REPORT: Influencer marketing benchmarks and trends 2023

How to find fake followers on Instagram: manual for advertisers

Why do Instagram influencers buy fake followers? How to find fake followers on Instagram? Why is it always worth checking influencers for cheating followers and activity? What metrics will help to spot a fake influencer before you start an advertising campaign? We’ve prepared useful material for those who have to work with Instagram influencers.

Why do Instagram influencers buy fake followers?

Influence marketing has been considered one of the most effective ways to promote a brand and its products on the market for several years in a row. With the help of an influencer, a business can increase awareness, loyalty, and conversions. The main thing is to choose the right creator for integration.

But what if many of them, even celebrities, pay for fake followers and activities? Influencers attract bots for two reasons: 

  1. The pursuit of imaginary popularity: a large number of likes and subscribers is necessary for a person’s pride and image.
  2. Commercial needs: with the purchased bots, an influencer creates the image of a successful account and draws beautiful statistics to sell ads to brands. This is usually done when an influencer does not know how to get followers on Instagram without cheating or does not want to make an effort, but desires to get the results here and now.

An influencer can get fake followers on Instagram by applying several methods:

  • encouraging to participate in giveaways;
  • making “like times”;
  • exchanging subscriptions in activity chats for creators;
  • buying followers.

As a rule, bots or mass followers subscribe to a profile and remain as a “dead weight”: they do not like or comment on posts, nor share them.

It would seem that if you can buy activity, then why puzzle over how to get followers on Instagram without cheating? The fact is that this way influencers simply kill their profile. Reach will be mercilessly cut over time, and advertisers will leave negative reviews: the money has been paid, but the profit is zero.

Instead of cheating, an influencer needs to work on content, generate new ideas that will "catch" the audience, collaborate with other creators, and so on. But it takes a lot of time and effort, and many people want to get the results quickly. Therefore, black methods of promotion in social networks still exist. 

How to check if Instagram followers are fake?

Fake Instagram followers check is a must if you want to get a good advertising case in the end. As we have already mentioned, even celebrities can sometimes deal with bots. And if several years ago recognizing fake followers was easy, today they are quite tolerably disguised. The result is predictable: influencers artificially gain an “audience”, bend prices, and the advertiser risks remaining without both money and results.

Imagine you want to start an advertising campaign. You select a micro-influencer who already has 50,000 followers, pay, and wait for stunning feedback. Bad news: there will not be good results. The influencer who flooded the page with nameless followers by no means claims to be an opinion leader. It is clear why you first need to check fake followers in the influencers’ accounts and only then negotiate with them about integrations.

In cases with some accounts, you will not even need an Instagram fake follower checker because it is very easy to determine the cheating. But now creators, eager to enrich themselves on the inattention of customers, are becoming more and more inventive. If earlier it was possible to meet many profiles with a 100,000 audience and 2-3 likes under posts, today almost everyone falls short of the required indicators.

The question is brewing: how to carry out the Instagram fake follow check and single out a really reliable influencer from the mass of unscrupulous “creators”? There are several effective ways, and we’ll overview all of them below.

How to find out fake followers on Instagram manually

It will take some time, but you will be sure of the result:


  • Fake followers and likes 

Go to the influencer's followers and attentively look through the profiles. More expensive bots look quite natural (they may have a “real” profile picture or nickname), but pay attention to their number of subscriptions, which will be very high (while the number of subscribers may be zero). Such pages are most often closed, and incomprehensible symbols and phrases flaunt in the profile header. With premium bots, it's even more difficult. Some of them even have pictures in their feed. Obviously, all of them were uploaded in one day.

  • Comments from activity chats

A new but very popular trend among influencers. Now, chat participants do not just leave emojis or write banal things like “Nice pic” or “Gorgeous”, etc. Now, for each post, the profile owner gives a specific task: what to write, how many words, and on what topic. How to carry out the fake follower check in this case? First, see if the comments lead to an extended dialogue between the influencer and the user, and secondly, pay attention to whether they correspond to the topic of the publication. Another cheat identifier – comments are always left by the same users.

  • Account monitoring 

Watch the influencer's account for at least 3 days (or better, a week). During this period, the creator will most likely post some publications and you will be able to independently track the growth of likes (better turn on the notifications so as not to miss anything). If the publication collects a thousand likes in just an hour, then it may be cheating (a sharp surge of reactions after a period of silence also indicates the bots’ activities).

Fake followers check with the BuzzGuru platform

Probably, the easiest and the most reliable way is to use the BuzzGuru discovery and analytics platform as the fake Instagram followers detector. On the one hand, you can collect a detailed (more than 30 indicators) report: account quality and rate, audience and its interests, demographic characteristics, etc. On the other hand, you get access to a large influencers’ database (more than 4 million accounts).

Here's how to find out who has fake followers on Instagram with the help of BuzzGuru:

  • Select the “Influencer Discovery” tab on the dashboard and then choose Instagram as the application you wish to analyze the influencers on:

Instagram search

  • Next, you will see the list of Instagram influencers available on our platform. By default, influencers in the list are sorted by the number of followers. However, you can change the sorting by the number of likes, engagement rate percentage, overall channel quality, or integration cost right in the list or enter the name of a particular creator in a search bar:Instagram search bar

Moreover, you can apply various filters to search for similar creators:

Instagram filters

  • Once selected an influencer, pay attention to the following metrics:
  • Demographic indicators. This includes audience gender and location:

Instagram audience geography 

You can also find out the most active part of an influencer's audience by dividing the audience statistics either by subscribers or likes. Just select the necessary option on our platform: 

Instagram likes stats

Note that no matter which option you select, the dominant positions in both charts should be similar:

By subscribers:

Instagram audience

By likes:

Instagram likes

  • Interests. It is good if they are in line with the subject of the profile:

Instagram interests

  • The engagement rate. ER is the percentage of the audience that interacts with the influencer's content (likes, comments, shares). The higher this indicator is, the greater will be the reach of the advertising post. 

On our platform, you will find this indicator in the “Content analytics” section. Note that for your convenience the ER of each influencer is already calculated and compared to the ER on similar accounts: 

Instagram content analytics

Moreover, we include the ER in the overall channel quality metric:


Discover more about the engagement rate on Instagram and its importance for influencer marketing here.


  • Audience statistics. We’ve collected 3 important metrics to help you carry out the Instagram followers check quickly. These metrics include:

Instagram audience stats

- Audience credibility: this indicator helps to understand if an influencer has a real audience. If the indicator is less than 75%, typically it is a sign of fraud.

- Likes credibility: helps to clarify if an influencer purchases likes. If this indicator is low, an influencer might be trying to fake a high engagement rate.

- Likes from non-followers: the higher this indicator is, the more effective this influencer is at reaching the users outside of the existing audience and could be a sign of “viral” potential.

What else to keep in mind before collaborating with an Instagram influencer? 

After you have used our Instagram follower checker, it is also necessary to pay attention to the following points before starting an advertising campaign with a creator:

  • The number of normal and sponsored posts: the ideal option is 1 advertising post per week (or no more than 1 advertising post per 4-5 “normal” posts). We recommend such a ratio not because otherwise you can get lost among the abundance of other businesses’ integrations. There must be enough other content on the page that will help the audience form a full opinion about the influencers and start trusting them.
  • Regularity: if a creator gets lost for a month, then abruptly starts publishing everything in a row – attention! – this is not a very good creator. Cooperation with such an influencer will not bring you the expected effect.
  • The attitude of the followers towards the influencer: in addition to the relevance of comments, their tone is also important. Study how the influencer communicates with the followers. Does the audience perceive the creator as a friend and an authoritative opinion leader? Or the influencer enters open conflicts in comments without hesitation?
  • Reputation: if you don’t want scandals, then it is better to opt for “neutral” influencers who do not use Instagram to express their own radical political, religious, and other views.
  • Average video views/likes ratio: there should be 2-5 times more views than likes. 

Finally, not to waste your advertising budget, it is enough to adhere to the basic principles of working with influencers:

  • Cooperate only with those creators whose audience matches your target audience.
  • If you are in doubt about which influencer it is better to integrate with, conduct a survey among the target audience and find out about the preferences.
  • Find Instagram influencers who already use your product or are loyal to your brand.
  • Before launching the advertising campaign, discuss with the influencer the philosophy and values ​​of your brand in detail, show and let them try key products, and explain how you see the integration.
  • Do not give up on micro-influencers, as they can be much more effective than some celebrities.
  • Analyze the comments and reactions of the audience after the advertising campaign.
  • Always sign a contract. 


Cheating on Instagram is evil. It kills the effectiveness of integration. First, advertising does not bring the expected result (large and medium-sized businesses cooperate with influencers primarily to get wider reach and improve reputation, which they definitely cannot get from the “dead” audience). Secondly, creators who buy fake followers significantly undermine the whole market. 

Before preparing a commercial  offer for creators, carefully analyze their accounts. Don’t hesitate to use the BuzzGuru discovery and analytics platform as your reliable fake followers Instagram checker – it will help to spend the budget for advertising wisely and get fabulous results from an integration. 

Try BuzzGuru today! Submit for a free trial and check out platform’s capabilities by yourself.