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How to spot fake followers on Instagram

Here’s how you can give fake influencers a run for their money.

We’ve all come across an Instagram page with thousands of followers, only to wonder how it managed to acquire such a large number with little to no interesting content. Most of the time, the answer to our question is: fake followers!

But why would anyone be interested in such a hoax? It’s probably due to their desire to grow their reputation and possibly even gain the title of “influencer”. Having said that, these accounts are making it difficult for brands who are expanding their influencer marketing efforts to find authentic influencers to collaborate with; however, rooting these pages out can become easier with the following tips that’ll help you separate the fake followers from the real.

1. Generic and spam comments

How many times have you scrolled through the comments under a certain picture, only to find hundreds of comments that are unrelated to the content or even trying to sell you a certain product? For the most part, these comments are written by bots, who no matter how advanced they become, cannot come up with human-like writing to make these comments seem genuine.

While some might say that these comments are still considered a part of engagement, in reality, they do not add any value to the page but tend to do quite the opposite.

2. Inconsistent following count growth

Bots are fake accounts’ best friend. People with fake Instagram profiles tend to create a bot that immediately follows thousands of people who will ‘follow back’ the fake account without even realizing it. Nonetheless, this technique leads to sudden leaps in the number of followers, which is a phenomenon that is not seen in reality with real influencers; it is then best to keep an eye on suspicious accounts’ following count.

3. Empty profile sections

Most individuals who create a fake account don’t consider adding a creative or thought-out bio; this section is usually left blank or includes minimum details. Moreover, you should also keep an eye on those pesky fake profiles that do not display a profile picture or even the ones that do have a profile picture which look like they were extracted from stock photo sites.

4. Unusual numbers

It always seems fishy when an account doesn’t really post anything but likes and follows thousands of people while having very few people following back; it is rather a fact well known that genuine accounts and influencers’ following count is higher than the number of people they follow.

Unfortunately, as we’ve seen time and time again, shortcuts to success don’t actually exist on social media. Fake accounts can be recognized and buying fake followers will eventually lead to having an unbalanced profile that boasts thousands or millions of followers with very little engagement, that is if you’ll find any.

Do you think it’s always easy to identify fake Instagram accounts? Let us know by tweeting us @itpliveme