The ideal situation would be that the influencer creates good content and adds value to the brand.
“There are a couple of big-name bloggers who buy followers right before fashion week just so that they have a better chance of getting collaborations with designers,” speculates one user in a GOMI forum. “There’s this one [blogger whose] number of followers just stuck around 790,000 ... and just in time for fashion week you [could] actually watch the numbers increase in seconds. Now, she has around 916,000 [followers]. As if you could get 100,000 followers in just a few days!”
Well, with a couple of clicks, it isn’t too hard. Google “buy Instagram followers” and you’ll find a ton of businesses which offer this less-than-honest service. But will Insta-fame follow? Many of these sites offer ‘ghost’ followers (accounts that look genuine but aren’t active), so beyond the numbers, there’s no real interaction with your profile. If you’re prepared to spend a little bit more cash, there are businesses that will make sure your newfound followers offer more engagement through regular comments and likes. This is seems to be a win-win because – as social media expert Kirsten Jassies points out – the more active followers you have, the more exposure you’re going to get. Kirsten experimented with buying likes on Instagram, and divulged about the experience on her blog. “It worked a little bit for my image. I get more followers faster than before,” she says of her foray into faking it. “In the past three weeks, I managed to get 200 new followers – I got dozens in the same time frame before.” Not necessarily, says Simon Kemp, the Asian regional managing partner for social media agency We Are Social. “There’s this clever thing that savvy brands are doing. They’d approach any inf luencer and say, “We’ve got a story that we think is relevant to you; we’ve got this new product, and we’d like you to show us how you would use it’,” say Simon. “The ideal situation would be that the inf luencer creates good content and add value to the brand, because they understand what works best in that medium, which is Instagram, in this case. In other words, your large number of followers will not impress social media-savvy businesses if your content isn’t engaging your audience and starting a conversation with them. Original and high-quality content is still the key to monetising your Instagram. “So you need to have a certain degree of expertise, and clever brands are seeing that now. Typically, they’d take the size of an inf luencer’s audience into consideration, but we’d also advise our clients to consider things like the levels of affinity they have with their audience,” adds Simon. That means the brands are now more willing to partner with someone who has less followers but strong engagement rates. For Naomi Neo,who was already a known blogger before she rose to prominence on Instagram, it took five years to grow her numbers from 10,000 followers to the current 256,000. And while she was getting a few thousand likes with each post in her early days, she now commands more than 20,000 likes with each selfie or OOTD shot. Her magic formula? “I’m not one who believes in having the best feed or fantastic pictures, because more often than not, beautiful pictures will gain you followers but not engagements,” says
“Sweet, 10,000 new likes!”