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Not only that but it provides unparalleled ability for customers to interact with the companies they wish to do business with, using social proof such as reviews and engagement to decide which businesses to give their custom to.
Unfortunately some people have turned these benefits on their heads, with fake businesses, fake accounts and fake followers.
But how can you spot fake businesses with fake accounts and fake followers? Using the social media platform Instagram as an example, here is two examples of a fake business with fake accounts and followers on Instagram.
1. New Account: Real accounts have likely had an Instagram account for years. They didn't just start three months ago, post six times, and magically have 100k followers. If an account is relatively new, and has a sizable number of followers, they're probably not real.
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Take an example of this unnamed London based business that purports to be both a fashion and media company. Their latest Instagram account was only 2 days old and yet had followers of 100K. Quite clearly this is fake.
2.High Follower Count/Low Engagement: It's more than just followers. If the user has tons of followers, but low engagement, they're either buying fake followers or they're not creating content that resonates with their audience. The rule of thumb is that accounts should have at least a 10% engagement per post.
So in this case the same London fashion / media business has 185k followers, and their latest post has 1900 likes. This would be what be expected if the account and its followers were real. However on closer inspection it appears that there is only 1 comment.
This means that the account has not only bought fake followers - over 185,000 fake followers but its has also purchased over 1,900 likes. And they are doing this for each and every post.
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