How to Spot Authentic (and Fake) Instagram Influencers

In a single day’s worth of posts that have sponsored or ad tags on Instagram, about 50% are fake engagements, according to data from the anti-fraud company Sway Ops.

Influencer fraud is, unfortunately, a real part of social media. Countless influencers use fraudulent practices to make their influence seem more widespread than it is. Whether fraudsters buy followers or use Instagram pods, fake or stolen content, or bots, avoiding those types of partners is an issue that many companies and brands face.

So, how do you spot a fake Instagram account? What should you look out for when searching Instagram accounts to ensure you’re working with an authentic influencer? Check out our tips for spotting fakes and ensuring you work with real influencers.

Methods That Fake Influencers Use

To discern fake influencers from authentic ones, it helps to take a closer look at the methods they use to gain followers and engagement.


Buying Followers

If your influencer has a multitude of followers, that can signify he or she is pretty popular in the Instagram community. But taking a closer look at the followers and the types of engagement can help you determine the authenticity of that influencer.

Often, people purchase followers to boost their numbers. There are actual sites where people can purchase a certain number of influencers. For a set price, you can purchase bot-followers. Does that boost the influencer’s number of followers? Sure. But the followers are not authentic, and they don’t engage with your content.

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