How to Spot Fake Instagram Followers Manually and Via Automated Tools?

Instagram influencers

Did you know that approximately 31% of an influencer’s promotional post viewers purchase the product? The right influencer marketing opens floodgates of leads and sales for your product. On the contrary, influencer fraud drains your online marketing budget and drags your campaign back by several steps. Therefore it is very important to find influencers which can relate to your brand and rule your niche.

For those who don’t know, influencer fraud means an influencer is manipulating their number of followers by showing fake followers on Instagram and other social media platforms. Therefore you need to be extra careful while initiating a partnership with an influencer for your brand. This article guides on how to spot fake followers.

Ways to Check Fake Followers

There are 2 methods of spotting fake followers of an influencer:-

  1. Manually auditing the influencer’s profile.
  2. AI tools designed to check Instagram fake followers.

Let’s understand how both these methods work!

Manual Checking of Fake Followers

If you deep dive into the profile of any influencer, you can judge if the followers are genuine or not. These are some parameters that you can use:-

  • Scan the Followers

Check out the list of followers of the influencer you are planning to rope in. How many followers are without a profile picture? How many usernames are spammy? Are there any fan-buying services on their followers’ list? If you find any one or more of these red flags, you need to reconsider the idea of hiring this influencer. Also, check the comment section for irrelevant and spam comments. If you want to go even further and check their emails, there is a thing like an Instagram scraper tool.

  • Calculate the Follower-to-Engagement Ratio

Divide the number of engagements by the total number of posts of the last 30 days. Now divide the number you got by the total number of followers and multiply it by 100 to reach a percentage. An excessively high engagement rate is a warning sign, and so is an identical engagement rate across all posts. These scenarios are typical if someone buys a specific type of engagement.

  • Weird Demographics of Followers

If an Instagram influencer has fake followers, the location of the followers will be unusual. For example, an influencer posting in the English language shouldn’t have many followers from countries where English is not spoken much. However, it’s challenging to analyze followers’ demographics manually without any automated tool to check fake followers.

  • Sudden Rise in the Number of Followers

You need a few months to observe the rise in the number of followers manually. If you see a sudden surge from last month to this month, you have all the reasons to suspect. At the same time, you need to check if the influencer participated in a TV show or did a video with a celebrity. In these situations, the sudden surge is understandable and justified.

  • Check the Followers-to-Following Ratio

Instagram automation is often used to gain fake Instagram followers. It follows various accounts with similar hashtags, profile, location, etc., on the influencer’s behalf via a bot. It automatically unfollows the accounts that didn’t follow back after some time. Genuine influencers have more people as followers than they follow because they don’t get involved in these kinds of shady tricks.

Automated Tool to Check Instagram Fake Followers

If all this checking manually seems to be a lot of hard work (which it is), you can use the AI tools to catch influencer fraud. One of those tools is “FakeCheck.” It separates suspicious or fake followers from the list of followers of any Instagram account for free.

There is one “Social Audit Pro” tool that provides a detailed analysis of followers. Although it is a chargeable service, their fee is reasonable. “Affable” is an excellent end-to-end marketing platform with a machine learning tool to determine Instagram fake followers.


Influencer fraud is the last thing you want to encounter during your online marketing campaign. But it’s a reality! Therefore always check an Instagram influencer for fake followers and get associated with authentic marketers only. You don’t need to run a check on all accounts of a particular influencer because if the followers are fake on Instagram, they are likely fake on other platforms as well.

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