than click like. However, if they have 8000 followers and 2000 likes, chances are, they’re buying likes. Another clue is to look for consistency of likes, if they pretty much get the same amount of likes every post, they’re buying them.

Are the likers of their posts real people?

If they have lots of likes on their posts (2000+) then look at the profiles of some of the likers. If you see lots of accounts that follow about 10 accounts, have thousands of followers and only a handful of posts, this should be a big clue as well.

Do their videos have more likes than views?

This, above all, will tell you if they’re shady. It’s not possible to have more likes on a video than people who have watched it. Unless they’re buying likes of course. If you take one thing away from this, always look at an agencies videos. More likes than views should be a massive, MASSIVE red flag.

Those would be the main 4 things to look out for. The amount of shiesty “Instagram experts” out there is unreal. Some of which have approached me over the years to build their accounts up for them. Hardly experts.

If you see an agencies account has all 4 of the above going on, run for the hills!

When an individual wants to buy followers and then buy likes to make themselves look good, that’s one thing. However, if an agency sells Instagram growth as a product and buys followers or very loosely targets a clients followers and then papers over the cracks of their terrible service by buying likes, I do take offence. Especially when I know some of these agencies will charge £3000 a month for the honour of being ripped off.

For the right businesses, Instagram can be a true gold mine. If you’ve employed an agency and it’s not getting you results, you might want to dig into why it’s not working.

If you’d like to learn how to grow your Instagram account with genuine, targeted followers then please book a call in my calendar.

Alternatively you can send a message through the website.