Last week I wrote about Fake Influencer Audiences and that I was going to buy some followers for my cat’s new Instagram account. I had no idea how easy it would be, honestly. And how “good” is his audience? Unless George learns how to meow in Portuguese, he’s going to continue to lose audience.

A simple Google search revealed several companies looking to boost your followers. The one I chose cost $10 for 1,000 followers, or a penny per audience member. It took about 3 days for George’s “order” to be processed–then the followers came fast. He maxed out at 1,002, then started slipping down to where he stands now, at 784. How did he lose over 200 followers in a day or two? Probably after-market apps designed to unfollow, as these followers looked like real accounts.

So What’s the Problem?

It’s this: I could have bought 100,000 followers just as easily. That puts George squarely in the mid-level influencer category and pet brands might want to retain him. How do I turn him marketable? I could enroll him in a programmatic influencer marketing platform that does little to no vetting or I could add more posts and put a “partner with George” email in the bio.

If a big pet food brand found George and wanted to promote a coupon, for example, they’re going to assume George’s audience could redeem it, right? But 90% of George’s audience is in Brazil and only 4% in the US.

Is this a problem? Of course it is! It’s massive fraud. If George had 100,000 followers and gets 1% engagement, the pet brand is thinking they’ll have a shot at converting 1,000 consumers. Instead, it’s only 40.

Related: Spot Fake Influencers (for Free)

You can spot these fraudulent influencers pretty easily, but it does take time. The accomplished influencers who started out with a respectable 10,000 followers and bought another 10,000 are harder. Their posts are high quality, engagement numbers good, and all in all, look legit.

You can also buy Likes, which I’ll do this week and update you next week.



MATTR is the only full-service influencer marketing provider with detailed audience insights from PersonaMesh™. We go beyond demographics into psychographics such as values and interests so that your influencer campaigns align with your campaign targets.