Are Your Instagram Followers Real Or Fake ?




Instagram’s large user base offers huge marketing potentials for brands, businesses, digital marketers, entrepreneurs and social media influencers.

Social media marketing like every other marketing is essentially a numbers game. For Instagram, this equates to the number of followers. Here, more followers (can equal) more revenue, although this isn’t always the case.

Some Instagram accounts have a lot of followers over whom they have little to no influence. Influencers on the other hand, can make their followers take action, and that’s where the money is.

With ROI of $6.50 for every $1 spent, Influencer marketing ROI is this close to email marketing. As more brands court more influencers, wannabe influencers with tons of fake followers are emerging, as well as agencies selling such services.

One way or the other, brands are looking for how to get even more Instagram followers, and are doing it in different ways, some however, get fake followers.

Who are Fake Instagram Followers?

Fake Instagram followers are impostor accounts set up and used to follow brands or Instagram accounts to create the impression of large following or fan base. It is the cousin of blackhat SEO tactics.

Reasons Why People Buy Followers

Some of the reasons why brands and businesses buy Instagram followers include;

  1. To fake social proof
  2. To boost online visibility
  3. To build brand reputation
  4. To increase sales
  5. To create greater awareness
  6. To get some form of validation
  7. To get wider feedback, etc

Buying Instagram followers; is it safe, legal, are there any real, measurable returns? These are some questions brands ponder.

Touted as the fastest growing social network by Search Engine Journal, and with over 1 billion monthly active users (and counting), it is clear to see why everyone wants to be on Instagram and get more Instagram followers. Following are

Other Ways to Acquire Instagram Followers

Using social media automation tools is a trusted way to grow your Instagram following.

Other tried and tested ways to get more organic Instagram followers including:

  1. Promoting your brand’s hashtags
  2. Getting creative with your content
  3. Engaging in popular conversations on Instagram
  4. Always using creative captions
  5. Promoting your brand’s uniqueness
  6. Watching the photo tags, you allow on your profile
  7. Paying tested influencers to pull followers

The above list is inexhaustive. Buying, or shall we say renting of followers is another way to get more Instagram followers, but what really comes with the package?

Other Key Things to Consider

Before you set out to pay an agency or influencer to buy or get more Instagram followers, you should pause and consider these five (5) things;

  1. Their number of followers
  2. Quality of followers
  3. Follower engagement
  4. How long they’ve existed
  5. Consistency of results
  6. Past performance history
  7. Average follower account lifespan, etc

Real Versus Fake Instagram Followers

Ex-wrestling and now Hollywood sensation Dwayne Johnson @therock has a huge Instagram following of 143m!

143m followers for The Rock seems rock solid, he’s a huge celebrity.

Many other “influencers” have a huge following that seems too good to be true, bloated, with little to nothing to prove they deserve such following. That smacks of fake.

Following are:

10 Ways to Spot

Fake Instagram Followers from 10 Miles Away


  1. Private profiles
  2. Absence of profile pictures
  3. Absence of posts
  4. Rapid audience growth
  5. Spammy usernames
  6. Sparse comments
  7. Poor engagements
  8. Audience location
  9. Fan buying services
  10. The follow back hashtag

The table below gives a comprehensive overview of the ten differences between real and fake Instagram followers:

10 Key Differences Between

Real and Fake Instagram Followers









1 Private Profiles Most fake Instagram followers keep profiles which are not easily accessible to the public Real Instagram followers are followers with public access to account
2 Absence of profile Pictures Fake followers usually do not have real pictures Real followers have a profile picture for easy identification
3 Absence of posts Fake followers created by bots unfortunately can’t/don’t post Real Instagram followers post, like or comment from time to time.
4 Rapid audience gr Fake followers grow fast and rather too quickly. Follower growth is usually gradual, with few exceptions like Eugene the Egg
5 Spam Usernames Since fake accounts are simulated by bots, they most likely use spammy usernames Usernames for real account and real people are usually always creatively selected
6 Sparse comments Fake followers share little or no comments on posts of accounts they’re following Real accounts generate likes, comments, etc.
7 Poor engagements A peek into your followers activities might reveal scanty conversations between your fake followers and their own supposed followers Engagement levels may fluctuate, but real accounts engage with your posts.
8 Audience Location Followers who maintain local account with tons of overseas followers is likely fake Brand recognition is most effective first locally before internationally. Real followers have this common trait.
9 Fan Buying Services Most fake Instagram followers engage in questionable fan buying services to grow their own audience Fan buying services though existent, is always realistic and easily manageable
10 The Follow Back Hashtag Fake followers can be generated from the follow back hashtag embedded in posts which always compel you to follow back Real followers are deliberate about who they follow back



Instagram is a melting pot for users which include brands, businesses, entrepreneurs, celebrities, influencers, regular people, and unfortunately criminals.

Some may be trying to sell you fake Instagram accounts. This article gives you some practical advice to avoid them.

Author Bio

Amos Onwukwe is an AWAI trained Business and Ecommerce Copywriter featured in Huffington Post, Dumb Little Man, Self Growth, Ecommerce Nation, eCommerce Insights, Understanding Ecommerce, Result First, Floship, Successful Startup 101, Small Biz Club, Small Business Bonfire, among others.

You can find him on Twitter @amos_onwukwe.


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