The Instagram craze allows brands to gain visibility through influencers who can showcase them. However, this opportunity also leads to a plague that distorts influencer marketing: the purchase of likes and followers by some Instagram accounts. Some celebrities have reportedly used this as well. In addition, brands are beginning to be wary of these fake accounts to whom they no longer want to spend their influencer marketing budget.
The race for followers can lead some influencers to cheat, attracted by the lure of financial gain and the desire to work with brands. Unfortunately, this totally breaks the very essence of influence: trust.
But how do you identify these fake accounts?
We will review several methods to identify these fake accounts and influencers, and then compare them.
The ratio of the number of followers / likes
This criterion is the easiest to see. Indeed, these are accounts that have a large number of followers, but in return very few or almost no likes on their posts. However, we must be careful because this criterion does not necessarily define a fake account. Indeed, the rate of engagement of an account is variable according to each person, and tends to be inversely proportional to the size of the community (see our study on engagement).
Similarly, when an influencer’s Instagram account has more subscriptions than followers, it is most likely a bot account or an account that practices follow-unfollow. In the latter case, the subscribers are real but the power of influence is less, or not very qualitative.
Moreover, some people quickly understood that they were too visible to act this way. So they buy both their followers and their likes! This criterion is not so obvious anymore.
Monitoring the evolution of statistics allows to detect abnormal fluctuations of followers. But this method is not very reliable because some events can break the natural evolution curve of an account. For example, the organization of a contest (giveaway), seeing your account being relayed and shared by another (big) influencer, getting publicity following a buzz, being bought followers by a hater who wants to sabotage the statistics of an account to discredit it,…
The detection tools
Hypeauditor allows you to evaluate an account and screen it to detect the proportion of fake followers and therefore the purchase of subscribers. This service is paid but reliable because it scans internal data to an Instagram account. This information seems accurate and gives indications like the quality of the community, the engagement rate, the like-comment ratio, the interests of the audience etc.
Hypeauditor generates a report that lists a “state of play” of an account and gives a final score.
The tool is much talked about because it is very much relayed by influencers on social networks. Because of this, the cost has become very expensive, even prohibitive!