The 5-Step Guide to Spotting an Influencer with Fake Followers: Step 4

Using Followers’ Gender Demographic

In the fourth installment of this guide, we will be teaching you how to spot an influencer with fake followers by looking at their followers’ gender demographic. This is the fourth of five signs we have identified to help you accurately assess if an influencer has purchased fake followers. The first three signs are as follows:

  1. Irregular audience growth patterns or negative audience growth
  2. Low engagement rate or irregular engagement
  3. Large number of followers from countries whose language the influencer does not communicate in

Step IV: Examine their Followers’ Gender Demographic

Watch out for: high percentage of generic accounts

Pet account belonging to @pumpkintheraccoon.

For the purposes of today’s article, it is important to understand what a generic account is. A generic account refers to an account whose content does not focus on the male or female influencer. Instead, the account features pets, memes, food, flat-lays or any other sort of content that does not place the influencer in the forefront.

One such example of a generic account is that of pet account @pumpkintheraccoon, featured on the left. The account follows the life of Pumpkin the Raccoon and seldom, if ever, features other human beings. We here at Popular Chips consider such accounts “generic” as they cannot receive the same sorts of sponsorships from many brands that use influencer marketing, such as those in the travel, fashion, fitness and beauty industry.

In addition, public accounts that do not have profile pictures or posts are also considered “generic” accounts, since they cannot be placed under either the “male” or “female” category. When fake follower farms create accounts, they are often created with such little care and concern that the accounts are often left without profile pictures or any posts. This results in the account being identified as a “generic” account. Hence, if an influencer has a high percentage of their followers comprising generic accounts, this may be an indicator of the influencer having fake followers.

As with the previous indicators of fake followers, there are also exceptions to this rule. In some countries, such as those in the Middle East and Japan, regular Instagram users have a slightly lower tendency of posting photographs of themselves on public accounts. While they still own Instagram accounts, they are more likely to post photographs of the things that are happening around them or the items that are present in their lives, with few selfies or shots taken of themselves being made available to the public eye. What this means is that while celebrities and mega-influencers in those countries have no qualms about posting images of themselves, their followers are likely to end up being classified as “generic” as they are inclined not to do so.

In such cases, it is important to read the data in conjunction with other information so as to ensure that one does not mis-identify an influencer as having fake followers.

This is part four in a series entitled ‘The 5-Step Guide to Spotting an Influencer with Fake Followers’. The aim of this five-part series is to provide you with five foolproof methods of identifying an influencer who has purchased fake followers. To read part one on identifying fake followers using audience growth, click here. To read part two on identifying fake followers by checking their engagement (rate), click here. To read part two on identifying fake followers by checking their followers’ country demographic, click here.

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