If your brand is searching for an Instagram influencer to work with, it’s important to get the right person to work with. Instagram influencers can benefit your brand in a multitude of ways. One of the most important benefits is that they build your brand’s credibility. This is why it is so important to find the right person. With the increasing number of influencers, there is also an increase in the possibility of coming across fake, spam accounts. Here’s our list of ways to check on the legitimacy of an Instagram influencer account.

What is an influencer and what are the benefits of a collaboration?

What do influencers do? In short, they influence. They work with brands to promote certain products or services, and use social media as their means of communication. They offer a variety of benefits to your business or brand. Below is a list, to name a few:

  • Generate sales
  • Create interesting, relevant content that will boost traffic and engagement
  • Build brand awareness
  • Have authority, influence, and people trust them
  • Build brand trust
  • Improve SEO rankings
  • Build relationships
  • They are creative, engaged, and are great communicators
  • Drive traffic
  • Convert leads
  • Provide excellent value
  • Have a fresh, interesting perspective

Engagement Ratio

First, look at the number of followers the account has, then look at the number of likes per post. If the account has an astronomical number of followers, and very low number of likes per post, it is likely a fake account. You can calculate the engagement rate by taking the total number of likes and dividing it by the total number of followers. Then multiply that by 100 to get the ratio percentage.

Look at the Profile

Profile Image

What is the account’s profile image? Does it look suspicious? Does it even have a profile image? A true influencer either uses their logo or a high quality image of themselves as their profile image.

Profile Bio

First of all, make sure the account has any information in their bio to begin with. If the account has an empty bio, they’re extremely unlikely to be the real deal.

If the account does have a bio, check for spelling mistakes. Also look for keywords that may indicate that the account is trying to sell something.

Look for a URL. If the URL directs you to a spam site or something that does not look legit or does not even relate to the influencer, steer clear of that account. If the URL directs you to a site that is real, responsive, and related to the influencer, you’re likely in the clear.

Look at the Followers

Look through some of the followers. Do you notice any of the following?

Followers with no photos or posts

See a username that doesn’t look like a real person? For instance, accounts with weird names and a lot of numbers are likely not real. Click on the accounts you’re unsure of. Check out different follower profiles to see if they have a profile picture, and if they’ve ever posted anything on their account. If the answer to both of these is “no” then you most likely have a fake follower at hand.

Followers with inappropriate content

This one speaks for itself – if the account shares content that is inappropriate or offensive, it is likely not a real account.

Comments that look like spam

See any comments that are gibberish or do not relate to the post? These are signs of a fake follower.

Fan-buying service comments

This is a huge red flag that the influencer has fake followers, and has been buying their followers through a service.

Active Community

Check the quality of the engagements on the account, and look at the following:

Look through the comments

If the majority of the comments look like spam, the account is likely fake. Real influencers have followers that ask questions, express their opinions, etc.

Does the influencer respond to comments?

If the influencer does respond to comments and the comments are unique, then they’re probably the real deal. But, if the comments are always the same or do not provide context to the situation (ie Thanks!) this could be a sign of a fake account (or a sub-p