What Is National Unfriend Day, Anyway?
Yes, National Unfriend Day is a thing. Jimmy Kimmel started the annual tradition way back in 2010, when he first encouraged people to delete the Facebook friends they really don’t like as part of a social “juice cleanse.”
Though it started as a joke, National Unfriend Day is the perfect opportunity to cut out all the negative people you can’t stand by muting or unfollowing them on social media – or in real life!
Now let’s take it one step further. National Unfriend Day can also be the perfect time to take a deeper look at who’s following you – and to recognize all the fake people in your social feeds.
No, I’m not talking about the “fake” people who only post the best parts of their lives – I’m talking about the really fake people. The bots.
The Plague of Fake Followers
Just a few months ago, NCAA football coaches Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh made headlines after racing to see which of them could reach 1 million Twitter followers first. In the end, both coaches surpassed 1 million followers. The issue? They both paid for fake accounts to get there.
By using social tool Twitter Counter, Deadspin found that Meyer and Harbaugh’s accounts each gained the exact same amount of followers each day – a next-to-impossible task if they were actually gaining followers organically.
What does this mean for your brand? It’s not unusual for most people to have a handful of fake followers – and the bigger your brand, the higher the likelihood that a significant portion of your followers are bots.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s just an unfortunate part of social. But where fake followers become a problem is when you pay for them.
Having a ton of followers might look impressive at first glance, but in reality it means next to nothing for your brand. In the long run, the quantity of your followers isn’t nearly as important as the quality.
Why You Shouldn’t Pay For Fake Followers
It Does Nothing to Raise Brand Awareness
Sure, you’re technically blasting out posts to thousands of people. But if the people you’re reaching out to don’t exist, what’s the point of reaching out in the first place? By avoiding paying for fake followers and focusing on gaining quality followers instead, you’re making sure that more people are invested in your brand and the content you’re sharing.
By focusing on quality relationships with real people, you can gain real connections with fans and influencers alike, and turn brand awareness into brand loyalty. Paying for followers is dishonest – and when you get found out, it comes off as embarrassing and desperate.
It Kills Your Metrics
Yeah, you’ll have a high follower count to show off. But your engagement rate with those followers is going to be next to nothing.
Run An Influencer Follower Audit
Be wary of influencers who tout their follower count above everything else. While a high follower count certainly means that more eyeballs will see their posts – including posts about your brand – it shouldn’t be the main reason you choose to work with someone.
Especially if the majority of the followers they’re bragging about don’t actually exist.
With Insightpool, you can use our Influencer Follower Audit to easily check how much of an influencer’s followers are active. After all, there’s no point in paying an influencer for followers that don’t exist.
For example, take a look at these two influencers. Influencer 1 has 70,000 followers, but 60% are fake. Influencer 2 has 35,000 followers, but only 12% are fake. That means Influencer 1 effectively has 28,000 followers that might actually see and engage with their content, while Influencer 2 has 30,800 followers.
Now let’s say Influencer 1 is charging $1,000 per post, while Influencer 2 is only charging $500. That means Influencer 1 is essentially charging double the amount for fewer followers.
By running a quick influencer audit, it’s clear that, if you’re basing your criteria around actual reach, Influencer 2 is the right choice for moving forward.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that those influencers are paying for fake followers. But it does mean that you shouldn’t be paying for them for all the followers they claim to have if half of them don’t exist.