The Plastics (aka Influencers with fake followings) and how to spot them.

First of all, I don’t know how some of you keep up with your fake followers. Sure, buying followers is cheap, but buying the likes and generating the comments to match, is not cheap and not to mention hard work, especially if you post at least once a day.

I’m going to keep this simple, HOW TO SPOT THE FAKES.

Below is a series of graphs and tables that show Influencers with fake followings:

1 – Influencer Info: 396K – frequent event goer – main focus: Beauty.
At 396K followers, you would think they would be constantly gaining, but it looks like for a couple of days, they forgot to add some followers.. thats okay though, they fixed that issue on Wednesday by buying a couple of hundred followers instead of their usual hundred.

2 – Influencer Info: 255K – frequent event goer – main focus: Fashion.
255K followers…. but on this table, all they’ve done is lose followers?
You can see the sudden spikes where this person has bought followers and how most of them quickly drop off again, as fake followers usually do drop off as accounts get deleted etc.

3 – Influencer Info: 15.3K – main focus: Fashion and Lifestyle.
By the looks of it, buying followers hasn’t been a main priority for this influencer this week, but previously I have noticed that when they do buy followers its anywhere from 100 – 5000 lots.
This influencer in particular knows that I have caught them out on their buying of followers and it really is a shame, because they have great content. Most of these influencers do… they just need to be patient and grow their following organically.
The graph looks like steps.. you can see where they have bought followers as it is quite dramatic.

4 – Influencer Info: 46K – frequent event goer – main focus: Events and Lifestyle.
This Influencer obviously doesn’t bother with buying followers often, but when they do, they buy a lot.

5 – Influencer Info: 52.7K – frequent event goer – main focus: Fashion and Lifestyle.
This influencer I know has been flown around the country, goes to some of Sydneys best events and movie premieres and gets sent a lot of product.
They have also seriously calmed down on buying followers after my rant about people buying followers a little while ago… it wasn’t aimed at them, but hey… if the shoe fits.

6 – Influencer Info: 39.2K – frequent event goer – main focus: Fashion.
This saddens me because I am friends with this influencer and love their feed as well.
But again, another example of a graph that’s just not correct.

7 – Influencer Info: 12.6K – main focus: Fashion.
This influencer started out patiently and gradually built their followers, but it seems their patience wore out and they wanted followers fast.

8 – Influencer Info: 19.8K – frequent event goer – main focus: Fashion, Lifestyle and Travel.
I’ve watched this influencer gain, and gain fast, they are a little smarter though, they don’t tend to buy in bulk, but rather smaller amounts more frequently. Unfortunately not a natural growth though.

9 – Influencer Info: 81K – frequent event goer – main focus: Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle.
Oh man… just a quick glance at their graph and you can see this influencer is not legitimate. This influencer gets an awful lot of work and expensive product too not to mention they go to every high class event and movie premiere.

10 – Influencer Info: 172K – main focus: Beards, Fashion and Lifestyle.
This Influencer used to live in Sydney, moved to London, back home to Germany and is back in Australia living in Queensland. When asked how he built his following, his answer was always hard work, patience, the right hashtags, posting good content and engaging with his followers. He did admit at one point to using a website called “Archie”, which was a service that liked photos for you, therefore increasing your chances of new followers. This website has since been shut down, as have many other websites that provide this service.
Although, I’m sure all the above is true, this influencer failed to mention he also had the help of buying fake followers. In the graph you can see the date on the top left hand corner, in 3 days he jumped nearly exactly 10K followers…. if only you could legitimately do that….

As you can see all these graphs look messy, they should have relatively smooth lines the whole time with no major jumps.

Here are some examples of legitimate influencers:

I have to admit, while going through trying to find people with 100% legitimate followings, I was bitterly disappointed in some of the influencers I believed to have legitimate followings. It goes to show that some of your favourite influencers may not be 100% legitimate and it’s best to look into them. I’m not saying that every graph should be a perfect gradual line, it is normal to have spikes in followers if you have a popular post, have recently been seen in the public eye (eg. online gossip/news sites, tv, radio, newspapers) , or have been shared on other popular Instagrams. If their graph is up and down all over the place though or there are giant steps, be cautious.