Recent research has shown that:
45% of of instagram accounts are fake (HypeAuditor)
55.39% of influencers are fake (Statista Research Department).
50% of influencer engagements are fake (Digiday's cheat sheet).
And 66% of Instagram mega-influencers and celebrities followers are fake.
Fake accounts mean that influencers (the account holder) have purchased their followers, likes and comments, in order to show active and engaged communities to get clout, credibility and sponsorship deals.
What are fake influencers?
Fake influencers are individuals who have created a falsely inflated following to make them seem more popular than they really are, usually by purchasing their account engagement (buying followers, likes and comments).
How do they fake it?
They do that by buying followers, likes and comments, and most recently hiding the number of likes per post to blur engagement visibility.
Why do they do it?
They basically "fake it until they make it" in order to get sponsorship deals, clients or clout. celebrities and mega influencers do it in order to stay relevant and compete with each other for sponsorships deals and branded contracts.
How can you detect fake accounts?
The first and most obvious tactic is to visit the influencers' page and go to their followers page. Randomly select any odd name follower and look at their profile. Many fake followers have just a couple of posts (often none at all) and don't appear to be very active. Fake followers usually don't use pictures of real people in their profile pic or posts (cats, dogs, items). Some fake followers have very little followers or zero followers.
How do we proceed from here?
Recognizing that over 50% of the people you supposedly admire are fake is a start.
Brands and companies seeking to engage influencers need to do their due diligence when engaging with influencers, and give preference to micro influencers with real engaged communities. Don't look at the numbers as much as engagement, and see that the followers profiles are real, and comments are beyond automated emojis and generic remarks.
We have all been infected by fake account. It is possible that you haven't purchased any followers or comments and IG algorithm will still interact with bots here and there.
To recruit and identify real influencers that can truly impact your brand connect with me.