Our 4 tips to spot fake followers on Campaygn

Over 65% of influencers have fake follower activity and in 2020, brands will waste over $1B on investing on fake audiences.

Fake followers are not a surprise anymore, and today brands must tackle this challenge with the help of tools and technology.

With Campaygn, our influencer marketing platform, we are working hard to always provide key indicators to help brands identify fake accounts.

Take a look at our 4 tips to spot fake followers on Campaygn :

1/ Watch credibility score

Thanks to our powerful algorithm, we have the capacity to analyze follower accounts and calculate a credibility score which is the ratio between real and fake/inactive followers.

To calculate the score, we are looking at criteria on the account, such as:

  • Number of followers (usually fake accounts have zero follower)
  • Number of post (usually fake accounts have less than 10 posts)
  • Profile picture (usually fake accounts have no profile picture)
  • Followers/following ratio (usually fake accounts have much more following than followers)
  • Username (usually fake account names are filled with random letters and numbers)

The combination of these criteria allows us to spot fake accounts and determine the score. On average, a good score is around 75% (so 25% of fake/inactive followers).

Credibility score on Campaygn audience section

The usage of fake followers can differ a lot depending on the region and the category of influencers. On the other hand, the average score is very variable as well. For eg, 37% of fake/inactive for beauty influencers in the Middle East vs 21% for a food influencer in South America.

Share of average fake followers by region and category on Instagram

Please note that the technology we use to spot real vs fake followers can’t actually detect if an account is totally fake or not. These detected accounts are either inactive, or suspicious. Out of all the detected fake followers, some may just be accounts that aren’t active on Instagram anymore. We all have a portion of inactive audiences, with an average of 5%-10% of detected fake audiences considered normal.

2/Check audience location

Audience location of Spanish influencer

With Campaygn, you can have access to geographical distribution of each profile, which is very valuable to spot fake profiles.

We know that Brazil, Russia, India, the Philippines, Indonesia and Turkey are the top location destinations to provide fake followers.

When an influencer without any origin with those places has a high proportion of followers from the 6 mentioned countries, it’s very likely that most (if not all) of them are fake.

But, before you make any conclusions, make sure that an influencer is not an expat from Brazil or any other country.

3/Analyse follower graph

On Campaygn, you can analyze followers graphs for each account as well.

The graph trend is a very good indicator about the fact that influencer is buying fake followers or not.

An organic and positive trend with no spikes and sudden decrease is the sign of regular activity.

Followers graph of influencer with organic evolution

On the other hand, a trend with many peaks is the sign of suspicious activity.
Influencers are buying fake accounts and then they disappear after Instagram regularly cleans the user base.

Followers graph of influencer with spikes

Please note that sudden increase is not necessarily linked to fake followers purchase. For eg, if an influencer starts to promote his post using Instagram Ads or if they have a shoutout from another influencer with a lot of followers.
But in those cases, the spikes are not frequent and not followed by a significant decrease.

4/Look into Engagement Rate

The engagement rate shows how the audience is engaged with influencer’s content and can be a good hint of suspicious activity, because fake accounts don’t interact with the posts.

Low engagement rate (below than 0.5%) is not necessarily a sign of fake followers but it needs to be considered especially because it shows that influencers are not capable not capable of actively engaging their audience.

We recommend to select influencers with engagement rate above 2.5%

Campaygn helps brands to detect fake followers by providing influencers audience analysis. Are you interested? Contact our Campaygn team now!

CTO of Ykone and Head of Campaygn

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