It’s Here! There’s Finally a Way to Identify Authentic Followings

August 21, 2017

If you’ve been feeling discouraged as you slowly build your authentic Instagram following, you are not alone.

I’ve sat by and watched as so many influencers grow their accounts through purchased likes and followers on Instagram almost overnight. While increasing Instagram engagement through bots, purchased likes and followers is nowhere near new news, it seems as though there’s been a dramatic push recently with Instagram’s updates and the alleged “shadow-ban” theory to take matters into your own hands.

The truth is that as someone who is considered an influencer, I understand the pressure even though I don’t agree with acting on it. In the depths of stress and trying to get your business off the ground (and support your family) it seems as though larger accounts, with better engagement will always come out on top. That being said selling yourself to brands inaccurately could lead to much larger problems and being dishonest could really hurt you long term and result in potentially loosing your account.

Regardless of understanding the why, I’ve spent a lot of time feeling really frustrated and fighting judgement. The constant question on my mind has been, “Why isn’t producing great content, partnering with brands I believe in, writing for publications to get my name out there and building true community enough? Why is it all about the numbers?”

In addition to expanding my business outside of Instagram, I’ve continually reminded myself that building an authentic following is what will sustain long term.

I had a feeling that sticking to my morals would pay off in the long run, but I didn’t know exactly when or how. That being said, it’s here, there’s finally a way to identify and verify authentic followings on Instagram.

A friend of mine recently shared about a company called Fohr Card that helps connect brands with influencers. As someone who works with multiple agencies that do just that, I can tell you their initial services are quite different.

Since signing up last week I was able to attach all my social channels, a bio, a profile picture and download a free media kit to share with brands that includes all of my basic information (So helpful)! In addition to this they offer what they call “Follower Health Scores” – this is where the verified authentic followings come in. They go in depth on their site as to how they score your followers, but I am happy to say I am verified!

I realize that this doesn’t solve all of the issues I mentioned. Of course there are brands who don’t work with Fohr Card, but this is 100% a step in the right direction. There has been a need for transparency in this industry and I’m just really excited that we’re starting to see things like this happen.

I’m putting together my personal tips for building an authentic following so keep an eye out here! I’d love to hear anything you guys have found super helpful through the process of growing your businesses and brands. Like most things in life, I really feel like it takes a village so lets help each other out!

And, I want to make it clear this post was in no way sponsored by Fohr Card. I just felt compelled to share for those of you who I know have been sharing similar frustrations.

Leave a Comment

  • Always so on point Hailey! I’ve heard about Fohr card before and was a little hesitant to join because I’m still trying to grow my following. I may not have strength in numbers but I’ve found that just being genuinely authentic with people and being my self has been a great tool. Lately, I’ve been trying out your advice on switching from a business account back to a personal. Also, I’ve been engaging more in community platforms (I like societygal). They have a Facebook group where people can engage with each other outside of IG and fairly regularly they’ll post a share for IG, Blogs, etc where people can go and share their accounts with everyone.

    And I couldn’t agree more – success is sweeter when shared!

    Warmly,
    Vania
    @msvaniarios

    • So interesting about the Facebook group! Do you have good luck with seeing all the posts there? I’m not part of anything like that, but I imagine it’s helpful! And you’re right being authentic with people is the best and easiest tool. ❤️ Thanks for reading & following along!

  • I had no idea the intricacies of Intsagram were so in depth! You make it look easy, but I guess grammin’ is harder than it looks! What exactly do you get out of having more followers other than generating more likes? Amount of followers equals bigger business opportunities? Will certain brands approach you only if you have a certain amount of followers? That seems unfair. Just because some accounts reach a wider range doesn’t always equate quality or genuine content. Of course, I understand it’s a business, but I really appreciate your blog in that not every post or picture is sponsored. Blogs that do that are really a turn off, but I try to remember it’s all about generating revenue/it’s a job.

    • Hey Suzie! You’re too sweet. It’s surprisingly a lot of work which seems silly, but there’s so much happening behind the scenes. Brands typically pay influencers based on follower count so I think generally that’s the push, plus if more people follow you the idea is more people will see your posts equaling higher engagement. There are definitely certain brands who have a minimum amount of followers they hope to reach and base campaigns off of those stats. I totally agree when it comes to sponsored content! Thank you for saying that. 🙂

  • Oh I love this. Thank you for sharing this! I have had so many different thoughts about this, and love that this is just taking it and breaking it down to see the truth behind the curtain.

    • Thanks so much Nicole! I think it’s a great conversation for anyone in this field (influencer or brand) to start having. I’m sure there are benefits on some level to boosting growth, but I believe there are organic ways to do this that are authentic. 🙂 Keep putting incredible content out there lady!

  • Thanks so much for this, Hailey. I admire your dedication to authenticity and the time you take to explain your position and try to help others navigate though the ever-changing (and often frustrating) social media landscape.
    I’m approaching this from the other end of the rainbow. I’m the owner of a NYC based service business and am preparing to launch a product line later this year. I know how crucial it is for a new brands to link up with the right influencers (sponsored posts, social media call outs, etc). But it’s an ongoing battle to find the right influencers. Thank you for mentioning Fohr. I will definitely look into that. If you have any other recommendations for a brand to find the right influencers for their market, please share!

    • Hey Liz! Thank you so much for your comment. I really appreciate it. 🙂 I feel like I’ve done so much research on the ins and outs of this industry that I’ve got to share the information, you know? Plus I really believe there’s room for plenty of bloggers/influencers/brands to be successful – we can all help each other along the way.

      So exciting to hear that you’re on the other end of the rainbow and that you’re expanding later this year! Congrats! Definitely look into Fohr and let me know if you need to connect with any NYC bloggers, I’ve definitely got some friends that are quality contacts!

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