The ideal sit­u­a­tion would be that the in­flu­encer cre­ates good con­tent and adds value to the brand.

CLEO (Malaysia) - - SMART REPORT -

“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!”

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