With the increase in automated accounts and businesses that let you buy fake followers, there are a lot of fake Instagram influencers out there. This isn’t surprising considering just how profitable being an influencer can be.
Gone are the days when TV commercials, magazine ads, billboards, and won on took all the spotlight in promoting a new product or increasing brand influence. Social media influencers are the real deal now.
There is a broad range of influencers to choose from currently than when social media first became a thing. Now, you no longer have to go for celebrities who will demand an outrageous amount of money to do a shout-out or promote a product. You can use other influencers, such as the primary influencers, micro-influencers, and most recently, the peer-to-peer influencers.
Each of these categories of Instagram influencers is useful depending on what you want to accomplish. However, with the growing group of influencers, there is also an increasing group of negatives known as fake influencers.
These people open fake accounts, buy followers and likes, and claim to be Instagram influencers reaping brands off their hard-earned cash. Weeding out these groups of fake influencers is not so difficult, but you have to be observant. Here are some of the ways you can successfully avoid fake influencers:
Real Instagram influencers will take out the time to fill out every blank space on their profile. They want to use every opportunity to showcase their achievements and connect to people who may need their services.
A fake influencer does not have much time to write in details, probably uses a wrong name, and would not include other information like a phone number, email, etc. Some peer-to-peer influencers might make this mistake since they are yet to take up influencing full time. But if you are looking for a well-experienced influencer, you will need to check the profile to see their details.
Most brands pay Instagram influencers according to the number of their followers. They mostly only work with influencers with many followers because they believe it will increase brand awareness and boost sales.
For this reason, some influencers go as far as buying followers to make them look authentic and successful in their roles. Many apps offer fake followers, but you can quickly know most of their followers are fake when they make a post and get few or no likes or comments, although some can go ahead to buy likes and comments.
Building genuine followers, especially when you are not a famous president or celebrity, takes time, dedication, and effort. Real influencers have stable followers’ growth. If you notice a sudden growth of followers from supposed influencers, there is a considerable probability; they are fake.
The only exception to this law is if they posted the viral content, bringing a surge in the number of followers. Other than that, there might be a chance they are not real influencers. You have to observe their account for a while before reaching out to them.
Check their followers’ accounts to see if they are active because most of them neither have profiles nor followers.
You can also use tools to analyze social media accounts’ growth to see if there is a sudden increase in followers, followed by a decrease the following day or week. You need to be smart to avoid losing your money to fraudsters.
A real influencer has taken time to grow their followers over the years and has found ways to increase engagement. So, whenever they make a post, the engagement rate is proportionate to their followers. Although some fake influencers can also buy likes and comments, one way to find out if they are genuine is to check how fast the likes and comments come in after a post. If it comes all at once, then it might be fake.
Also, check if the comments show any connection with the post or if there is a sense of personalization or emotion in the comment. A real influencer’s followers will be more expressive when they comment rather than generic responses like “great,” “cool,” “Awesome,” etc.
It is also necessary to calculate the engagement rate of an influencer. To calculate it, divide the number of interactions on a recent post, divide it by the number of followers, and multiply by 100 to get the percentage. You’ll find out if the likes and comments got inflated through the percentage, bearing in mind that the average engagement rate (likes) for Instagram is between 1-5%, according to Makerly.
A real influencer will have a verified Facebook account, especially those who are celebrities and significant influencers.
If you see an account claiming to be that of a celebrity but without the blue badge that signifies verification, then it’s a fake account.
Except you are seeking micro-influencers or peer-to-peer influencers, you need to ensure that the influencer has a verified account, whether on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Real influencers would not go about following everyone that follows their account. They usually have a following with the proportion 5:1 or even more. These days, most influencers do not even have to pay for followers, like, or comment; some apps offer some amount of followers or likes for people who follow or like others’ accounts.
No one knows it all, which is why you see real Instagram influencers mentioning other influencers in the same niche and partnering with one another. When an influencer gets rarely mentioned by other influencers or does not mention other influencers, you’ll need to watch out.
Accounts with a large number of followers but few pictures. This point applies to Instagram and Facebook.
Check the reach of the influencer’s post. If they have lots of followers and yet their posts are seen by a few people, there is a possibility they are fake.
If the account of those following them has no followers or subscribers, then they might be fake.
They have an online presence on only one social media platform. A real influencer has three or more social accounts to reach out to more audiences and share what they love. But a fake one will prefer focusing on one.