April 17, 2017

6 Tips for Foiling Fake Followers


I love social networking . . . except when I don't. As social media platforms become more sophisticated, so do the tactics of those who wish to intrude, manipulate, and use people.

My online socializing began in an AOL chatroom. It was a cozy hideaway and I formed some excellent friendships. Aside from the occasional imposter, we had little to fend off. Many of those AOL friends migrated to Facebook with me. I have since expanded my online presence through Blogger, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. 

I have a personal Instagram account that I share with friends and the Hipstamatic community. It includes low-carbing, but not everyone is interested. So, I created a specific Instagram account just for Everlovin' Low-Carb

I was excited by the immediate follows I received. I use hashtags generously, so I assumed they were attracting likeminded souls. I was happy to reciprocate. To my dismay, once I followed suit, they promptly unfollowed me.

Unfortunately, after you receive the initial so-and-so-is-following-you alert, there is no obvious indication that they are still on board. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Instagram account pages do not display whether or not someone follows you. This information can only be discovered by clicking on their "Following" list and typing your user name into the search window.

Christine followed me. She has 43,379 Followers. I could feel flattered that a prominent account was interested in me, except that I was suspicious that she only follows 3,220 people. She unfollowed me soon after I followed her. She was obviously only interested in beefing up her numbers. Even if she was using an automated app, it reflects poorly on who she is. Bye-bye, Christine.

  1. Follow your interests... There are celebrity and high profile accounts that I follow because I am interested in their brand and/or content. I do not expect them to follow me back. However, if they pull the pretend-follow-trick on me, I can live without them.
  2. Monitor activity... I picked up the "Followers" app in iTunes. (There are similar options.) This gives me the ability to see: new followers; who has unfollowed me or is not following me back; those who have blocked me, deleted likes and comments, etc. Once I know they have unfollowed me, I unfollow them, but beware. They often come right back with another follow!
  3. Look at the numbers... If you see an enormous amount of followers on an account that barely follows anyone back, think twice. Often, they have purchased followers or have an app doing their dirty work. They may be totally unaware of you. If they do know you exist, you are just a number.
  4. Check out profiles and posts before you follow.
  5. Bait and ditch... A fake follower might bait you by complimenting your posts. Still, once you follow, they unfollow.
  6. Minimal posts... A small number of posts is often a giveaway that you are dealing with a spammer.

1 comment:

  1. After writing this post, I have had several high profile accounts unfollow after I reciprocated with a follow. I truly want my Instagram — or any social media platform relationships — to be organic and not contrived.


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