Influencer marketing is the real deal. If you do not know what it is, it is mainly using microcelebrities on social media sites to promote your product or service. You can use accounts with even less than 10,000 followers to grow your sales or clients. We will get more into how to use influencer marketing later; we are talking about how to spot fake Instagram Influencers.
Regular, everyday users can receive upwards of hundreds of dollars for a single Instagram post. It is insane if you think about it. You do not have to be relatively good at anything; you need to have the people’s attention and business will reach out to you to promote their stuff. Kind of cool right?
Now if you are a business looking for influencers, you must be smart about it. It is incredibly easy for a regular user to buy followers, likes, and even comments to appear like they are legit. Your hard earned money would be wasted if you paid a fake influencer.
Luckily, it is pretty easy to spot a fake!
Here are the seven easy ways to spot fake Instagram Influencers
- Look for a verification badge
- High followers but little engagement
- Spammy comments
- Quantity and quality of posts
- Follower count magically increases overnight
- Review their followers
- Look at their other social accounts
Now let’s dive into these a bit deeper.
Look for a verification badge
You will not always see accounts with the verification badge on Instagram, but this is a surefire way to see if someone is legitimate or not. Check out the image below from Gary Vaynerchuk’s account if you do not know what the verification badge is. It is that little blue badge with the checkmark. Most accounts you use for influencer marketing will not have this, and that is okay. Just giving you guys a surefire way to spot the real deal.
High Followers but Low Engagement
This one is easy to spot as well. If an account has 60,000 followers but only gets about 30 likes and a couple of comments, they are not an influencer. They bought their followers. I would not even call them followers; they are spambots. A recent report shows that Instagram has roughly 24 million accounts that are fake spambots and these are just the ones that were found.
A good engagement rate is between 1%-3%. They should have around 600 engagements on a single post (likes, comments, saves)
Did you know you can pay for comments too? Just another way people are trying to game the system and take advantage of individuals. Review some of the account’s posts and see if all the comments are super generic such as “Awesome” “Keep it up” “100” “Straight Fire,” etc.
Now if an account is using hashtags, it will get generic comments, and that is fine. Just see if there is a right mix of actual comments and spam comments.
Quantity and Quality of Posts
Pretty easy one here. Determine whether they have posted more than a couple of posts. Accounts that have six posts yet thousands of followers did not get them legitimately. A study by the Huffington Post revealed that the average fake influencer account has an average of 6 posts while regular users post around 55 a year.
Also, make sure all the photos are not just stock photos. It is pretty easy to notice, but you can always do a reverse image lookup on google to see where else that image is.
Follower Count Magically Increases Overnight
If you are following certain people and you see that they have received a ton of followers in a short amount of time, you know they bought those followers. Almost all accounts get anywhere from 0-200 followers a day, the 200 mark being some of the top accounts on Instagram.
Review Their Followers
Do an audit of the account’s followers. If they are fake influencers, you will notice many their followers do not have any posts nor followers, yet they follow a ton of people. You can call bullshit on their legitimacy! Every account will have a share of these, but it should not be the majority.
Look at Their Other Social Accounts
If they are on Instagram, chances are they are on other social media sites. Check out their other accounts and see if they have a pretty decent following there too. Not all social sites are created equal so don’t judge them too much if they are follower account is not as high as it is on Instagram, but it should have some impact.
Those are our seven tips to spot fake Instagram influencers. Please make sure you remember these tips before you pay someone on Instagram to promote your products or service. Your money will thank you!