You may have noticed that everyone seems to consider themselves an “Instagram Influencer” these days. Due to the sheer number of these individuals online, It has become a problem for brands to determine which Instagram Influencers can actually help your brand, vs. the ones that are just trying to score something for free

Using Instagram Influencers is a great way to build your following on Instagram as well as get the word out about your products or services. Here are a few tips for spotting a fake: 1. Check Engagement Numbers: Look at the engagement numbers on each of their posts in comparison to their number of “followers”. If you are new to Social Media, engagement refers to the number of users that have commented and/or liked your photos. For example, if the individual has 100,000 followers but only 2 or 3 comments or likes on each photo, they are most likely fake. You are looking for influencers with a significant amount of likes and comments on their content; I lean more toward comments as comments start a conversation.  

2. What type of people are following the Influencer?

Honestly, who cares about the number of followers, it’s more about what kind of people are following the account.

Check out 10-15 of their followers, if you click on several of the accounts and they have no pictures, very few followers themselves, and are following thousands of Instagram accounts, these followers might have been purchased.

However, even if the users are real, you still want to do your homework, check to see where some of the followers live, if I run a restaurant in Venice Beach CA, and all of the Influencers’ followers live in New York that might not be a good fit. Check to see if the followers meet your demographic.


3. Monitor your influencers account for a few days.

Check in on the account for a few days. If the influencers’ following grows by an average of 20 followers a day, and then one day they jump by 1000 for no reason (i.e. a new product launch or special offer, for example, would explain a jump in followers), this is a red flag, and they might have purchased followers.


Take the time to do a little homework to ensure you are inviting the right people to try your products and services.

 Just remember, social media isn’t tricky, it’s about connecting people!