Having 1.4 billion monthly users positions Instagram as one of the social media giants today. The huge number of monthly active users positions the platform as invariably ideal for marketing products or services using any of the legal and proven methods, including influencer marketing.
This marketing method became popular today since social media started to thrive, and some brands have testified that it is a goldmine for marketing.
Over the years, various brands have made a success of the platform via advertising or paying an influencer to give their business and brand a facelift. In fact, more than 89% of people who have used Instagram influencer Marketing have testified that it has given their ROI a huge boost, more than any other social media platform. This and other factors are responsible for the boost in influencer marketing.
However, the menace associated with this fluid form of marketing is that out of desperation to convince brands or businesses that they have followers they can influence to patronize them, some influencers go all the way to amass ghost (nonexistent) or fake using different means. Unfortunately, boosting your brand or business through these sorts of influencers could be a terrible flop.
So, are there ways to ascertain that the followers of your favorite influencers are real and active? Of course, yes, which is what this article is all about in the first place. After thorough research on the Internet, we have come up with these carefully-curated top 15 free software tools to help you identify fake followers. Let's have a look at them below.
The 14 Best Free Instagram Audit Tools to Check Ghosts & Fake Followers
On the top of our list is GhostHunter. This tool helps you to gain insight into any Instagram account. In this article, we shall be assuming the account is your potential influencers'. Back to the tool, it also helps you get data on the account, such as engagement ratio, profile authenticity, etc.
The icing on the cake of this tool is that it has a powerful hashtag generator that can help you generate the hashtag strategy of your potential influencer. Take a look at the common hashtag they use, if they do not match with the hashtags generated by the tool, then chances are your favorite influencer is not a good fit for you.
You can't leave DataJam out when you are talking about tools that can help you identify fake followers. DataJam does not only check for fake followers; they also check for inactive followers, in other words, sleeping followers.
Perhaps, the most interesting part is that neither your influencer nor their followers will have the slightest idea that you are doing a background study of their account; DataJam runs anonymously. As a matter of fact, it does not even need your login credentials to carry out its duty.
Their information is extensive and accurate, you have nothing to doubt about the result provided. The tool comes with a 3-day trial which will cost you just $1. Their basic subscription will cost you $9.99 per week.
HypeAuditor is an Artificial Intelligence-based that does not compromise its quality of results. With the HypeAuditor app, you will be able to ascertain the authenticity of the followers, comments, and also engagement rate of your potential influencer. They use over 35 benchmarks to calculate the genuineness of influencers' accounts in terms of followers. They have a track record of doling out accurate data, their software has not received any complaints from their clients, and they are being used by big companies.
The most important feature of this app is that it helps you know the quality score of the account in question and the analytics of the followers. HypeAuditor lets you get data of fake followers for free, but if you want a river of information, then be ready to part with a few dollars. That's fair enough.
Grin is a website tool that helps you detect whether an Instagram account has fake followers or not. When the page comes up, all that is required of you is to enter the username of the account and wait for the website to generate a result, which will display on your screen.
Details generated are Followers, Engagement rate, and Audience Credibility. From a large number of followers and the insignificant engagement rate of this account, you should be about to tell that majority of its followers are not real. Do the same to your influencer account and see what you get.
Upfluence is a giant in the Instagram marketing industry. Their ability to deliver quality has built a sense of trust and loyalty amongst their clients. What makes them even more credible is that big names such as Amazon, Zappos, Asus, Asics, and Verizon have used their services. They provide detailed information about your potential influencer.
With their tools, you can go in-depth into data and filter the results with over 20 categories. They build a complete profile of the influencer you want to search for, the profile has all relevant data to help you ascertain if an influencer is genuine or not.
All of the data they provide you with helps you develop metrics to understand if the influencer is a good fit for you or not. Best part? Their Chrome Extension is completely free. They have various packages available with a combination of tools. The packages will be made available when you contact their team.
It is very easy to know if an Instagram account follower is fake with FakeCheck. This fake followers detector measures the genuineness of an Instagram account by how much engagement it gets. FakeCheck is a free detect tool that provides a screenshot of an Instagram account's followers. It can even identify the most suspicious followers. So go ahead and use this tool if you suspect that your potential influencer's account is filled with fake followers.
FakeCheck works better with large accounts, and it's not 100% accurate, but it can give you basic analytics of an Instagram account. The tool offers a few free searches before you are required to pay a fee as a subscription.
Analisa is a free tool that helps you check for the follower demography of an account. It also helps you ascertain the authenticity of these followers and find out how much engagement they give to the account in question. The hashtag analytics tool, which is free, by the way, does good work by identifying fake followers and can be used to cut them off from the real and active ones.
Analisa is also a good tool for TikTok analysis, so it can be used to check for fake followers on both platforms.
8. Combin Growth
This is PC-based software that helps you detect fake Instagram followers. Its features once run as premium, but they are now absolutely free to use by everyone. With the help of Combin Growth, you can tell fake followers from real ones.
The fake ones usually have meaningless names or empty profiles, or a combination of letters and symbols. Other things you should be conscious of includes the number of posts, advert presence, and the different interrelationships between these factors.
9. IG Audit
This is a free-to-use tool that helps detect if Instagram account followers are fake or genuine. All that is required of you is to enter the username or handle of the Instagram account that you intend to check, and the site's algorithm will depict the percentage of real accounts and fake ones. An account that can score 70% and above can be considered an influencer account; otherwise, it means you might have to search for other influencers who can score that number or above.
The tool is free, but if you have a few dollars to spare, you take a step further to verify real followers. IG Audit has different prices for different accounts' followers, so the price you may end up paying is largely determined by the number of followers on the particular Instagram account. The paid version is special because it breaks down the followers into ‘good', ‘suspicious', and ‘dormant' followers.
SocialBlade is a popular checker tool for not only Instagram but also YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, Twitter, DailyMotion, and Mixer accounts. This tool also covers networks and platforms that no other tool does. It provides accurate and transparent results for influencers.
This tool helps you spot fake Instagram followers and inactive followers, see their online presence on another platform, and generally also see how well they are doing online. It helps you know if the followers of your potential influencer are real or fake.
The free features of SocialBlade could pretty much do what you want it to, but if you more advanced and in-depth information, then you can opt for the paid subscription, which also helps you bookmark and track accounts.
11. Influencer Marketing Hub
With the Influencer Marketing Hub website, you don't have to worry if your potential influencer's Instagram account is followed by genuine people or fake non-existent people. All you have to do is enter the username of their account into the Instagram Bot Analytics tool, and it will give you comprehensive information (which is actually a rating score of 1 to 100).
The website uses factors such as account avatar, number of accounts followed vs. the following ratio, following, fake followers, number of posts, number of likes received vs. number of likes ratio to generate the account quality score.
Genuine potential influencers' accounts and real active followers will hit a score of 80 and above as a test result. Accounts with poor scores may imply that the potential influencer may have tons of fake followers. Influencer Marketing Hub has, however, made a disclaimer that the tool is provided by HypeAuditor and that all complaints should be directed at them. They also pointed out that the accuracy of the results is not guaranteed.
This is an Android-based app that helps you to track spammers or inactive followers. The app has a 5-star rating of 150,000 users and an overall grade of 4.5. MonoMosaic is certainly an authority figure in fishing out fake Instagram followers. Although the app lets you access some features for free, you might have to pay for advanced features.
MonoMosaic also helps you to know who has blocked your potential influencer, know who has unfollowed you, and discover who is spying on their account. It does help you monitor more than one Instagram account.
Modash is a free analytical tool that helps brands to check for fake followers on influencers' Instagram accounts. Modash says after carrying out research that shows that some influencers lace their Instagram account with fake followers to position themselves as business boosters, they designed the tool to help people check for fake followers on account of these influencers whenever they consider working together.
The tool also performs a few other functions, such as checking popular hashtags and mentions, viewing popular content and engagement rate, as well as seeing the trend of an influencer's followers and likes over time.
14. IconoSquare Auditor
IconoSquare is a popular Instagram tool that helps businesses or brands get the best out of their campaigns by allowing them to follow a consistent calendar by scheduling posts for each day on their calendar. It is also a great tool for fake followers check. All you have to do is connect your potential influencer's Instagram, and the service will send you a comprehensive review of the account.
The result is an overview of your influencer's activities on Instagram, which helps you tell which areas they are doing fine and areas they need to improve on. More importantly, it lets you know if there are fake followers on the account. If there are, it means they will not be ideal for business.
Q. Will my influencer find out I'm checking their account?
There is no way your influencer is getting any notification whatsoever that you are checking their account. You are only working with their username or Instagram handle, which neither affects their account nor attracts the attention of the platform. Checking their account for fake followers puts you on the advantageous side because it makes you decide if they are good enough for your brand, so you are not doing anything wrong by checking.
Q. How do People Get Fake Followers?
Sometimes, fake followers are not gotten by the actions of the account owner; they are created and programmed by hackers to randomly follow other users by default in order to make them appear real. Other times, it is the action of the account owner to amass fake followers for reasons best known to them. They do that either by buying or using tools to generate them.
Q. What are the Implications of Fake Followers?
There might not be enough reason to term it illegal until it is used to perpetrate a crime. The major downside for influencers is that it questions their authority and credibility. In addition, it prevents them from getting deals from brands and businesses when they find out. Worst case scenario for an influencer is taking payment but giving poor results. This could be termed fraud and may attract legal consequences.
As a business owner, you must be sure about your potential influencer's followers before you award them marketing contracts. This reason is that your business growth is determined by their large follower base and the amount of engagement they get. This cannot be achieved if their followers are not real or active. So, to avoid a waste of investment resources, a proper study should be done.
On the other hand, as an influencer, your credibility and ability to deliver ROI are questioned if your follower's base is fake to begin with. It may also put you out of the influencer market or get you into trouble in the worst case. Organic and real traffic is the best to position you for great opportunities. It is imperative that you begin now.