How to check an influencer for fake followers and likes?

We all know that Instagram has a huge problem with fake followers and likes, and these talks have become quite boring. We should accept the fact that they are not in a hurry to fight this phenomenon, and continue working in the conditions that we have.

Almost every Instagram account has fake or mass followers — some more, some less. Even if the owner didn’t buy them.

What you really need to verify before you start collaborating with an influencer is:

  • if you can identify the fraud;
  • how many followers are actually real users from our target group.

In this post I will describe how to use LiveDune — the most powerful tool on the Russian market to check local influencers and spot fake activity or purchased followers on his or her profile. By the way, if you have any other tool with the same features on your market, you can apply the same rules in it.

How to check the quality of Instagram followers?

The price for promotion by an influencer is usually based on three indicators: the amount of followers, likes and comments. The first refers to the size of the target audience, and the second and third shows its activity and engagement.

A profile with 600K followers and 30K likes under each post looks attractive, however it is worth checking that they are genuine. Fortunately, we don’t need to research all of them and often it might be enough to look at just a couple of graphs, such as the dynamics of followers growth:

A sharp rise from 45K to 105K in one day, and then a gradual decline.

Maybe some top influencer has mentioned this profile and this attracted so many followers?..

Well, it is unlikely. Because, firstly, users on average are engaging with a post for three days, so we would see an increase not during one day but three.

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Secondly, in most cases, such a jump is an attempt to fraud. However, you should always remember that anyone can buy bots on any profile, not only the owner of this profile.

And thirdly, if you show this screenshot to the owner of the profile and ask for explanation, then most likely he or she will not be able to do it.

The next example, let’s call it “poop dynamics”:

14 days of sharp growth of followers and then less strong, but also quickly unfollowing.

Two weeks… This period is ideal for a giveaway, which usually lasts 7 or 14 days. In short, it’s a type of contest, especially popular in Russia for several years now, in which users have to follow 20-50 profiles to have a chance to win something, for example an iPhone. As you can see, April 10th is when the contest began, and then after two weeks it was attended by 200K people (or bots).

This profile was most likely among those 20-50 profiles that users had to follow.

How to identify fake likes?

Now let’s try to verify the fake actions.

Let’s agree, that getting fake followers does not make sense without fake likes, because if a profile has 100K followers and an average of 100 likes on posts, we can definitely assume that something’s wrong here. This is unnatural profile activity, because it’s too low.

On the other hand, if the same profile’s posts have 5-10K likes, it looks quite normal… But is that really the case?

Let’s look at this graph:

It shows how the amount of likes has been growing on a single post within a day after publication. 23K likes during the first hour and 5K during the rest of the time.

At first glance, there is nothing surprising. Until you see how likes are growing on a profile with genuine followers:

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The post gets most likes during the whole day. At night you can see a slight decline, and then again, you can see the growth, but even less.

Another example:

Absolutely the same number of new likes per hour during the first 10 hours. And no matter what time of day it is.

This is a more expensive way of buying likes, when you buy likes evenly for a long time, but still automatically. If you see such a post on the profile, it all looks quite natural, but on the charts everything is perfectly visible.

And the last example, which clearly shows the typical “steps”, when every few minutes a bot buys a certain amount of likes:

In addition to the growth dynamics of followers and likes, LiveDune has a couple of other useful features:

  • Engagement Rate Analysis (in relation to the number of followers or reach) and comparing it with ER indicators on profiles with the same number of followers. If the difference is big, it is worth considering, maybe the profile has poor content or has bought some followers.
  • Variability of likes — shows how much the number of likes on each post separately differs from the average number of likes on the whole profile. If the figure is less than 10%, it may mean that like are bought in the same amount for each post.

LiveDune has its own blacklist of influencers, where they are being included in case of fraud detection. On the Influencer verification page, the system gives you hints about what is bad and what is good in a particular profile, compared to profiles with a similar number of followers.

 Need support in the influence marketing campaign in Russia?   Send me an email or contact us through the form on the agency’s website

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