How to spot fake Instagram followers

by | Feb 9, 2024 | Marketing Tips

Wondering how to spot fake Instagram followers? 🕵️

Should you even care about fake followers?

Here’s an eye-opener: Statistics suggest 1 in 10 accounts on Instagram are fake. 

That means there are over 200 million fake Instagram accounts. 😱

At Click Analytic, we’re all about being genuine. 

Join us as we look at how to spot fake Instagram followers, find out why people buy fake followers, and what it means for your business.

Let’s roll. 👇

How to spot fake Instagram followers

Why are fake Instagram followers a problem?

You ask why Instagram has been swamped with fake followers. 


👉 To appear popular and influential

A hefty follower count has become a sort of social currency. 

The more followers you have, the more credible and attractive you look—to people and brands alike. 

But here’s the catch: not all those followers are real people

Some crafty folks have figured out that buying their way to social media fame is easier than earning it. 

This has led to an influx of fake accounts, or ‘bots’, crowding the platform, making it hard to tell who’s got a genuine following and who’s just putting on a show.

Now, why would someone buy fake followers? 

It boils down to a few reasons. 

First, vanity. 🤡

A big follower count boosts the ego and makes one seem more important. 

Second, it’s about perception. 👀

Brands often look for influencers with large followings to promote their products. They assume a big audience equals a big influence. 

So, some account holders think, “Why not take a shortcut?” 

They buy fake Instagram followers to artificially inflate their numbers, hoping it’ll land them lucrative partnerships or increase their visibility. 

But here’s the twist: 

👉 These fake followers can’t engage because, well, they’re not real. 

That means no likes, comments, or shares—just hollow numbers adding up to a facade of popularity.

⚠️ Fake followers are a problem.


Because they distort reality on Instagram. 

They create a false sense of popularity and influence, undermining the platform’s purpose of genuine social interaction and engagement.

It’s a façade. 

And yes, it can have real-world implications, from misleading brands to diminishing the value of authentic engagement.

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Finding fake Instagram followers

Finding fake Instagram followers isn’t rocket science. 

Here’s how to spot the fakes without needing to become a detective. 👇

‼️Unusual follower-to-following ratios:

Real accounts usually have a balanced ratio of followers to accounts they’re following. If you see an account following thousands but with only a handful of followers in return, your fake alarm should go off.

💡 Pro tip: Learn what is follow-for-follow on Instagram. It’s another sneaky tactic that could harm your account.

‼️Low engagement rates:

This one’s a biggie. 

An account with tons of followers but barely any likes or comments on their posts? Red flag city. 

Genuine influencers or active accounts have engaged communities that interact with their content. If the engagement is missing, those followers might just be for show.

‼️Generic, irrelevant comments:

Ever seen comments that are super vague like “Nice post” or “Great pic” on every photo? 

Yeah, those could be from bots. 🤖

Real followers tend to leave more thoughtful or specific comments related to the content.

‼️Bursts of activity followed by silence:

Fake accounts often have a weird activity pattern.

They might follow a bunch of people, like a flurry of posts, or leave a bunch of generic comments all at once… and then, nothing.

Silence. For weeks or months. 

Real accounts tend to have more consistent activity, reflecting a human’s natural social media use.

Spotting fake followers is all about looking for inconsistencies and patterns that don’t add up to how genuine users behave on Instagram. 🕵️

Keep these pointers in mind, and you’ll become quite adept at distinguishing the real from the faux.

Macro-influencers have between 100K and 1M followers

The risks of fake Instagram followers

The risks of fake Instagram followers aren’t just about numbers; they can have real consequences. 

Let’s break it down, plain and simple.

⚠️ Your brand’s integrity is at risk!

Fake followers can make your brand look bad, plain and simple. 

Imagine this: you’ve got a high follower count, but when someone takes a closer look, they see little to no actual interaction on your posts. 

It screams, “I’m faking it!” 

This can seriously hurt your brand’s credibility. 

People value authenticity, especially on social media. 

If your followers are mostly fake, it tells your real audience (and potential customers) that you’re not trustworthy. 

And once trust is broken, it’s incredibly hard to rebuild.

⚠️ It hurts your ROI and engagement!

Now, let’s talk about money and interaction. 

After all, we’re in this game to make money.

Fake followers are essentially dead weight. 

They don’t engage with your content, so they do not like, comment, or share your posts. 

Why does this matter? 

Well, engagement is a key influencer marketing metric that brands use to measure success on Instagram. 

Low engagement means your content isn’t resonating, making it harder to secure partnerships or sponsorships.

Moreover, if you’re putting money into your Instagram strategy—be it through ads, content creation, or influencer partnerships—your return on investment (ROI) takes a hit when you have a lot of fake followers. 

👉 You’re essentially throwing money into a bottomless pit. 

Real followers who engage with your content and are interested in your brand or products drive sales and conversions, not the fakes.

Fake followers can make your brand look untrustworthy, damage your credibility, and mess with the metrics that really matter for growth and success on Instagram. 

Stick to building a genuine, engaged community. 

It might take more time, but the payoff is real: loyal customers and a brand reputation that’s solid gold. 🤑

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Tools and techniques for spotting fake Instagram followers

When it comes to sifting through your Instagram followers to spot the fakes, you’ve got two main approaches: using specialised tools or doing some good old-fashioned manual checks.

Use Instagram audit tools

First, you can let software do the hard work for you.

IG Audit, FakeCheck.co, and Social Audit Pro are your go-to digital detectives for detecting fake followers. 

These tools, also known as fake follower checkers, analyse engagement rates and the authenticity of your followers, giving you a clearer picture of how genuine your audience is. 

They work by examining your followers’ activity and engagement patterns and comparing them against known benchmarks for actual user behaviour.

But there’s an even better option. 👇

👉 Click Analytic. Our platform steps up the game by using AI to dive deep into your Instagram analytics. 

Our influencer vetting platform doesn’t just count followers; it looks at how they interact with your content, helping you identify which ones might be empty shells.

Manual checks

If you prefer a more hands-on approach or want to double-check what the tools are telling you, here’s what to look for:

🔎 Profile completeness: Real users tend to have a fully filled-out profile, including a profile pic, bio, and several posts. If an account looks barren, it’s a red flag.

🔎 Post frequency: Genuine users usually post regularly, though sparingly. Accounts with either no posts or hundreds in a short span might not be legit.

🔎 Quality of interaction: Look at the comments on their posts. Are they meaningful, or just a bunch of emojis and generic compliments? The latter could indicate a fake.

Combining these tools and techniques will give you a robust defence against the fakes. 

You can ensure that your Instagram community is as authentic as you are. 

Remember, quality trumps quantity every time when it comes to social media.

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Strategies to mitigate and avoid fake Instagram followers

Let’s tackle the final piece of the puzzle: how to keep your follower list clean and your growth organic.

Always vet your influencers

When it comes to influencers, the key is to vet them thoroughly before jumping into any collaborations.

Here’s how:

🔎 Examine their engagement:

Look beyond the follower count. Genuine influencers will have a healthy engagement rate, with natural, meaningful interactions on their posts.

🔎 Review their content history:

Authentic influencers will have a consistent track record of high-quality content that resonates with their audience.

🔎 Use Click Analytic: 

Click Analytic is the answer for brands and agencies aiming to find influencers with real influence. 

It’s an affordable platform designed to sift through the noise, identifying influencers with authentic engagements and genuine followers. 

Our influencer marketing platform uses advanced analytics and machine learning to understand an influencer’s reach and impact.

Foster genuine growth

And here’s another secret: you can foster genuine growth to keep the fakes at bay.

How do you do it?

Simply, follow these rules:

✅ Always aim for quality over quantity: 

Always prioritise the quality of your content. 

It should resonate with your target audience, providing value that keeps them engaged and returning for more.

✅ Always engage with your community:

Genuine interaction is crucial. Respond to comments, participate in conversations, and be present. This builds a real community around your brand.

✅ Always use hashtags wisely:

Use relevant hashtags to reach new audiences, but avoid overusing them or relying on overly generic ones.

✅ Always be consistent: Post regularly, but don’t sacrifice quality for frequency. Find a balance that keeps your audience engaged without overwhelming them.

Stick to these strategies. You’ll avoid fake followers and foster a community that cares about your content and brand.

A man in a lab coat is holding a clipboard with social media icons.


And there you have it: how to spot fake Instagram followers.

What’s your next step?

You grab this free trial of our influencer vetting platform.

Use it to find genuine influencers with real followers. Quick and easy.

FAQs about fake Instagram followers

Still here? Got some burning questions about fake Instagram followers?

Check out these answers.


Can fake Instagram followers get my account banned?

Yes, using services that provide fake followers violates Instagram’s Community Guidelines. It can lead to your account being suspended or banned.

How can I tell if someone has fake Instagram followers?

Look for a high follower count with poor engagement rates, such as very few likes or generic comments, often indicating fake followers.

Do fake followers affect my engagement rate?

Absolutely, fake followers inflate your follower count without contributing to engagement, drastically lowering your overall engagement rate.

Is it worth buying Instagram followers to boost my profile?

No, buying followers offers no long-term value, damages your credibility, and can negatively impact your account’s performance and reputation.

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