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Apr 26 How to Easily Spot Fake Followers on Instagram and Other Social Networks

Make sure your Instagram influencer marketing campaigns are successful with these five simple ways to spot fake followers.


Last week a certain Ad Age article received a lot of attention from our office and around the industry. The article reported as many as 78% of some brands' influencer followers are fake, meaning this influencer content they're paying for is not reaching a real audience.

Why is this happening? My guess is automation software and too many marketings taking shortcuts. Using a tool to help you pick influencers is a great idea because it helps you narrow the list, but you must go in as we do here at Carusele and hand scrub each influencer. You're looking for fake followers, you're looking for fake engagement. So here are five things you can look for to spot fake engagement.

#1. One-word comments.

One word comments are often fake.

#2. Single emoji comments.

Single emoji comments are often purchased as well.

#3. Comments from Other Countries

It's much cheaper to buy a group of followers from other countries than it is from the United States, so a lot of followers from other countries is something you need to look into.

#4. A sudden jump in followers

It's unlikely that your influencers have skyrocketed up very suddenly like that, so making sure that that's checked out and legitimate if they did something interesting that would warrant that sudden increase.

#5. Inconsistencies in Engagement Rates

If you're normally seeing with an influencer a 3% engagement rate, for example, and suddenly it's six or eight or 10%, they may have been buying engagement as well.

So, there's a lot of things that can be automated, hand checking your influencers, both before you pick them and during the campaign, is not a step you can skip. If you're looking for other tips on how you can properly vet influencers, check out our other post on the ABC's of influencer selection. Also, feel free to contact us, as our agency handles influencer selection and vetting so you don't have to.