Amanda Smith and Alex created a fake account on Instagram. The account was used to educate online users about how the digital industry is full of fraud. Influencer marketing is among the fastest growing channels that are used in advertising. The research that was carried out by Amanda and Alex estimates that influencer marketing has raised about $1 billion in 2017 alone. They claimed that many brand dollars are pouring into space. Many social media influencers who include beginners and experts are struggling to get several brand sponsorship deals.
Amanda and Alex have witnessed many practices that are considered as fraud. They wanted to expose the issue to the general public. The practice involves buying fake Instagram followers. Social media influencers also create fake accounts. It is hard to know if the influencers created fake accounts or if they purchased fake followers. Amanda and Alex noticed that a particular woman had doubled her Instagram followers within a week. This caught their attention because the number of followers was extreme and abnormal.
It is important to note that the growth of Instagram is not as a result of purchasing fake followers. Most of the accounts are legit. It does not raise a red line if each follower on Instagram is sponsored. There is a case where two people went ahead and created a fake Instagram account and named it Calibeachgirl310. The account features Los Angeles model. The second account features an amateur lifestyle travel photographer. They named the second account Wanderinggirl. The second account has free stock photos.
They went ahead and purchased engagement and followers for both accounts. They used services that are available online. The fans hit 50,000 and 30,000 respectively within a short time. They signed the two accounts in popular marketing platforms. They went ahead and applied for a daily marketing influencer campaign that was posted by several brands.
Marketers of famous brands spent approximately $570 million to carry out digital advertising on Instagram alone. This is according to e-marketer. Any percentage that goes to fake accounts or engagement represents a significant amount of money that is at stake. The research that was done by Amanda and Alex shows the newest trend in the ad fraud practices that many brands and advertisers faces in the mobile marketing industry. It is not the right thing to do. People should get rid of this habit because it is against the law.