I’m a little nervous about posting this, but it has been an issue for quite some time and I’m sure most of you will agree, I’m writing this post because I know everyone is thinking the same thing and no one ever addresses it. I’m not going to call anyone out obviously, but I want to discuss how this is damaging the industry and why it’s wrong, maybe someone reading might be doing one of the below. I hope this makes you stop because I hate to think that people are ruining something that I love and that I’m very passionate about.
I and a lot of other bloggers have worked extremely hard to get to where we are, I’ve assessed, analysed and improved my instagram with the help of Bernadette over the past 4 months, I’ve watched what works, what doesn’t and I now know what my followers want from me. I get messages saying you like my real talk so I’m about to give you some more.
Fake Followers 
Ok let’s talk about fake followers, If you’re a brand and you don’t know how to spot them, I’m gonna tell you how. Accounts where they are mainly asian men, usernames which are like Ali83729 or in an arabic language, they’ll have around 10 followers and they’ll follow a few thousand people and they’ll have either no photos or maybe a couple. Usually if a blogger’s account looks fake, it is! No matter how beautiful their content is. There are so many “big accounts” that are guilty but because they are so “big” the visibility of the fakeness can get lost in translation. If you’re a brand looking to work with an influencer then make sure you ask for their demographic and statistics, there would be no reason as to why their highest location isn’t where they live or where they’re from. Mine is the UK – London, then Nottingham then Manchester etc… you get my drift. Social blade is a good website to look at however it’s not always accurate, people can be mentioned on stories and gain 1000’s of followers in one day, so I would take that with a pinch of salt and trust your instinct if you have a good feeling about the influencer then you’re probably right!
Low engagement doesn’t mean the account is fake, just because someone gets 300-500 likes and they’ve got 20k it doesn’t mean they’ve bought their followers, maybe it’s the algorithm, maybe it means that they aren’t very consistent with their posting or they haven’t figured out their niche or they don’t know how to keep their followers engaged, although it does kind of look weird if someone has 100K but they only get 3000 views on their story? Interesting one.. I’ll leave that for you to come to a conclusion on.
For you fakes
It’s very disrespectful if you post an advert for a brand and you’ve been buying your followers, you’re basically a fraud. The brand thinks that they are going to get some exposure or maybe ROI from you posting and they get NOTHING! Imagine if you had a business that you put your blood, sweat and tears into with the hope that you’ll get triple clicks on your website if an influencer posts a photo and you then see nothing at all… imagine how that would make you feel about working with influencers in the future? It’s damaging.
You make us feel so disheartened, when me and other bloggers see a brand partnership with someone who is clearly fake or half fake that makes us feel like shit. But oh no, you don’t care…. your longevity in this industry, I’m afraid will end shortly.
Fake Likes
This is such an interesting one, you can spot them straight away usually. My likes come in at about 100 in ten minutes sometimes more if it’s going to be a 2000 result, I have around 10% engagement rate which is consistent, I’ve worked out what people want from me so that’s the result. If likes come in very quickly, I’m talking 200 in one minute with an account that’s got like 10K and they’re all of asian men or they’re of accounts which have NO relevance what so ever, maybe travel accounts or chicken shop accounts, they’re most likely to be fake and bought. Below are a few screen shots of the type of accounts to look out for, some are more obvious than others, I’ve seen some even with stories….
If you’ve got the feeling they are fake, they probably are, and now you’ll be able to spot them.
Below is an example of an account that might not be so obvious….
For you fakes
I am talking to some of you reading this, please stop doing it, honestly it’s really not needed, brands are getting more and more knowledge on this industry and you’re wasting your money buying Instagram likes and followers. How much does this even cost you? If you just work hard, won’t you feel so much more rewarded if all of your likes are real? My engagement makes me feel blessed to have this job, I get to share things I love everyday and people actually like it, which is incredible. When I have a bad day, it makes me remember to be grateful for what I have, don’t you want to feel the same? Don’t you want to post an advert and get real engagement for that brand? I’m assuming it’s a brand you like if you’re doing an advert for them… Just think about what you are doing before you do it please, it’s upsetting for the rest of us.
For some reason more now than ever this is actually a thing? I’m puzzled, honestly puzzled by it. I wrote a post The Importance Of Being Yourself In An Over Saturated Industry which touched more on this, but I’ve experienced this and a few of my blogger friends have too and it’s okay to take inspiration, but when someone copies the way you move, your hair and your tone of voice, it’s too much. Please think about what you’re doing, don’t go to the exact same location with the exact same jumper, don’t take the exact same selfie angles, be original! I know it’s hard but sometimes influencers are hiding who they really are by trying to be someone else they have seen online, which is not normal, be you and proud. What’s your style?, be true to yourself because it won’t get you very far just copying someone else. Who want’s to be a knock off of anyone else? Because the reality is that’s what it looks like.
I look through instagram and I save images for inspiration, “oo I like that location maybe I’ll go there”, but I wouldn’t take the same angle wearing exactly the same dress. I always look at google maps for locations, I know things can change on google maps but it is a good way to find locations. Figure out what your vibe is, if you’re not a trainer girl then don’t force styling trainers, if you’re not a sassy sunglasses wearer then don’t force it because it’s a trend that is hot right now.
Look, my basic message is, for some of us this is our jobs, our hobbies and our lively hood and it’s not okay for it to be damaged, we should be a community! The blogging industry gives us all a chance to create whatever we want and share it with the world, we get opportunities to work with brands, how amazing is that! I know I haven’t been blogging for very long but I would like to protect our industry because I’ve never stuck at anything in my life apart from this and I love chatting to all my followers on a daily basis about fashion and beauty or whether it’s okay to eat all 6 packets of pom bears and go to the shop and get more…. is that ok?
  1. I think true engagement is key. We need to analyse likes AND comments to judge true engagement. We can all spot those fake accounts. It’s not difficult. It just comes down to whether companies can be bothered to trawl through accounts to see if followers are legit or not, I suppose. Also, what if a small account has a huge % of engagement? That is, or should be, worth more than some larger accounts. Businesses need to be selective and more savvy when choosing accounts to promote them. Follower numbers are not the be all and end all and if the layman can work this out, then so too should businesses be able to. It’s not really rocket science is it? This is all a bit old hat really.

    1. yeah exactly it’s like mine has higher engagement and less followers but brands still think it’s ok to make out like I don’t deserve to be paid so yeah!

  2. I started blogging & Instagram a few years ago. I loved it because I did it because it was my passion but that changed so fast…

    Now I don’t even like to post because people don’t appreciate honesty or any kind of effort. I put so much work and energy in my pictures & yet there are still influencer out there who are getting great collabs even tho most of them cheated and giving us the ones who worked hard a bad name. Well… I believe in karma and I will keep on doing what I love. For me!

    Thanks for your post! I loved reading this!♥️

    Lots of Love, Dilan from  DILANERGUL

    1. Oh yeah Hun people don’t like it when you’re honest but this is for brands not other people so I couldn’t care less what anyone else thinks and karma always bites thanks for your comment love xxx

  3. This is so true Lauren! I’m so happy for you girl. I’ve been watching you grow and you’re doing a really good job! I love your style too btw and your accent is super cute

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