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The Celebrities and Brands With the Most Fake Followers

Bots or fake followers on Instagram are an issue and can cause a problem with commercial value and accurate representation. Social following can have a huge monetary value to celebrities and brands, who now employ top social media agencies to maximise their number of followers, but how many of these millions of following accounts belong to a real person?

The vast majority of Instagram accounts have at least one or two followers that come from suspicious accounts. These are often accounts that have very few followers but follow a large number of accounts. They are often bots and are not attached to a genuine Instagram user.

We wanted to find out which of the most followed brands and people are actually as influential as they seem and which are faking it until they make it.

Using a social auditing tool and by making a fake followers audit, we were able to discover the audience credibility rate of some of the most followed Instagram accounts as a percentage of their total followers. This gives us an idea of how many suspicious accounts or fake followers are following these accounts, however, it should be noted that this isn’t an exact science, so these numbers are estimates.

After studying 320 accounts across a range of industries, we were able to discover the accounts with the highest percentage of suspicious accounts or potentially fake followers. 

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The Actors With the Most Fake Followers

From Hollywood to Bollywood, this category features some of the biggest onscreen names across the world, but it is Hande Erçel, a popular Turkish actress who sits at the top of the table with 24.9 million followers, 28% of which are suspicious accounts. At the other end of the table is Jennifer Aniston with just 8% of her 38.1 million followers coming from suspicious accounts.

The Brands With the Most Fake Followers

Looking at a range of brands in a variety of industries, from fashion to food, we found that the tech giants, Apple, had the lowest percentage of potential fake followers, with 20% of their 26.6 million followers being suspicious accounts. However, sitting at the top of the list was Pizza Hut with as many as 30% of their followers coming from suspicious accounts.

The Musicians With the Most Fake Followers

In the music category, we see two of the most popular recording artists of 2021 sitting at either end of the table. Olivia Rodrigo has the lowest percentage of fake followers, with just 11%. Nicki Minaj, on the other hand, has 160.3 million followers, with 28% of them being suspicious accounts.

The Reality TV Stars With the Most Fake Followers

While the reality TV category features some of the biggest celebrity names with the whole Kardashian family, it’s the Brits that take over the leaderboard at both ends of the table. While Love Island pals, Amber Gill and Ovie Soko have the lowest percentage of suspicious accounts following them, with just 9% of potential bots, the top spot is reserved for The Only Way Is Essex star, Mario Falcone with 32% suspicious accounts following him.

The Social Media Personalities With the Most Fake Followers

For many of these social media personalities, their follower numbers are tied directly to their income, but which of them can claim to have the highest percentage of genuine followers? TikTok sensation, Khaby Lame has the lowest percentage of fake followers with just 9% suspicious accounts following him. Jay Alvarrez on the other hand has 6.8 million followers with 36% of those being potentially fake followers.

The Sports Stars With the Most Fake Followers

Covering a range of sports from football to basketball, this category features some of the biggest names in sport, but who’s faking it when it comes to followers? Tom Brady has the most genuine audience as his 10.3 million followers feature 17% suspicious accounts. The top spot is shared by two of the biggest names in American sport. Former basketball player, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Tennis star, Venus Williams both have 26% of their followers coming from suspicious accounts.

The Sports Teams With the Most Fake Followers

In the sporting world, everything is competitive, but who wins when it comes to the unenviable award of having the most fake followers? The top spot goes to English football team, Leicester City with 32% of their 5.8 million followers being potentially fake.

The World Leaders With the Most Fake Followers

Lastly, we have the world leaders, featuring politicians and royalty alike. In the top spot is Queen Rania of Jordan who has 6.5 million followers, with 27%  of those coming from suspicious accounts. 

When it comes to the British royal family, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex rank the best with 88% audience credibility, followed by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with 84% audience credibility. The official Instagram account of the British royal family has an 82% audience credibility rating.

In politics, the leader of the Labour party is way ahead in terms of a credible audience with 9% of Keir Starmer’s followers being suspicious accounts, while the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has 17% potentially fake social media followers.

The Accounts With the Fewest Fake Followers

Friends star Jennifer Aniston ‘broke’ Instagram when she first appeared on the platform, and it seems as though her millions of followers are mostly genuine, with 92% audience credibility, just 8% of her followers are likely to be fake.

She’s tied for the top spot with Mette Frederiksen, the Danish Prime Minister. While her follower count pales in comparison to her top-of-the-table co-star, she also only has 8% of fake followers.

It’s a four-way tie for the bronze medal, with the leader of the Labour party, Keir Starmer, Love Island co-stars, Amber Gill and Ovie Soko, and social media sensation, Khaby Lame all boasting a 91% audience credibility rate with just 9% of their follows coming from suspicious accounts.

The Industries With the Most Fake Followers

When we look at the social media accounts by industry, we can see that some are likely to have far more fake followers than others. In fact, the 40 accounts belonging to brands had an average of 25% suspicious accounts following them, while the world leaders only had an average of 16% suspicious accounts following them.

The Celebrities and Brands With the Most Fake Followers

While it is often hard for celebrities and brands with large social media followings to limit the number of fake followers they have, it is important to take into consideration, whether you’re a brand thinking of paying and working with an influencer for a sponsored post or you simply want to get more out of your own social media presence. Having a large percentage of them means that your reach is not as large as it may appear, making it harder to turn impressions into conversions. 

At Sortlist, we can help you to find an agency who will be able to take your social media strategy in hand and ensure that you are getting the most out of your social media accounts. You can also ask the advices of an Influencer Marketing agency to guide you through the Influencer world.

Methodology

A list of 320 accounts was created by using lists of the most famous names, the most followed and the most engaged with social media accounts. These lists came from sources such as:

Brandwatch

Social Blade

Plann

90 Min

We then categorised these into our nine categories with 40 accounts falling into each.

Using a social media auditing tool from Grin we were able to discover the audience credibility of each account, giving us an idea of the percentage of followers that could be deemed to be suspicious. 

It should be noted that these numbers are based on estimates and cannot give an exact number of fake followers for each account.