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How To Spot Fake Social Media Influencer Accounts

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It’s not easy growing your social media following unless your a celebrity. Infuencer marketing reached annual spend of $1 billion by advertisers in 2017. If fake Instagram accounts drive you crazy, like they do me, then try this simple system of 8 steps.

  1. Check for verified Instagram account – there will be a blue tick next to the profile pic
  2. Evaluate percentage and comments – absolutely necessary before paying a high dollar to any influencer. Analyze their engagement to follower ratio to understand the real story.
  3. How do you know if influencer account is genuine – chart from Markerly give estimate of likes and comments ratio to the follower count based on number of followers.
    • Example: An Instagram influencer has 1k-10k followers, you would expect their engagement rate to be around 4.04%.
    • Look at two Instagram profiles and see if the chart helps:
    • profile has 6000 followers and the average likes per post is between 15-50. This is their engagement percentage for the post highlighted: (40/6020)*100 = 0.66%
      • engagement percentage is less than the profiles with highest follower numbers. And, it’s same for her other posts as well. So, that’s a clear cue to you that it’s fake followers.
      • real followers and what they look like. Let’s calculate the engagement rate.
      •  likes: (128k/1.5M)*100 = 8.5%
      • comments: (2.5k/1.5M)*100 = 0.16%
      • percentage are above the industry average and the profile is Instagram verified. These are the numbers that help you pick your perfect influencer.
      • you are calculating engagement, you can verify if the influencer has fake follower count or not. But, how do you verify if the influencer is buying likes and comments or not?
      • Instagram pods and groups where people exchange comments to make their profiles look genuine.

If Instagram Account Looks Suspicious

  • Cross-check social media accounts – analyze the Alexa rank of their websites, YouTube profile statistics, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest engagement rate.
    • different social media sites have different engagement rate.
    • find your influencer has a very low presence on other social media accounts with little or no engagement, you might want to reconsider and follow some other steps.
  • Use reliable influencer tools – one of the sure shot ways to determine real influencers from fake Instagram influencers.
    • most influencer tools examine an influencer’s profile before they add them to their platform
    •  Heepsy, which is an Instagram influencer tool:  they give you the followers’ growth for any Instagram influencer, this can be a clear sign to spot a fake Instagram influencer.
    •  influencer tools also clearly give you the influencer statistics and other social media performance
    • huge time-saver especially if you’re looking to hire more than 1 influencer

What Are The Best Influencer Tools

Here are a few influencer marketing tools to find your authentic influencers quickly and easily.

  1. Famebit – one of the best sites to begin your influencer search
  2. Heepsy – offers every information you need to know about an influencer
  3. NinjaOutreach – gives you social media presence, SEO, and the engagement rate of influencers
  4. Webfluential –  gives you a detailed insight on influencers
  5. Epic Beat –  multiple features including content intelligence, influencer discovery, and alerts
  6. Scrunch – complete solution for all your influencer marketing problems
  7. Moju – Instagram influencer platform
  8. – advanced search, is a great place to begin your influencer search especially if you’re looking for Instagram influencers
  9. Deep social – offers detailed insights on Instagram profiles
  10. Buzzstream – platform to know how each and every content of an influencer is performing on social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest


Published by Sarah

Hello! I'm a self-employed entrepreneur. I enjoy affiliate marketing and photography in my spare time. I am currently in college for communications in social media and working towards my undergraduate degree in graphic design.

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