The totally free and almost unstoppable method to detect fake Instagram accounts!

The craze for Instagram allows brands to gain visibility through influencers who can put them forward. However this opportunity also leads to a plague that distorts influence marketing: the purchase of likes and followers by some Instagram accounts. Some celebrities have also bought. In addition, brands are beginning to be wary of these fake accounts to which they no longer want to spend their marketing budget influence.

The subscriber race may incite some influencers to cheat, attracted by the lure of financial gain and the desire to work with brands but it totally breaks the very essence of influence: trust.


But how to identify these fake accounts?

I will review several methods of identifying these fake accounts and influencing influencers and comparing them to each other.

The ratio of the number followers / likes

This criterion is the easiest to see. Indeed, these are accounts that really have a lot of subscribers but in return very few or almost no likes on their posts. However, we must be careful because this criterion does not necessarily define a false account. In fact, the rate of commitment of an account varies according to each person and tends to be inversely proportional to the size of the community (see our study on the commitment).

Similarly, when an influencer Instagram account has more subscriptions than subscribers, it is very likely that it is a robot account or an account that follows the “follow-unfollow”. In the latter case, subscribers are real but the power of influence is less or less qualitative.

In addition, some have realized that they are too visible to do so. So, they buy both their followers and their likes, so this criterion is not so obvious.


Statistics watch

Monitoring the evolution of statistics can detect abnormal fluctuations of subscribers. But this method is unreliable because some events can break the natural evolution curve of an account such as for example: the organization of a contest (giveaway), see his account be relayed and shared by another (large) influencer, advertising following a buzz, buying followers by a hater who wants to sabotage the statistics of an account to discredit him, …


Detection tools

Hypeauditor can evaluate an account and sift it to detect the proportion of false followers and therefore the purchase of subscribers. This service is paid but reliable because it scans data internal to an Instagram account. This information seems accurate and gives indications like the quality of the community, the engagement rate, the ratio like-comments, the interests of the audience etc. Hypeauditor generates a report that lists an “inventory” of an account and gives a final score.

The tool does a lot of talking about it because it is very relayed by influencers on social networks. However, is it really reliable? The question deserves to be raised because some influencers reveal that the rating given by HypeAuditor would be variable and we do not know how it works nor on what criterion it is based to give its overall score.

It seems that the tool notices posts as sponsored as soon as a brand is involved when it is not necessarily the case. This results in a drop in the overall score. Moreover the notes seem changed often.



The free solution: the quality of subscribers

Viewing the quality of subscribers directly in the list of subscribers allows you to see the type of community that follows an account and see a lot of details! Admittedly, the data will not be as accurate as statistics and we must devote time to the analysis to be able to deduce conclusions, but this method has the advantage of being totally free, affordable and above all effective!

The process involves randomly taking 20 profiles from the list of Instagram account subscribers that you want to analyze. To be impartial, do not just click on the list and take the first that appear because it is the last subscribers and it would distort the search for the entire account.

Tip: Enter different letters of the alphabet in the search bar (for example type “L” to take followers whose nick starts with “L”) and take a random account in the list of subscribers that will be displayed at new.
In this selection, we must now study the account and therefore check if it is a real account held by a real person:

For that, we look at:

  • the presence of a profile picture suspicious or not
  • the number of subscriptions: an account which follows more than 2000 accounts can be a robot account created only to follow an account when buying followers, if it counts next to only 0 or 1 subscriber
  • description in the biography of the profile (elaborated then it is probably a real person).
  • the content posted because the robots accounts post but often inconsistent photos, or very suspicious
  • the country or language of the person: if a French account is followed for example by a majority of Portuguese, this is not normal ..

In short, in 3 minutes, make yourself your audit unstoppable with these 20 followers taken at random. Sort them into 3 columns: FAKE – NOT ON – TRUE FOLLOWER. Assign 0 points for fakes, 1 for Not SURE and 2 for REAL FOLLOWERS. Sum and divide by 40. You get a percentage. It will be a good, unstoppable and free estimate of suspicious accounts …


To go further, can we really trust Influencers?

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