Ever scroll through your social media and envy those pages who have 10K+ followers? It looks great on the business’s page but is it really organic? We’re going to let you in on a little secret: many of those pages have fake followers. By having a surplus of followers, the goal is to trick the social media site into promoting the page based off of popularity. The process of using fake followers through an illegal service has been going on for years with the correct term being, “Click Farming”.

Imagine walking into a huge warehouse with 1,000 individuals with their own computers. Each person is creating fake profiles and Liking and following a variety of pages to make their fake page seem normal. Some Click Farms don’t even have to be in the same area. It can simply be a network of individuals in different places getting paid to create profiles and follow those who pay for the service.

There are a few ways to tell if a page has benefitted from a Click Farm. One way is to look at the actual engagement of each social media post. If a page has over 50K followers, but most of their posts only have about 10 Likes or 3 comments, this is an obvious discrepancy. Another way is to look at the actual people following the page. If a page has a surplus of vague followers, this could mean a Click Farm beneficiary. You’ll notice a variety of pages with only one profile pic, minimal friends or followers, 0 posts, or simply a variety of interests and Liked pages that wouldn’t correlate for a normal user. For example, a Trump supporter who follows pages considered for more liberal tastes.

Feds are now attempting to crack down on Click Farms due to the social media impact on today’s business economy. People are taking advantage of social media algorithms, making things harder for those who wish to develop an organic following. Always remember, the best way to build a following is by doing it the right way. Interesting posts, engaging with followers, proper hashtags, and consistency.