Top 5 ways to spot fake influencers on Instagram

Nowadays, Influencer marketing has boomed in popularity because of its growing demand and also known as the best way to reach your targeted audience by marketers. Influencer marketing plays a very important role to measure social media success. It is becoming a big financial opportunity for social media influencers such as Facebook influencers, Instagram influencers, etc, to earn money and gain fame in the market. But in the race of winning the title of best influencers on social media, many influencers also started indulging themselves in fake and fraudulent activities too.

Although followers numbers are often considered as one of the clearest ways to measure the popularity of influencers on their social media accounts, that might sometimes be inflated by spam or inactive accounts. Being a social media expert, it is the whole sole responsibility of him/her to determine how many fake followers do influencers have in their accounts? And more importantly, to dig out the ways to eliminate the false followers who actively detract from their page. 

Who are the fake followers on Instagram?

Fake accounts on Instagram are those accounts that have been created using different and fictitious email addresses and sold to real Instagram influencers as an option to increase their popularity and social reach.

Building a loyal, trustworthy and engaged following on Instagram is a very much difficult task, especially for those who are new in the market. Micro-influencers are some of the most likely individuals for bot use (to make Instagram believe that the accounts are real, they usually mimic the activity of real influencers.

Purchasing engagement through fake accounts boosts vanity metrics and gives the picture of a well-engaged account. However, these measures fail to deliver the exact statistics of meaningful return on Investment (ROI) when it comes to sponsored influencer content.

What are the characteristics of fake Instagram accounts?

According to findings by market researchers, as many as 8 to 10% of Instagram accounts are fake, while up to 35% of them may actually be inactive and raise questions for marketers such as 

1. Are my influencers real?  

2. Are my social media marketing efforts reaching the real targeted audience?  

3. How can I determine and differentiate between real and fake influencers on Instagram? 

Here are the top 4 characteristics of fake Instagram accounts that will surely help every marketer to determine between real and fake influencers:

1. Absent Profile Picture

One of the biggest recognition of a fake account is a lack of profile image. Fake accounts will use images from Google to show others that they are authentic.

2. Less Number of Posts

Most of the fake accounts exist solely with the purpose to follow other real accounts result having no or less content on their own page

3. The ratio between following and followers

Fake accounts typically have a high ratio of people they follow against people following them.

4. Username is senseless

Bot accounts usually use random numbers or letters as username without making any sense.

What are the ways to spot fake Instagram followers? Sharing with my top 5 tips to spot between real & fake followers of their influencers:

1. Inspect engagement rates 

Sometimes we see that an influencer does have the maximum number of followers but a lesser number of likes and comments on their posts. It can be a sign that an Instagram influencer has purchased their followers to increase their social reach. Marketers should monitor each of their post for likes and comments and then weight the statistics against the number of followers following them to judge whether their followers are active and real or inactive and fake.

2. Evaluate comments on Instagram posts

If any influencer purchased engagement to boost their credibility and potential, evaluating the comments on posts can often help marketers to judge the reality and fakes. Comments on posts that have been purchased by influencers are often extremely generic or nonsense.

3. Review followers of the Instagram influencer

Marketers need to evaluate an influencer’s followers and look for their accounts who are without a display picture. Accounts that follow thousand but maintain only hundreds, meaningless and nonsense usernames and accounts with no or less number of posts on their pages.

4. Examine an influencers’ overall social presence.

Marketers should examine an influencer’s overall social presence before signing any work with him or her because it will give them a clear picture of their targeted audience and reach too. Most of the well-known and established Instagram influencers do have their profiles with high maintenance on Youtube, Facebook, and Pinterest too. They usually involve themselves in blogging as well.

5. Check Video Views 

Marketers should check videos posted by influencers on their stories or pages to check the views they get in their videos and match them with the number of followers they have. Because this will give them a meaningful and authentic percentage of their total follower's influencers have.

Instagram has taken few steps to ensure that only real accounts will exist and to remove the fake accounts out of it. To ensure the success of influencer marketing campaigns, marketers should choose their influencers carefully to reach their targeted audience.