How to Spot an Inauthentic Influencer

Finding authentic influencers to work with is vital when it comes to forging longterm relationships as a brand. Someone with 10,000 real, engaged followers understandably has far more influence compared to someone who has 100,000 fake followers. Your primary goal as a brand is to get in front of as many consumers’ eyes as possible, and fake followers can skew those expectations and negatively affect the overall results of a campaign.

Here are ways to spot an inauthentic influencer:

1. Check their engagement rate

Does it make sense for someone with 50,000 followers to get an average of 100 likes per photo? Is it realistic for someone with 5,000 followers to get 2,000 likes per photo? These type of suspicious numbers should raise some major red flags when searching for influencers.

An easy way to calculate an influencer’s engagement rate is to divide their average likes/comments by their following and multiple by 100. 2-3% is considered standard; but the higher the engagement, the better!

2. Use as a tool is a great tool for checking the authenticity of an influencer’s following. Not sure where to start? We have a comprehensive guide on how to detect authentic followings using here.

3. Ask for insights

Instagram offers free business analytics and insights to people with Facebook pages attached to their accounts. Many influencers monitor these stats in an effort to bolster their growth. If you’d like to know more about an influencer’s following, simply ask for a screenshot of their insights. You’ll then have access to their overall reach, weekly impressions, profile views, and more.

4. Do your research

Take some time and look through the accounts who have liked their recent photos – are they real people or do they look like spam? Does the person get almost the exact same number of likes on every single photo? Do they have exponentially more likes than comments? Chances are, they’ve used some sort of inauthentic growth hack to achieve these numbers.

Identifying authentic influencers to work with isn’t always easy. Thankfully, there are ways to make your search easier. What steps do you take to ensure you only work with authentic influencers? Comment below!

Interested in collaborating with influencers? Use our influencer marketing planning tool to get free estimates and influencer recommendations.

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Jessica is a fashion and lifestyle blogger at Diary of a Toronto Girl. Find her on Instagram @jessicailam. Jessica is a member of #ThePaidCrew editorial team.