Methods to detect fake Instagram influencers

The advent of social networks has been accompanied by the birth of digital influencers, personalities who have gathered around them several loyal and committed followers.

These influencers have created a personalized relationship with their community – a real opportunity for brands who want to address their target more authentically. The influencer marketing industry now represents more than a billion dollars in the United States.

However, attracted by the growth of this new market, a parallel industry has developed on social networks, starting with Instagram. Among the influencers sought by brands are hidden “fakes.” They can be of different natures.

Indeed, it is now extremely simple to buy Instagram followers, likes, and comments, the influence, and engagement of an account can be created in a few clicks. There is now a real “underground” economy made up of robots that follow one another and create false communities.

In this context, it is extremely difficult for brands to find their way around, and these false accounts become their obsession.

However, it is essential for marketing professionals to detect these fake influencers in order to avoid spending their budget unnecessarily on false audiences. Here are five tips to avoid them.

Is the account verified?

Instagram checks certain official accounts of celebrities, brands, or even recognized influencers. The social network awards them a badge, which materializes by the presence of white checkmarks in a blue circle next to their name.

These accounts are necessarily true and organically active. However, Instagram remains parsimonious in the distribution of these badges. Not all influencers, and especially micro-influencers, with a smaller community, have it.

In this case, it is possible to verify the authenticity of an account by reading the description of his bio and by clicking on the links to their websites or other social networks.

Indeed, real influencers are often present on several platforms at once, with communities of similar size, while robots or fake influencers will have created their legitimacy on a single social network.

What is the quality of the comments and content?

Another method of identifying fake influencers is to look in detail at the quantity and quality of their posts.

Influencers post authentic, original, engaging content at regular intervals. They often have their own tone, an editorial line. This is how they gained followers. In addition, they usually take the time to engage with their fans spontaneously.

Real conversations are created and last over the posts.

On the contrary, fake accounts publish a few posts. Posts can even be of poor quality, even copies or “regrams” only. The same goes for their comments; they are often repetitive, without personality, and unrelated to the content.

What is the quality of the mentions?

Influencers are part of a network: they know each other, follow each other on social networks and participate in the same events. They can share photos, mention themselves on their posts, and call out to stories or comments.

The quality of these interactions and the circle of the friendship of an influencer is a guarantee of authenticity. The more an influencer is mentioned by qualified profiles, the more his reliability is assured.

In conclusion, influencer marketing is an impactful strategy provided that the audiences are genuine and authentic. Influencers with fake communities are hurting social media marketing. They can ruin the efforts of an influencer marketing campaign with zero ROI.

However, let’s remain confident, original, and engaging content always prevails, and the usurpers end up being exposed.