How easy is it to become a social media influencer that gets paid for posting? According to a piece by Mediakix, easier than you think. The article sets out to look into the Instagram influencer market, which has a market size of $1 billion USD and is steadily growing, and see just how easy it is to manufacture clout.
To do so, they gave themselves a challenge to create two Instagram accounts and under $300 USD to spend on it. One account would be @calibeachgirl310, a lifestyle/fashion Instagram model and the other @wanderingggirl, a travel/adventure photographer. They hired a model for the lifestyle IG and did a single shoot to populate the account with content. The other account simply used stock photos of scenic locations.
They then purchased followers, paying between $3-8 USD followers per 1,000 users. Using this method, it took just two months to gain 50,000 followers for the fashion account and 30,000 for the travel account. This inflated user base, coupled with buying likes, mean they were able to secure a number of paid brand deals off the back of these completely fake accounts.
Read the full feature over at Mediakix.