Countless brands are being scammed into believing the influencers they’ve paid for are legitimate, but unfortunately in this day and age, influencer fraud is all too common. Before working with an influencer it’s advised you perform a fake follower check.
There are thousands if not millions of fake Influencers out there boasting their profiles to spark your interest in using them as a promotional tool & with their fake followers and their fake likes these con-artists are an unfortunate certainty for businesses and will always lead brands to a financial loss. As reported by Entrepreneur magazine, “influencer fraud” costs companies millions of dollars in losses every year!
It’s a no-brainer that using influencers to promote your product or service is the way forward so ensuring you’re collaborating with genuine influencers is imperative to your brand.
It’s easy to be scammed when you’re unfamiliar with a platform and don’t have the time and/or knowledge to check the authenticity of influencers.
Many “influencers” are all too aware of the ignorance of some business owners and this is where vulnerability is targeted. Brands are tricked into believing they’re buying a legitimate influencer promotion only to be left feeling disheartened and at a loss when they come to realise they’ve been scammed by a fake influencer.
I will give you a few tips and tricks the manual way to aid in deflecting these pesky con-artists. But if you’re short of time/can’t be bothered then we strongly suggest the HypeAuditor tool which we’ll cover later in this article, it’s an absolute necessity if you’re trying to avoid the fakes and don’t have the time or knowledge on how to audit an influencer yourself.
HypeAuditor is an innovative tool paving the way to legitimising these influencers, so collaborating brands can rest assured that the promotion they’re paying for is real and will bring decent ROI. HypeAuditor takes the stress out of the unknown as it has the ability to perform an in-depth analysis on any Instagram account as it scans away for fake profiles, followers and engagements.
It’s a necessary tool if you want a fool-proof way that takes the hassle out of the manual approach and ensures that you’re going to get the reach you think you’re paying for. It’s also a really great tool for influencers to use too!
If you’re an influencer looking to work with brands, you can use HypeAuditor and export your data to a PDF which can then be used when pitching product owners for potential collaborations!
OK, so, tips & tricks the manual way, first things first, when thinking about purchasing an influencer promotion ALWAYS check their engagement.
Checking their engagement means to check their likes and comments.
You want to be able to decipher if the comments seem genuine and aren’t merely computer-generated interactions A.K.A “BOTS” nor are they the product of “engagement groups“. If you are unsure of what an “engagement group” is they are formed specifically to aid one another in the growth of their Instagrams; this means that someone is sharing the post into the engagement group and everyone in that group is either liking it or commenting on it to seem interested, which can be super frustrating for the business owner because once again, just like BOTS, the engagement isn’t authentic.
Engagement groups trick Instagram’s algorithm into thinking the post is getting a-lot of genuine engagement, Instagram then displays the post to more people which increases the “organic reach” meaning many more people will see the post compared with not using engagement groups.
Checking for authenticity of engagement can be a little difficult due to the tedious nature of the task but you need to ensure to the best of your ability that this influencer is genuine.
Take notice of whether the comments are just one-worded replies or emojis alone; examples of what inauthentic comments may look like are phrases such as “cool”, “awesome”,”nice” – these could very well be genuine comments but if they’re looking all too common on the thread then hello! You may have just found yourself a fake influencer!
It’s hard to be certain of authenticity with checking the comments alone so what you also want to ensure you’re doing is checking their likes, you’re already uncertain and the only way to be even more certain of your uncertainty is to check the profiles of the individuals who are commenting and liking.
- Whats their follower-following ratio look like?
- If their profile is public?
- Whats the engagement like?
- Is their profile private?
- Does it look legit?
- Does the follower-following ratio look somewhat even?
- are people interacting as you’d expect real people to interact?
If you click into the profile and they have more than one of the following examples then more often than not, they’re fake.
Examples: They’re private, have no profile photo, follow a lot of people and have next-to-none in return, they have a random, odd username or they don’t have any posts. It’s extremely important that you access their profiles, you need to determine whether they look legitimate to be certain you are spending your money wisely.
On that note, the easiest way to tell whether engagement is genuinely authentic is to see someone tagging their friend/s. This isn’t fool proof but it helps gauge.
I can’t stress enough that a large follower base & high engagement does not indicate a good quality influencer, it’s also possible that they bought followers to speed up the process.
It is essential you use these effective methods to protect yourself from fraud influencers!
Also, generally speaking if an influencer reaches out to you for collaboration – AVOID. Theres always exceptions to the rule but unless an outreaching influencer is an obvious compatible collaboration then I say AVOID, they just want your money, they don’t care about the product and at the end of the day their promotional qualities should speak for themselves!
You should find them before they find you! Good quality influencers should be focused on growing and engaging with their followers, not scavenging around trying to desperately source collaborations.
If you’re short of time, can’t be bothered with the hassle of the manual approach then we strongly suggest the HypeAuditor tool, it’s effective, efficient and we think it’s the world’s best tool for checking fake followers and engagement!
HypeAuditor Fake Follower and Engagement Checker
On HypeAuditor’s website, click “Register” then enter your email address, password, your First / Last name to create a free account.
How to Use HypeAuditor?
Simply enter a non-private Instagram account or Youtube account then click “Check” to see the results.
By using HypeAuditor, you get an advantage as a brand by getting familiar with the influencer’s audience and activity upfront and make the following conclusion. HypeAuditor analyses the demography of the Instagram user’s audience by country, city, and language and calculates Engagement Rate (ER).
Audience quality analytics
Check the quality of the audience and find fake or bot followers. The reports show the number of real people, influencers, mass followers and suspicious accounts.
Demo’s and language reports
Find out what country the influencers followers are from, the languages they speak, gender and even their age.
Engagement Rate (ER) this is the percentage of followers that engage with their posts and gives a good understanding of how well they will do for your sponsored posts or collaborations.
Engagement Group check
Check if the influencers comments come from an engaged, real audience and were not artificially incentivised.
By analysing the follower’s text in the bio, HypeAuditor can determine which language are spoken. If the bio text language differs from the expected language or the platform detects language for a relatively low percentage of profiles, this can be a signal of influencer fraud.
Estimated Likes per Post
If the user has low likes in comparison to the follower count that indicates an unengaged follower base, the same goes if the user has tons of likes but a low follower count, this could indicate that they are buying fake likes.
Comments per Post / Like
This is very useful to determine if a user has a truly engaged follower base, if there’s tons of likes an no comments that could be a signal for something sketchy going on.
Estimated Real Followers
Take note of the estimated real followers, this gives a good indication of genuine and 100% real accounts.
HypeAuditor do charge for their service but it’s worth every penny, they do offer one free credit which you can use as a tester (the free version will not give all the data reports)
Analysis and Reports
I’ll now show you what kind of reporting HypeAuditor offers, for this example i’ll use our own Instagram account @gramfluencer
NOTE: You must have over a thousand followers for HypeAuditor to give a thorough reporting of an Instagram account and only gives the extra details to influencers who have accounts with over 10K followers.
HypeAuditor shows you the engagement rates for each account, ours is quite low at the moment since we haven’t been posting as much as we used to.
Other key metrics that HypeAuditor displays are things like; Audience type which shows how many of the followers are real people, influencers, mass followers and even suspicious accounts (BOTS).
It will give insights into the countries that the followers are from and also the age and genders of the followers. Pretty Cool!
As you can see above our Instagram account has 65.1% real people, 2.1% influencers, 15.9% mass followers and 17% suspicious accounts, even though suspicious accounts generally mean fake accounts or bots, there’s still chance that alot of these could be real people just with newer Instagram accounts.
HypeAuditor will also give reports on account growth, we used growth hacking methods to grow our account really quickly so you’ll notice a sudden spike in followers, we have an article on how to get more followers which you can read here. You could also expect a sudden spike in followers after a shoutout from a bigger account or a “viral-worthy” post.
Another cool thing about HypeAuditor is the “estimated post price” which is useful for seeing how much an influencer should be paid for a post, this is just a general guide and will vary from influencer to influencer, it will also vary on the type of collaboration you are trying to setup with an influencer i.e: standard wall post (1 hour, 10 hours, 24 hours) or an IG story with a video of the influencer – Expect to pay more for these.
Checkout this HypeAuditor demo webinar
HypeAuditor is an absolute must for any brands that are working with influencers or looking to work with new influencers, it’s an amazing tool and we think it’s worth every penny!