Fake Followers on Social Media – 5 Ways You’re Fooled by Them

Have you ever gone on somewhere such as Instagram, and seen that someone has thousands of followers, but hardly has any content? On top of that, their content barely has any engagement. From individuals, wannabe influencers, and businesses, it’s surprisingly common. So, how do all these fake followers on Instagram or other social media sites come to be? Maybe you need to do a fake follower check.

Chances are, they were either bought, or someone randomly targeted that account (which happens too). While the idea of having thousands of followers sounds cool, what’s the point if it’s all fake? You spend a lot of time on social media content creation that you want to be sure that it reaches the right people.

Here are five ways that you’re probably being fooled by these bots on social media channels and missing your target audience.

fake followers
Learn how to spot fake followers, and how to avoid them to improve real social media engagement.

What are Fake Followers and Why Should You Care?

Fake followers are social media accounts that are created by bots to make someone appear more popular, influential, or powerful than they really are. The most common purpose for these fake followers is to boost the credibility of a company or individual.

However, there are other reasons why someone might choose to buy fake followers on social networks as part of their social media strategy.

These tactics include boosting their ego and making them feel more important. You should care about fake followers because they can lead to a false sense of security. You don’t want that when you are using social media for business.

Furthermore, you may think that your posts on social media platforms are more popular than they actually are. This thinking can lead to a lack of motivation and inspiration for future posts on the media platforms.

1. The Illusion of Success

You Might Be Fooled Into Thinking Your Social Media Presence is More Popular Than it Really Is

It’s an easy trap to fall into for your brand. We see our social media numbers increase and we start to feel like we are doing a great job. But that might not be the case.

There are many factors that can inflate your social media numbers and make you believe you have more followers than you really do.

instagram fake followers
Can you spot your Instagram fake followers from an influencer?

However, make sure you check the profiles ever-so-often, and if you’re randomly getting massive amounts of followers (without your content getting viral) then there could be something funky happening. Keep in mind, that you can always remove inactive followers.

2. Advertising Bots Can Hijack Your Comments

Go to Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, or maybe even TikTok. You’re going to find plenty of private accounts or bots that are commenting nonsensical stuff and the messaging may be off. You don’t actually have to fake followers in order to deal with this. If you glance at some viral posts (anywhere), you’re going to see this exact same issue.

Are you a blogger and have a blog or website with the comments open? Chances are, it can happen there too. Usually, links are posted in these comments.

However, comments are a great way to engage and connect with your prospects. Learn how to spot spam comments and eliminate them.

On social media profiles, it’s usually not going to harm SEO, but on your website, it can if you allow links from these bots. But of course, handy services like Sofiaseo.com could help out with this. Just watch out, there are usually tons of spammy links in these.

3. With Fake Followers, Your Content Won’t Reach the Right Audience

Not only that but your content will be ignored by people looking for quality content that’s interesting to them. This mostly involves Facebook and Instagram as their algorithms are the same, but it could technically affect Twitter as well.

If you’re posting content for your marketing strategy, it’s primarily meant for your followers to see it. If you have nothing but bots, well, they’re not going to interact with the content. There isn’t going to be any engagement and it essentially becomes a lost cause.

fake follower check for bots
Spot the bots from real accounts on social media networks.

Furthermore, it may mess up your social media stats such as demographics. You will have to look deeper into your social media analytics to spot the bots and fake accounts. Furthermore, you will want to unfollow these fake accounts.

4. Fake Followers Can Lead to “Ghost Accounts”

Ghost accounts engage with your business and give the impression of activity where none exists. The use of fake followers can be a way to inflate the number of your social media following and make it seem like you have more activity than you really do.

This can lead to more engagement with your business, but also a lot of problems.

The problem with fake followers is that they are not real people. They don’t interact with your posts and are not invested in your company or brand. This means that they do not provide any value to your business and can actually hurt it by giving the impression of activity where there is none.

5. Fake Followers Ruin Your Business Reputation

Social media is a powerful tool for businesses. It provides them with a direct line to their customers, and it’s a great way to get feedback. But the downside of social media for business is that it can be easy to create fake accounts and have those accounts follow you. And when you have fake followers, that can be detrimental to your business reputation.

When people see that you have hundreds or thousands of followers but are only following 10 people, they might think that your account has been hacked or bought. They might also think that you are trying to buy likes or views for your profiles on the social media platform.

social media manager reputation
Protect your social media manager’s reputation by managing fake followers with a fake follower check tool.

Either way, fake followers can damage your reputation and make people question what else is fake about your company’s social media presence.

Which Social Network Has The Fakest Followers – Twitter or Instagram Fake Followers?

According to an AT&T article about fake followers, “While Instagram had quite a showing of fake followers on famous accounts, Twitter seems to take the proverbial cake when it comes to fake followers. On average, the celebrities we tracked had 68% more fake followers on Twitter than on Instagram. The average fake follower percentage on Twitter was 42%, while on Instagram, it was 25%”.

Now if you want to eliminate some fake followers on Twitter and improve your engagement with social media solutions, check out my video below. This video content will show how you can do that with a FREE tool called Tweepsmap.

Fake Follower Check for Social Media Marketing

To check if you have fake followers there are some fake follower check tools you may want to use.

  • Modash
  • Grin
  • Inbeat
  • Hypeauditor
  • InBeat
  • Fakecheck
  • Social Auditor

Most of the above social media tools work for fake Instagram followers but some work on other social media platforms.

However, if you want to avoid fake followers on LinkedIn, you should be very careful who you connect with on that social channel. You may notice once you connect with a new person, they send you a DM with promotions right away. That’s a huge sign of a spammer doing their job.

Engaging Followers vs. Big Number of Followers

Hubspot recently did a poll on whether Twitter users wanted more followers that engaged on social channels vs. not engaging but with more followers.

You can easily see the results were for engagement as it is part of a business’s social media marketing strategy today. Engagement is a great way to build your social networking followers slowly and organically. 

Your Turn on Fake Followers On Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Have you experienced counterfeit followers on your social media accounts? Have you noticed them or done anything about them with a marketing tool? Do you unfollow brands or people on Twitter that appear fake?

I’d love to hear about it in the comments below if you are active on social media.

Agorapulse for a fake follower check
You can have your team manage social media with Agorapulse and spot fake followers as well.
Lisa Sicard

10 thoughts on “Fake Followers on Social Media – 5 Ways You’re Fooled by Them”

  1. Unless bots took over some accounts I used to be subscribed to for years, I know I had no fake followers. Just like I do on other social media platforms, I vet anyone who connects with me or who wants to connect with me to see what their profile looks like, the types of things they put out and of course if they do more than just share other people’s content. Luckily, it’s not going to be anything I have to worry about anymore.

    1. Hi Mitch, did you check all of your Twitter followers? You can’t help who follows you there unless you have a private account. I get all kinds of followers on Twitter including a few bots or spammy types of accounts, I don’t follow back but I can block some. Have you blocked any Mitch? Thanks for your input on this topic.

      1. Well, unofficially I’ve left Twitter, but the program I was using to access it told me every time when someone started following me, including bots. Whenever it was a bot I immediately blocked it, but if it was someone I wasn’t going to follow I left it there, knowing they’d eventually drop me. That’s how I got under 900 people following me again.

        1. Hi Mitch. How do you leave Twitter unofficially? Maybe how I unofficially left Facebook. I’m on it but not active, only my pages. What program were you using Mitch? Thanks for the info and have a great rest of the weekend.

          1. The day I decided to stop going to Twitter, I had a bunch of articles still scheduled to go live. I didn’t want to take the time to remove them all, so I decided to just stop going and let what existed play itself out. There’s probably only a couple of people I used to talk to on Twitter that know I’m not going back for at least six months, but possibly never again depending on what happens.

            The program I was using is called Tweeten. There’s lots of stuff you can do, including blocking words and people and seeing everyone who starts following you. I misspoke earlier because I meant to say that I reduced the number of people I was following earlier, but I let people who followed me that I refused to follow drop me from their subscriber base unless they were bots or some kind of person I’d rather not associate with. Anyway, you can download it and use it as a standalone… without any Twitter ads.

          2. Hi Mitch, I have not heard of Tweeten. Interesting. Thanks for the update on that and have a great day.

  2. Hi Lisa,
    True indeed, some of these fake accounts or BOTS mess up my analytics. Especially all the spam in my inbox is just so not needed. I do have a rule to move them and delete them, but they always find a new way to get in 🙁

    1. Hi Praveen, I hear you on the spam emails as well. From the spam followers to the comments and then emails. We always are left with a mess to clean up. I do find that most go to my spam folder nowadays, thankfully 🙂 Thanks for coming by and have a great day Praveen.

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