How to find out if a blogger’s Instagram subscribers are wound
Influencer marketing is one of the most effective tactics for promoting products and services. According to general statistics, for every dollar spent on influencer marketing, companies managed to generate about $ 7.5 in revenue.
The cost of advertising from influencers primarily depends on the number of subscribers. In such conditions, it is absolutely not surprising that a huge number of bloggers have appeared on Instagram, artificially increasing their audience using gray methods. By placing an ad post with such a blogger, you will not get any new sales or increased brand loyalty. Next, let’s take a look at how to find out if followers on Instagram are boosted.
How to determine a rolled profile
Some bloggers cannot boast of a multi-thousand audience of subscribers, but their readers are interested in the published information, listen to opinions, actively like and comment on posts. Others have chosen for themselves the path of cheating subscribers, which is nothing more than deceiving a potential advertiser.
Before Instagram switched to the algorithmic feed, it was quite easy to determine the wound profile. It was only necessary to focus on the audience coverage indicators and its activity. Now, even profiles with real followers can have low ER and audience reach.
How to find out if followers on Instagram are boosted now? Analysts have found new loopholes for detecting deception and parameters that distinguish an account with “live” subscribers from fake ones. We suggest that you familiarize yourself with them in more detail.
Basic Profile Information
It is difficult to simply “by eye” determine whether a blogger resorts to cheating or not. The first thing to look out for is general profile information.
After opening the page, carefully read the basic information on it. The first thing to pay attention to is the ratio of the number of subscribers to subscriptions. The excess number of subscriptions suggests that the blogger uses gray methods of promotion, and the profile itself is of little interest to anyone.
The next step is to get acquainted with the list of subscribers in more detail. Of course, if the page is followed by thousands of users, then it will not be possible to physically view them all. But you still need to open the tab and scroll it as low as possible. First of all, those accounts that are closest to you will be reflected in the list of subscribers, and only then the rest. You need to pay attention to a large number:
- store profiles;
- subscribers without avatars;
- foreign followers;
- accounts with random letters instead of names;
- subscribers with several digits in their nickname.
Another alarming symptom is if you see that the influencer has a lot of followers, likes and comments under the posts, but at the same time, low-quality content and frequent publication. Most likely, all this activity was created artificially.
Unfortunately, this information may not be enough to catch the page owner of cheating. “Dead” souls in subscribers can completely resemble regular accounts, have avatars and completed profiles. The number of subscriptions, posts, likes and comments can be adjusted so as not to arouse suspicion.
The number of likes under the posts can tell a lot about the profile. How to find out if Instagram likes are wound? Compare their number with the number of subscribers. According to statistics, up to 10% of the audience actively likes profile posts, and most often no more than 2-4%. Therefore, if you see only 4 thousand subscribers in your profile and about the same number of likes under all publications, then most likely the account data is screwed up.
Similar conclusions can be drawn in the opposite situation, when there are very few likes under posts. Agree, it’s rather strange if a blogger has 10 thousand followers and only 100+ likes under a post. It is quite justified to suspect that his audience is not “live” and is not interested in his posts, which means, most likely, was attracted by means of cheating.
The same distribution of likes, or too large discrepancies in indicators, also speaks not in favor of the blogger’s honesty. All posts a priori cannot gain the same number of likes. It is logical that, for example, advertising publications collect fewer likes, and selfies and entertainment content more. If their number is approximately the same everywhere, then this indicator is artificially maintained at this level. If some posts get 100 times more likes than others, you can suspect that they are involved in cheating.
Perhaps the best way to tell about your profile audience is comments. There is no such thing that a popular blogger with interesting posts and a “live” audience does not comment on anything.
Leaving a comment is still a more laborious process. It is considered a normal indicator if the number of comments in the profile is approximately 0.1% of the number of followers. This ratio indicates that the account is developing naturally without attracting a cheat of subscribers.
If there are significantly fewer comments, then we can say that the number of followers is screwed up. At the same time, you need to understand that the times when it was difficult to wind up likes are in the past. Today, with the help of specialized services, you can order a cheat for anything, including comments.
Comment comments differ. Take the time to go over the notes and look at the quality and content of the comments.
If you see similar and monosyllabic comments, general phrases, comments that are not related to the topic of the post, you can be sure that this indicator has been tweaked.
The same principles work with video views as with likes. It is considered normal if the number of views is approximately 2.5% of the number of subscribers.
In all other cases, we can say that the blogger has clocked one of two or both indicators.
Live audience metrics
Over the past few years, the number of accounts that are engaged in buying followers has increased. For an advertiser, these are low-quality accounts with an audience that doesn’t just listen to the opinion of the influencer, but doesn’t even hear it.
Unfortunately, outwardly, an account with winding subscribers can masterfully disguise itself as a regular one. Fortunately, there are several criteria, the presence of which will help to understand that there are no followers in the profile:
- Your account has the optimal ratio of subscribers to subscriptions.
- The number of likes and comments corresponds to the optimal number – up to 10% of the number of followers for likes, and approximately 0.1% for comments.
- Posts are published regularly and often comments on the topic appear below them without using common phrases.
- Video views are about 2-3 times more than likes below them.
- Personal posts get significantly more likes than others.
- Posts dedicated to significant events receive significantly more comments and most of them are congratulations.
Statistics are of key importance in determining cheating. Screenshots of statistics can be requested from the account owner if you plan to order advertising, or tracked through special services.
Having opened the statistics, first you need to look at the number of subscribers and their growth / unsubscription lately. The dynamics of the growth of the number of subscribers should be smooth. Sharp jumps in these indicators should be alarming. The only exception is the periods when the blogger participated in Giveaway or other contests.
Next, you need to assess audience engagement, reach and audience impressions. The average audience engagement rate is 1.6%. Sharp jumps in these indicators should be alarming, unless the account owner resorts to ordering ads.
It is also important to track the statistics of individual publications. Here you should pay attention to the following indicators:
- Reach of users who are not subscribed to the account. With a live audience, the number of casual visitors should not exceed 20-30%. When this parameter is more than 50%, we can confidently talk about cheating.
- Sources of referrals. In a good account, the lion’s share of all referrals should come from the home page. If you see a huge number of transitions from “Other”, then the cheat service is involved and users go to the profile from it.
- Post reach. Average post reach should be approximately 30-50% of subscribers.
Each Instagram profile has its own target audience, corresponding to its topic. If the geography of users does not correspond to the target audience, then most likely the users are screwed up.
For example, if the subject of the account is focused on the Russian-speaking population, then the majority of the subscribers should also be from Russian-speaking countries. If the subject of the profile may be of interest only to residents of a particular city, then, accordingly, subscribers should be from this region.
If a profile has a narrowly focused topic, for example, focused exclusively on a female audience, then the bulk of the subscribers should be women.
Have you noticed that the statistics show a wide scatter by regions, there is no clearly leading region or it does not correspond to the topic? Most likely, subscribers in this account are cheated.
The audience of subscribers in each account can be divided into four main types:
- Real followers are regular users.
- Influencers – other bloggers and accounts with more than 5 thousand followers.
- Massfollowers – profiles that are used to promote mass following. Typically this subscriber group includes small brand pages and other commercial profiles.
- Suspicious Accounts – suspicious accounts.
The majority of your profile audience should be regular followers. But you need to understand that there are no perfect profiles. And even if the owner of the account does not wind up subscribers, users who resort to mass following may still appear among his subscribers.
It is the large number of suspicious accounts that should alert you. These include profiles without avatars, with strange activity and strange nicknames. Most likely these are bots and their large number is a clear sign that the account owner is using cheat.
How to check for cheating through the trendHERO service
As you already understood, there are many ways to check whether the followers on Instagram are winding up on their own. But in fact, it can be quite laborious and energy-consuming. It can take about an hour to analyze one page. In addition, it should be borne in mind that some methods, for example, analysis of the types and quality of subscribers, in manual mode are only suitable for accounts with a small number of subscribers. In all other cases, you cannot do without specialized helpers.
Services specially tailored for account verification are ready to take on all the painstaking work. The result will be a detailed report that will immediately allow you to find out whether the owner of the page resorts to cheating or not, and if so, to what extent.
These services are a real help for those interested in quality influencer marketing. Instead of tracking the cheat for each item in the list yourself, you can simply copy the profile link and paste it into the corresponding field to check trendHERO. All that remains is to wait for the report and assess the level of risk.
Using the service, you can find out:
- how often the blogger posts;
- what traffic from subscribers;
- percentage of engagement and quality audience;
- audience type and gender;
- who the blogger mentions;
- geography of likes.
These are not all of trendHERO’s features. A total of 28 charts are available, the number of which will increase over time.
Try trendHERO for free
Why is it important to check the blogger in advance
The number of subscribers is one of the deciding factors when choosing a blogger. This indicator directly affects how much advertising will cost and what benefits it can bring. Fueled subscribers distort the idea of profitability.
When collaborating with a blogger who uses cheats, an advertiser pays for “dead” souls. At best, such advertising will not lead to the expected result, at worst – there will be no result at all. The scale of the disaster depends on how many subscribers are winding up.
Thus, preliminary verification of an Instagram account will help distinguish a blogger who can become an engine for promoting an account from one who will simply be a waste of the advertising budget.
What’s not working anymore
Instagram algorithms are constantly changing. Accordingly, the criteria by which it is possible to track whether subscribers in the profile are winding up or not are also changing. In order to assess the profile soberly, it is recommended to eliminate all outdated assessment methods and misconceptions. These include the following statements:
- ❌Quality content indicates that an account has a good audience. A few years ago, bloggers increased subscribers and did not bother too much with content, because there were still people who wanted to order advertising. Today advertisers have become more demanding, so many people follow the profile filling as well. The professionally designed content only says that the account owner is trying to make their profile interesting. Sooner or later, this will bear fruit in the number of subscribers, but only by looking at the publication you cannot be sure that the blogger is not resorting to cheating.
- ❌Good reviews from former advertisers. Firstly, it is worth understanding that reviews can be bribed, and secondly, past successes do not guarantee their repetition in the future. In addition, it all depends on the advertised product or service, which may simply not “enter” the target audience of the blogger.
- ❌Stable subscriber growth is the main criterion for evaluation. Bloggers have become very sophisticated and are winding up subscribers so that it is impossible to dig into them.
- ❌High engagement rate is a guarantee that the profile has a “live” audience. This is indeed one of the key metrics for real followers, but a high ER does not prove that likes, comments and views were received in an honest way.
- ❌Verified bloggers do not increase subscribers. Passing verification on Instagram only confirms a person’s identity. During the check, the administration of the social network does not check the cheating of subscribers.
When checking a blogger, it is not enough to make sure that he meets a specific criterion. We need a comprehensive analysis of the profile for many relevant points, and only the absence of suspicion for each of them can confirm the natural origin of the subscribers.
Tips and tricks
Subscriber cheating is a scourge for all advertisers. Frankly speaking, from the audience of a more or less high-quality blogger, you can subtract from 10 to 30%. In the worst case, the advertiser is offered to pay for 70-90% of dead souls in the account.
To ensure that the result of the advertising campaign does not become a disappointment, we recommend that you take into account a few more tips:
- Never take my word for it. No blogger who wants to get an advertising order will ever honestly admit that he resorted to cheating. Therefore, always ask for up-to-date profile statistics for analysis or check the page through specialized services.
- Take a close look at those who like and comment. If you see that the same users appear under all posts, then you should tighten the verification.
- Try to catch the moment when a new post is posted on your profile and track how naturally views, likes and comments are collected on it.
- Do not hesitate and contact the past advertiser directly. Just find the previous advertising post in the profile and write to its owner asking for feedback on cooperation with the blogger. This review can be considered honest.
Working with influencers on Instagram allows the most direct way to get a “hot” audience of clients that the blogger has painstakingly collected over the years. At the same time, if you are “lucky” to run into an account with winding subscribers, there is a high risk of dropping a decent amount from the advertising budget “down the drain.” Therefore, before ordering a paid post, be sure to check your profile for cheating. And remember that “drawing” beautiful statistics in your account is not as difficult as it might seem at first glance, so an integrated approach is required.