8 Simple Steps to Spotting a Fake Influencer

David Linder

David Linder

MSc in Marketing from the University of Salford. Facebook Certified Planning Professional Facebook Certified Buying Professional
5 min read

Easy steps to spot a fake influencer!

If you want your brand to grow, one of the best ways to achieve such a goal is to work with influencers. The right influencer will help you promote your business, generate new leads and customers as well as improve your brand’s power online. This is the ideal situation though. The problem is that you can find lots of fake influencers out there, and they will just take your money without bringing in anything in return. So, how can you spot a fake influencer?

1. Check his/her profile and see if the comments are similar

Some people choose to be a fake influencer because it pays well and they don’t have to do anything. Thankfully, they don’t pay too much attention when it comes to creating their profile. If you see that the comments are similar on all photos and there is no variation, the user accounts may be fake. This should be your first red flag.


Check out some standard generic bot comments you can expect to see: 

Obviously, a genuine influencer would have genuine comments from genuine fans. 


2.Check the audience quality

You can use a tool to help you identify the audience quality or just randomly check a few of their followers. You get to see whether the profile is fake from if the followers actually Instagram or not. All these things are extremely important, and they will let you know the definite answer. Below, I used a 3rd party tool to compare a real influencer vs a fake, the difference is clear.

3.Social exposure

A real influencer will try to promote all the content on a variety of social platforms. Sure, they may stick to a specific primary platform, but they usually still have accounts on others.

4.Google results

Insert the influencer name in Google and check the results. If there are just 2-3 results about that person, then it’s safe to say you’re dealing with a fake influencer that just wants your money. A proper influencer will have dozens of results, if not more.

5.Does the influencer actively get more followers

If you want to work with a real influencer, you need to study his growth. This means you have to see whether the channel gets more followers or not. If the channel/page is actively losing followers, then that influencer is not a good investment.


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6.How active are his/her followers?

A good idea here is to check for likes. The likes to follower ratio is the best way for you to figure out how active the community is for that particular influencer.

7.Study the video views and see if they are consistent

If you do this, you will figure out if the audience is actively watching every video or not. Ideally, you want that to happen, and that’s the thing you have to take into consideration. If an account has 300k follows, but the video is only getting 2k views, then something is wrong this is less than 1% of followers viewing the video! For example my own Instagram account, at the time of writing, I have 8.8k followers, and a video I posted 18 hours ago has already achieved 600 views. This is around 7% of my audience, and it hasn’t even been 24 hours yet. However this is slightly higher than usual, I don’t post very often, so when I do post, it gets high engagement. I have found a 5% follower / video video radio to be about right for genuine influencers, but the higher the percentage the better!

8.Are there any daily follower changes?

Usually, the fake influencer will purchase followers to increase his/her exposure. But as you can imagine, you just can’t get followers every day. As a result, this will offer you a clear way to see whether the influencer is legit or not. If the daily follower rate has major fluctuations, this should set alarm bells.

Check out the chart below, real influencer on the left, fake influencer on the right. Obvious when you see it in numbers isn’t it?



In the end, finding a good influencer is not that hard, but you do need to do your homework first. Study the influencer’s growth, daily follower rate, see the Google results about that person and so on. All these things are very helpful, and they will give a good insight into the power of that influencer and the value that he can deliver! Don’t let yourself scammed by a fake influencer, use these great tips to find the real deal and grow your business!



David Linder

David Linder

MSc in Marketing from the University of Salford. Facebook Certified Planning Professional Facebook Certified Buying Professional

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