Fake followers are ubiquitous on social media, with individuals and companies lured by the appeal of disingenuous loyalty in return for an inflated brand image.
Influencers are paid, in part, for the size of their following, so it is somewhat understandable why so many are attracted to the illusion of more desirable following.
But paying for followers is not the only way to fake it online.
Counterfeit followers on brand accounts, often controlled by bots, can trick consumers into thinking a business is more reputable than it really is, sometimes without a brand even knowing.
Pages with blue ticks are a haven for phoney accounts, which easily fade into the background but make up the numbers – and beauty brands are no exception.
According to research collated by marketing agency Pilot Fish Media, these are the top beauty brands with the most fake followers across Instagram and Twitter.