Check Instagram Followers To See Who’s Genuine and Who Isn’t

Profile photo of Karen Lin, author

Karen Lin

Instagram 101 | Oct 17, 2023

Want More Real Instagram Followers?

Many Instagram users obsess over their follower counts. They assume that having thousands of followers is all it takes to call yourself a successful creator. But it’s not all about how many fans you have. It’s also about how high-quality, genuine, and loyal these followers are. That’s why it’s crucial that you check Instagram followers now and then to see if your fanbase is truly authentic.

The bigger your social profiles get, the more susceptible you are to getting inauthentic and fake followers. When these fakes infiltrate your fanbase, they could harm not only your engagement rates but also your credibility.

Having an authentic fanbase with real people is key to succeed as a brand or influencer. In this guide, we’ll teach you how to verify your current followers to ensure they’re not mixed with fakes. Let’s jump right into it!

Woman holding a magnifying glass to check and take a closer look at something.

Benefits of a Large Instagram Following for Aspiring Influencers

Being an influencer is a dream for many people today. According to a 2019 study, over 50% of Millennials and Gen Z using social media would jump on the chance to become influencers. The first step to get there? To have a high follower count, of course.

People nowadays are so obsessed with getting thousands of followers online that they buy Instagram followers to get instant fame. Statista records show that in 2021, 49% of influencers bought followers online, while 58% of mega-influencers did it in 2022.

And while purchasing followers isn’t the most upstanding thing to do, we totally get why it’s an option for many. There are many benefits of a large Instagram following. For many aspiring creators, it’s their shot at overnight success and fame.

Having a high follower count can do many things for your online presence. It can boost your visibility on the Instagram feed, getting you lots of reach and engagement for every post. Your fanbase can also be social proof that you are trustworthy and credible, making more people flock to your page.

When all these good things start to happen, more brands will be interested in working with you. Brands love recruiting influencers with a massive following and a high engagement rate. If you amass thousands of followers, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to land brand partnerships and monetize your online presence.

A large group of fans supporting someone they admire.

A High Instagram Follower Count Isn’t Everything; Quality Matters Too

A high Instagram follower count is awesome for boosting your reach and engagement on the platform. But what matters more is the quality of your fanbase.

Are they genuine fans or bot accounts that just happened to follow you? Will they drag down your engagement metrics or boost them with appreciative comments and likes on your posts?

Even celebrities fall victim to fake followers constantly lurking in their pages. Your goal is to have a community of high-quality fans, not automated bots that inflate your follower count. To succeed as a brand online, here are the three kinds of followers you should strive to have:

Real People, Never Bots or Fakes

The ultimate goal on Instagram is to build solid relationships with real people. Only then will you get them to see you as an authority figure.

But if you don’t check your followers now and then, you won’t find yourself in that spot. You might end up with low-quality fake followers, like inactive bot accounts. These accounts don’t have real people behind them. Instead of engaging with you, they’ll just sit there and contribute to your follower count. This is damaging to your engagement rates and, consequently, your visibility on the feed.

Having a community of real people, not fakes, is crucial. Retaining real followers is the only way to build a genuine relationship with your audience. 

Never trust bots on the internet—they’ll only kill your engagement rates.

Engages With Your Content Through Likes and Comments

It’s not enough to have real people in your fanbase. They also need to engage with your content. That means liking, commenting, and sharing your posts with others. Always churn out relevant, trendy, and aesthetically beautiful content to get as much engagement out of your posts as possible.

To increase engagement even more, make sure to respond to your fans in the DMs or comments. That way, you can show them that you value what they have to say, too. That’s an amazing way to build rapport with them and get them to trust and admire you.

Non-Drop Followers That Won’t Unfollow You After a While

A lot of low-quality followers who aren’t actually interested in your content will try the follow-unfollow method. They’ll follow you first and hope you follow them back. When you do, they’ll unfollow you right away, usually without you noticing. It boosts their follower count while making yours look unstable and doubtful.

So, it’s important to gain non-drop followers, aka permanent followers that won’t unfollow your account. Followers like these will constantly engage with your content and keep your follower count stable.

How To Check Follower Requests on Instagram and Approve Them

If you have a private Instagram account, people will have to send a request to follow you. To ensure that you only have high-quality followers, screen them as early in this request stage. That way, you can decline any accounts that look fake or inactive and maintain your fanbase of real, active users.

Here’s how to check follower requests on Instagram and weed out the bad ones, step by step:

1. On your Instagram home screen, click on the heart icon in the upper-right corner. This will bring you to your Notifications tab.

2. At the very top of the tab, you’ll see “Follow requests” if you have any pending ones. Click on that section to see your current requests.

3. You’ll see a list of Instagram users who want to follow you. You can click on the “Confirm” button to approve their request or “Delete” to reject it. You can also click “Manage” to approve or reject requests in bulk.

Before approving any follower requests, make sure these are people you’re comfortable with showing your content. Remember, aside from low-quality, inactive followers, you also want to watch out for stalkers and scammers.

List of follower requests that you can access from your Notifications tab on Instagram.

Instagram Fake Follower Check To See if Your Fans Are Real People

When you sift through your followers, you want to keep an eye out for fans who look fake and untrustworthy. These are the kinds of accounts to get rid of if you want to maintain an authentic community.

Want to know if your followers are real people? Here are three things to look for if you’re conducting an Instagram fake follower check to remove low-quality fans.

1. A Sketchy Instagram Profile, Username and Bio

The first thing to look at to identify if a follower is fake is what their overall profile looks like. Take a look at the basic information they present.

Do they have a weird username with jumbled-up letters and numbers instead of a coherent handle? Is their bio generic or overly promotional? Is their profile picture blurry, or is it a borrowed photo of someone else, like a celebrity? They might be a fake account.

2. Low-Quality, Irrelevant, Spammy Posts

After looking at their basic information, check out the posts they have on their feed. Fake accounts will usually have blurry, generic, or stolen photos on their page. The captions might also be blank, nonsensical, and irrelevant. This is because their only goal is to populate the page and make it look legit. 

Another way to check for fake accounts is by checking when they posted their content. If there is a burst of activity in a short amount of time, that’s a red flag.

For example, you open someone’s profile and see nine photos on their feed. At first, it looks like they have a legit page that they care about. But a closer look reveals that they uploaded all nine posts just two days ago. This is a tell-tale sign that this is a fake account trying to look authentic.

3. Low Engagement Rates and Follower Counts

If you suspect a follower of being a fake account, check their engagement rates. If someone has thousands of followers but just one or two likes on their posts, they might be fake.

You should also check the user’s following-to-follower ratio. If they follow thousands of people but only have less than 10 followers, it’s a red flag. They’re probably a fake account doing the sketchy follow-unfollow tactic to gain more fans.

Unreciprocated Support: How To Check Who Doesn’t Follow You Back on Instagram

Aside from quality, you might also want to check your followers for who isn’t following you back. Following someone back—especially if it’s someone you know in real life—is a sign of respect. Many people take offense to someone not following them back.

If you’re one of these people and want to double-check if certain people follow you, we’ve got you. Here’s how to check who doesn’t follow you back on Instagram.

1. Go to the profile of the person you want to check is following you back.

2. Click on their following count at the top of their page.

3. In the search bar, type your name. If your Instagram handle appears in the list, it means they are following you back.

You can also check if someone is following you back from your own profile. Here’s how:

1. Go to your own Instagram profile and click on your follower count at the top of the page.

2. Type the username of one of the people you follow in the search bar. If they show up on the list, you can rest assured they are following you back.

These methods might be time-consuming if you want to check on multiple followers who may not follow you back. To check in bulk, search for third-party instagram follower checker apps to simplify the process and efficiently verify followers on Google. You will see all the people who don’t follow you back in one go.

However, always be careful with third-party apps beacuse they can sometimes pose a security risk to your account. Never give your login credentials to apps just to check on these people. You could end up with a compromised account. If you use these unauthorized apps regularly, Instagram might even shadowban you.

Check Instagram Followers Regularly To Maintain a Genuine Fanbase

While churning out content is your primary job as a creator, you also must keep an eye on your fanbase. If you don’t check on them regularly, you might start drowning in fake followers and bots. Aside from making you look like a fake yourself, these kinds of followers can pull down your reach and engagement. You can end up losing brand opportunities because of it.

So, remember to take a few minutes now and then to check Instagram followers. Remove and block the fake and spammy accounts, and maintain only an authentic fanbase with genuine fans. Then, you can focus on creating content your real followers will love and appreciate.

Want more real people to follow you? We can help you out! Path Social’s proprietary targeting algorithm pushes your content out to your niche audience. This increased visibility gives you an uptick not just in your engagement rate but also in your follower count. The best part is that the followers you get are 100% real, never fake. Start growing your community with us today!