How Can You Spot Fake Followers
Mar 2021

Influencer marketing is a very effective strategy to really promote and advertise your company and your product/service, but it comes with a lot of risks. One of the most common risks of influencer marketing is choosing the wrong influencer. A common example is choosing an influencer that is not true or authentic in their followers count. This means that the influencer’s followers count is overinflated, which gives rise to the belief that a handful or majority of their followers are either paid or fake followers. Here, we kept track of patterns and trends that allow you to easily spot fake followers just from looking at an influencer’s page/content. 


Unusually High or Low Engagement Rate

You can calculate engagement rate by taking the sum of likes and comments, dividing that total by the number of followers, and then multiplying it by 100. Obviously, a low engagement rate would raise eyebrows about the authenticity of their followers, but an unusually high engagement rate could also signal that the influencer may have bought their followers or paid for their likes and comments. In addition, if there is an unusually high engagement one day that strays away from the general trend of engagement in that page, that should also be another area of concern to test for the legitimacy of the influencer’s page. 


Context around Comments

If the comments are not that relevant to the post or caption of the post, that should also question the authenticity of the influencer’s followers. Such comments include only emoji-filled comments, very basic, short comments such as “Beautiful”, or comments that are not relevant to the post at all, such as saying “Beautiful food” when it was just a picture of a model. You can also check the follower’s page, and see if those pages are authentic. A fake follower’s page would be one that has little or no followers and has 0 posts and no profile pic. 


Followers: Followings Ratio

Typically, a legit influencer would have more followers on their page than have pages that they follow, which would signal high followers: followings ratio. A questionable influencer would have fairly equal followers; followings ratio, approximately equal to 1, which could mean that the influencer is implementing a hacky Instagram tactic of “follow for follow” to increase their followings.