As the coronavirus pandemic continues to damage livelihoods, some influencers are giving away money to their Instagram followers while they get a lot more in return.
It can be recalled that states sent nonessential workers home on March 18 due to the pandemic. Companies were also expected to cut costs. This led Paige Hathaway, a fitness influencer, to post a message for her over four million followers on Instagram.
On her Instagram post, the influencer noted that she understands how stringent quarantine is, especially for those who are unable to work. This is the reason why she decided to do a cash giveaway worth $5,000 to someone. The post, which was already removed by Instagram, showed a picture of Hathaway fanning out $100 bills.
Shortly after the post was publicized, Hathaway's fans began tagging their friends and commenting on how they could use the money. Similarly, other Instagram users commented with prayer emojis.
Instagram posts like that of Hathaway's started to circulate on the said social media platform ever since the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the livelihoods of individuals. Several other influencers like Harry Jowsey, a star of Too Hot to Handle Netflix reality show, the lifestyle influencers Laura Beverlin and Caitlin Covington, as well as Bhad Bhabie, a social media star and rapper.
Over the past couple of weeks, more than 26 million residents of the United States have filed for unemployment, and millions more are having a hard time covering for unexpected costs like medical bills and stock of food purchased all at once. For these people, the cash giveaways offered by influencers seem to be their potential lifelines. However, though they seem to be charity, these giveaways are nothing but a small part of a pervasive growth scheme on Instagram.
For instance, Hathaway was paid thousands of dollars by Social Stance, a social media marketing firm. In return for this payment, Hathaway has to promote their giveaway on her Instagram page. Those who want to join the giveaway have to follow a list of more or less 70 accounts that Social Stance was following. These 70 accounts paid the said social media marketing firm $900 to be on the list. In return, they could expect to gain thousands of new followers in just a single night.
The 19-year-old Nathan Johnson noted that if you tell someone that they can gain 50,000 followers in three days, they are going to do it. Johnson is the one who helps YouTube and TikTok influencers to plan giveaways. Johnson runs a business with Carter, his 16-year-old friend. They pay famous influencers with a particular amount of money in return for acting up as a host of a cash giveaway. Once they have someone who can do the giveaway, they will sell slots for the followers' list for them to earn a profit.
According to Johnson, entrepreneurs buy spots on the followers' list to grow their followers and sell their ebooks of courses. On the other hand, models buy places to gain followers, increase engagement, as well as get more brand deals. Furthermore, doctors buy spots to grow their brand and credibility.
Social Acceleration Group's founder Louisa Warwick has orchestrated seven giveaways on Instagram with influencers and actresses like Natalie Halcro and Tori Spelling. How this is any different from buying Instagram followers is beyond reason. Her firm is now selling spots for sponsor list for the upcoming cash giveaway by Farrah Abraham, the star of the Teen Mom. Parties who want to be listed on the sponsor list have to pay $270. In return, the firm's founder said that they would gain thousands of new followers.
When Did the Instagram Giveaway Scheme Start?
Instagram giveaways have been circulating for years. These schemes first emerged in 2016 when bloggers and small businesses started to host “loop” giveaways. For you to join the giveaway, you will be asked to follow people or groups, or “loop” and return to the page of the host and comment. Most of the time, loop giveaways are sponsor-free, and they happen as a collaboration between two or more influencers. One example of a loop giveaway was the one done by Covington and Beverlin.
But the first significant giveaways were done last summer. Most of the stars were gifting objects like Louis Vitton bags. However, everyone now is using cash as a giveaway.
Buying slots on sponsor lists have become the fastest and least costly way of Instagram growth. Dr. Thomas Connelly said that when you purchase a spot on the list, you will get a sudden increase in your followers' amount. Dr. Connelly was among those who purchased slots in Kardashian giveaways.
On the other hand, Dr. Neal Blitz, a foot surgeon, said that giveaways allow sponsors to target a demographic that you will not usually reach with so much precision.
Management, a digital marketing agency, some of the artists' ad influencers who host giveaways also buy spots for themselves. And while these artists can buy ads on Instagram, they are having second thoughts as ads can cost around $10,000 to gain 100,000 followers. But through giveaways, they only need to spend about $2,000 while getting the same number of followers.
Furthermore, a founder of HigjKey Clout, one of the largest Instagram giveaway companies, Jordan Lintz, noted that he does not want to label the scheme as buying followers. Instead, it is like sponsoring an internet event. The company's upcoming giveaways are posted on their verified Instagram account. On the other hand, the winners of the past giveaway are announced on their official website.
However, Johnson noted that not all giveaways are done with so much transparency. He added that some meme pages are orchestrating fake giveaways right now, and so are some influencers. He emphasized that if a giveaway is legitimate, the host will always announce a winner and tag them on Instagram.
Date: May 4, 2020 / Categories: Follower Tactics, / Author: E O
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