Data & Studies

Study: Latvian influencers have nearly 2 million fake followers

September 4, 2019
4 min
Avery Schrader
Founder & CEO of
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Buying fake followers is still a popular method of getting sought-after brand deals, as made obvious by the google trends chart below. To combat this, we’re conducting a series of studies on fake followers around the globe.

If you would like to validate that your influencers have real, engaged audiences that match their target audience: use Modash to find influencers.

Global Google trend for the keyword buy fake followers.
 Global Google trend for the keyword buy fake followers

How many fake followers do Latvian top influencers have?

Nearly two million. 

1.86 million to be precise. For reference, the entire population of Latvia is about 1.95 million. 

We analyzed the top 150 Instagram influencers to get an understanding of how many fake followers are present within their audiences.

How many fake followers do Latvian top influencers have?

72.63% is the average credibility among the top 150 influencers in Latvia.

That means that for every 10 followers, almost about 2.7 are fake. 

This is quite alarming. Typically, if any given influencer has less than 75% credibility, it is a sign of fraud or follower purchasing. 

It’s important to note, everyone’s Instagram account (even yours) has some fake followers. 

However, the number of fake followers stays below 10% for most accounts used by the average person. Bots constantly crawl and follow random accounts for many reasons, often engagement hacking.

So are all Latvian influencers buying followers?

No. A very small minority are drastically inflating their numbers. 

If we remove only the 15 accounts with the lowest credibility, the average number of real followers rises to 80%. 

To further illustrate this point, 57% of the accounts we analyzed had credibility between 80-100% credibility. Only 43% of the Top 150 influencers had less than 80%, real followers.

What does this mean for Latvian brands sponsoring creators?

You must be diligent about the audience you’re reaching. 

That means you have to use data when auditing influencers on Instagram. 

Even if influencers are presented to you by an agency, even when you feel like you know the local creator ecosystem, making assumptions could waste time and money.

2 simple ways to avoid the impact of fake followers on influencer marketing efforts:

1. Use a tool that can accurately identify fake followers. 

It’s important that you understand how fake followers are determined. Many platforms simply look at influencers in high-risk countries, others look at the engagement rate of specific followers. 

Modash’s data for credibility is built on graph analysis. Graph analysis is the only way to accurately identify bad actors in a social network as large as Instagram. 

2. Pay for metrics that matter. You should pay influencers based on hitting metrics that contribute to your greater business goals.

One way to do this is by measuring promo-code uses and partnering with creators long term. This enables you to only spend money when you make money and to scale influencers as a distribution channel, without the need to worry as much about fake followers. 

That’s the truth, Latvia has a few (very) inauthentic influencers. But here is plenty of inexpensive reach to be had if you verify your influencers and build efficient campaigns. Influencer marketing continues to grow in popularity because of its huge impact for brands of all sizes.

If you want free help setting up influencer marketing effectively inside of your company, you can book a call with me here. 

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