A marketing agency has investigated how to cheat your way to the top of Social Media
If you’re young, attractive and have a selection of appealing backgrounds to choose from, there’s no better way to make money than by becoming a social media influencer. From the outside it seems like something akin to modeling but the relationship between brands and Instagrammers can be a lot more insidious. Paid advertisements disguised as sincere posts are one thing but it seems the exploitation can go both ways.
Mediakix, investigated the billion dollar Instagram Influencer world by creating two fake accounts. One followed a fashion and lifestype format for a model named Alexa Rae or ‘calibeachgirl310‘. The other profile was a travel photographer ‘wanderinggirl‘.
Calibeachgirl310 is a Santa Monica resident whose entire profile was built from a one day photoshoot. A model was hired to be the face of Rae in a series of locations around beaches and in different outfits.
Wanderinggirl’s profile was much easier to build. A collection of free stock photos of different places around the globe. Spread throughout were pictures of the backs of heads of different blonde girls. All to create the illusion of Amanda Smith and her wanderlust.
Creating the profiles was the easy part. Mediakix then had to get them a following. Skirting around Instagram’s rules about suspicious activity, they bought just enough followers each day to not look dodgy. This began at 1,000 a day but the agency found themselves getting up to 15,000 followers a day with no problems. 1,000 followers ran them up a bill of between $3- $8 which added to the profile but wasn’t the final sell. For that they needed engagement from followers.
12 cents per comment and $4-$9 per 1,000 likes, Mediakix quickly built both profiles into powerhouses. After ten thousand followers the accounts were eligible to sign up to a number of platforms. Using these platforms the accounts scored two brand deals each. Wanderinggirl’s came from an alcohol brand and a food and beverage label while the same label and a swimsuit company sponsored Calibeachgirl.
The experiment is an important one given how much money brands funnel into Instagram and social media marketing. Nobody’s paying to advertise to a fake audience. Head over to Mediakix for a full rundown on the experiment and how it integrates with social media.