Clean Your Instagram With a Fake Follower Check (10 Things to Look For)
Instagram now boasts over 800 million users and doesn’t show any sign of slowing down. Of course, like any popular social media platform, there is bound to be a portion of Instagram’s 800 million users that are fake.
Fake followers aren’t good for anybody. They dupe people into thinking they have a larger reach than they do and they dupe brands into choosing the wrong influencers to advertise their products.
Fortunately, conducting a fake follower check, whether it’s for your own channel or someone else’s channel, is pretty simple with the right guidance.
They key is to know what you’re looking for:
10 things to look out for when conducting your fake follower check
Engagement rate: if someone has 10,000 followers but only 2 comments and 5 Likes on every one of their posts, this could indicate that a large number of their followers are fake (or at least inactive/unengaged).
Who is engaging with posts: if the majority of a post’s engagement is coming from non-followers, this could be indicate an unreliable and inactive follower base.
Location of followers: if a channel’s followers don’t make sense in relation to their own location and channel theme, those followers may have been purchased. For example, if a channel is a local dog food company based out of Los Angelas and the majority of its followers are from Siberia, that’s a red flag.
Bump in followers: if someone suddenly gains 10,000 new followers overnight, there’s a good chance that those are fake followers. Use a tool like Iconosquare to keep track of someone’s follower growth.
Drop in followers: on the same note, if you notice that suddenly a channel has 10,000 fewer followers than they did the day before, this could indicate that Instagram cleaned up a bunch of their fake followers.
Channel content: if a channel’s followers don’t have any posts, haven’t posted in two years, or havn’t even made the effort to post a profile picture, there’s a good chance they are either fake or inactive.
Who they follow: if a channel’s followers are followed by or are following “Fan-buying” services, this could indicate that they themselves are fake or bot accounts.
Usernames: while not as common, channels with conspicuous names like “@followers4you” can be an indicator of fake accounts.
Character of followers: if a truck driver form North Dakota is being followed mostly Russian super models and Indian body builders, that’s a good sign that those followers were purchased.
Number of private accounts: random follows from private accounts with small or non existent followings could indicate that those channels are trying to hide signs that they’re fake (no photos, inactivity for long periods of time, etc.).
How to avoid fake followers in the first place
Doing a fake follower check is one way to clean up your followers. Another much easier way is to avoid getting fake follower in the first place.
The reason people get fake followers in the first place is typically because they buy a huge number of followers in bulk with no regard for what those followers look like.
Taking the time to create relevant content and selectively engage with your target audience is obviously the best way to avoid this.
If you don’t have the time to do grow your Instagram the ol’ fashioned way, there are ways other than buying your followers to quickly grow your following with real followers.
The best way is without a doubt to use automation.
Automation simply takes everything you would normally do to get more followers on Instagram, such as Liking, following, commenting and DMing, and does it way quicker (and arguably more accurately).
This way, you’re still attracting real people to your channel, but you’re doing it at a rate comparable to buying your followers in bulk. More importantly, you’re creating a follower base that doesn’t require you to constantly perform a fake follower check and clean up your account in the future.