Social media accounts with fake followers make up the majority of influencer accounts. That’s according to A Good Company, who uncovered a cheating scam worth almost $1B.
Hype Auditor found that from 7,000 UK influencers analysed, about half the followers of influencers with up to 20,000 followers are “low-quality”.
Almost every account has fake followers, unwanted or not. Sometimes accounts created by bots or hackers will follow you on social. It’s unlikely you’ll get any interaction from these “users”. The result is a drop in your account's overall user engagement rate.
Note that fake followers are not the same as ghost followers, who sign up and follow other accounts but never interact. If you’re looking to improve the interaction rate statistic on your account then you could consider removing ghost followers. Again, this is a choice you need to make. Not all your fans want to interact with you and many are happy just to read your posts. Removing ghost followers could potentially remove some of your biggest fans.
Buying followers is a common practice among certain bloggers and especially among influencers. You might think this is harmless enough. What’s the problem spending your own money to make your follower group look a bit more impressive than just your mum and your friends from high school? Nothing. But you could also look at it this way: if you get paid by companies to promote products and this payment is based purely on your follower count, you are committing fraud.
Social Media And Instagram Fake Followers Checking Tools
If you’re a travel blogger, food blogger, fashion blogger, or influencer and you’re wondering how many of your followers are real and how many are fake, the following tools will help you understand the lie of the land.
If you represent an agency and are looking for influencers and bloggers with real followers, active engagement, and genuine readers, run your potential partners through these “fake followers checks”
Analisa is a powerful tool for bloggers and agencies. It lets you check the follower demographics of an account, discover the “follower authenticity”, find out how engaged the audience is and compare with other influencers.
There are also historical data and tools like Influencer Mapping and Tagged Relationships. The hashtags analytics tool, which is free, is very useful and will weed out the fakes from the real deals. Analisa now has a TikTok analysis tool.
HypeAuditor is one of the best tools to check real followers on Instagram.
The tool also offers information on the influencers topics, location, audience location, and the important metrics: engagement rate and authentic engagement.
HypeAudior has a great free plan but the paid tool offers a wealth of insights into any Instagram account.
A relatively new addition to the list of platforms is TrendHERO. With a beautiful and easy-to-use interface, this tool offers very detailed information about any Instagram account. There's even an ad post database so you can view the ads your competitors are publishing.
TrendHERO also allows you to discover Instagram accounts based on natural language searches.
Use the filters to find accounts based on the number of posts, follower growth, comments, engagement rate, and more.
Social Blade offers insights into YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitch, and Twitter accounts. It also covers networks and platforms that no other tool does. Check Dailymotion, Mixer, and DLive all from the same place.
The free plan does pretty much everthing you might need but Social Blade offers paid plans that allow you to bookmark and track accounts. You can also get access to historical data and deeper insights.
FakeCheck uses engagement as a measure of an accounts fake follower count.
Fakecheck states that travel bloggers or influencers using the service are there to “…ensure they have the highest possible level of social engagement so that their promotional or paid posts return the greatest benefit to clients…”
The tool offers a few free searches and after that, you will need to pay a fee.
Sparktoro is a tool created by the ex-head of MOZ, one of the most respected SEO tools in internet marketing circles.
Right now, Sparktoro only works with Twitter accounts. That might not be ideal for travel bloggers who are much more active on Instagram, but it can be a useful tool nonetheless. A large portion of the travel blogger community has a Twitter account and while it’s not the greatest channel for content promotion, it can be a great channel for communication.
Keith is the founder of Fat Frog Media. He has worked in the tech, fitness, food, and hospitality industries. Keith helps businesses improve their marketing and conversion rates.