Instagram is a great platform which brand creators of all sorts can use to promote themselves and reach a wider range of people. Often times, the brand is the creator themselves, and they may be blogging or making videos about specific topics. One such trendy topic, is weight loss and health. But documenting your process can be discouraging if you only have 70 followers vs 79.8k or more. One weight loss Instagram account, however, is giving regular users a chance to get their names out there and give them the opportunity to gain more supporters on their daunting journey... or are they? As it turns out, this particular Instagram account has the word “shady” written all over it, as my husband Chris found out when they reached out to him after he made a post documenting his transformation.
weight.loss.shoutout began by reaching out to Chris first, who's mostly been documenting his 120 pound loss on the fitbit app. Seeing that they seemed interested in featuring him, he looked into their account and was excited by the number of followers they collected. Without hesitation, Chris sent them his transformation picture.
So yeah, the catch is, you gotta pay real money to be featured on their account. They aren't doing this because they wanna help people out, they're doing it for the dough. Which, I understand, you gotta make money somehow, right? But this seemed way fishy, so I decided to take a little bit of a closer look.
While they definitely have an impressive amount of followers, and one could argue that with almost 80k fans it would of course be reasonable to pay to be featured on their page. But how many of those followers are actually real? Looking through the average 8 to 11 comments per post, (that's a really low number of comments for an account claiming to have a massive amount of loyal followers) all of the responses were things like, "you look great!" "keep it up!" and a few emoji responses sprinkled in there. It's the kind of stuff you see when people fake their reviews on Amazon. Oh, and a few of the comments are made by the page itself, full of hashtags and what not. I could be totally wrong here, but this looks like an account ran by scammers taking advantage of people who are only trying to better their lives.
So, as a general rule of thumb when promoting yourself on the internet, if someone is asking for money to feature you on their page, they probably aren't legit. I'd say this should be common knowledge by now, but it seems like more and more people are falling for even just this one particular scam everyday. Do your research before agreeing to work with any company on any level, they might just be scammers looking to take your money and do absolutely nothing with it.
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