5 Ways to Research and Find Instagram Influencers

Influencer marketing has been a huge buzzword for the past year, and the trend continues to grow. The emergence of social media in the past few years have brought a new way to become a celebrity.

You don’t need to be an actor with connections in Hollywood to become famous. With networks like Instagram and Youtube, anyone with the talent and effort can capture the attention of millions of users.

Influencer Marketing is Here to Stay

Influencer marketing isn’t a fad either; it’s here to stay. Here are a few facts to convince you.

30% consumers are more likely to buy a product recommended by a non-celebrity blogger. Consumers can relate more to these influencers and value their opinions more than that of celebrity influencers. An influencer marketing survey conducted by Collective Bias involving 14,000 respondents in the US, reveals this statistic.

While shopping at a store, 60% consumers have been influenced by a social media post or a blog review. This is according to the Collective Bias study.

Consumers are consulting blogs and social media on their mobile devices prior to shopping. Nearly 60% of social respondents have taken a blog review or social media viewed on a smartphone or a tablet into consideration while shopping in store.

Read more stats on Influencer marketing: Influencer Marketing Update: Non-Celebrity Influencers 10 Times More Likely to Drive In-Store Purchases

Real or Fake?

Gathering a list of Instagram influencers isn’t as easy as picking the users with the highest number of followers. Buying fake followers is easy, and there are hundreds of services that offer it today. 5,000 followers will go around $40 USD. So for $200 bucks, anyone can quickly reach “influencer status” at 25K followers.

So before you invest a cent in influencer marketing, you need to make sure you’re investing in a real Instagram influencer, with a real community you can market to.

Here are two ways you can spot a fake:

The influencer has little to no likes on their posts

If you see an account with 25K followers, and 100 likes per post, that should immediately raise a flag for you. For a more scientific method of calculating the right amount of engagement for an influencer account, a study published on Digiday in 2016 found that the healthiest accounts will have the following engagement % metrics:

Followers < 1k: 8.03% Likes, 0.56% Comments
1k-10k: 4.04% Likes, 0.27% Comments
10k-100k: 2.37% Likes, 0.17% Comments
100k-1M: 1.78% Likes, 0.09% Comments
1M-10M: 1.66% Likes, 0.06% Comments
10M+: 1.66% Likes, 0.05% Comments

The influencer has little to no follower growth

Buying followers is a one-time deal. The sellers have been getting smarter by delivering the followers over a period versus all at once. So, if the fake influencers have been going through the right channels, you won’t see a huge one-time spike in their history.

But, what you will see is there will be a significant drop off when they stop buying followers. SocialBlade is a free online tool I would highly recommend you use to check the history of an Instagram account.

The tool isn’t perfect. SocialBlade only tracks a user if it was previously added to the system. If it wasn’t added, the system won’t have a record of their follower progression. What you can do is input the username you want to track. SocialBlade will start tracking that account from that day forward. Then a week or two later, you can check back to see if they’re getting a steady amount of daily followers.

5 Ways to find Instagram influencers

1. Manually Through the Instagram App

The manual way is the most brute force way to find Instagram influencers, but it will get you the results. It’ll just take quite a lot of work.

You start by compiling a list of 25 relevant hashtags to the influencers you want to find. For example, if you’re looking for supercars, your hashtags might include #lamborghini, #ferrari, etc…).

Then you want to go into each hashtag and find usernames of the top 9 posts. Instagram algorithms usually put the most popular posts or posts by the account with the most influence in the category in the first nine boxes. Therefore, you are leveraging Instagram algorithms to help you find influencers to engage with.

The challenge with the manual way is that its both time consuming to do, and you usually end up with accounts that have 50 times your follower count, making it difficult or impossible to engage with.

2. With Automation Tools

On top of automating your follows, unfollows and likes, automation tools can be powerful in scraping users from Instagram.

With Followliker, it’s basically the manual option on steroids. You can first set parameters of what you consider to be an influencer. For example, you can set up to tool to only find users between 5K to 10K followers with a follower/following ratio that’s greater than 1, male and located in New York.

The options are there to get as specific as you need it to be. The question is are you willing to pay the $57 one-time and a $5.99 reoccurring charge for the tool.

3. Influencer Reporting Tools

If you’re looking for influencers within your followers list, there are many free tools on the market today. Our favorite is a tool called “SocialRank”.

SocialRank, as described on their website, is “The easiest way to identify, organize, and manage your audience on Twitter and Instagram.” It works by pulling all your following and followers on either Instagram and Twitter and provides you an easy to use web-interface to split and segment the information as you wish.

The data is incredibly detailed and lists each follower in a table form. The tool provides the name and username of your followers, the total number of followers they currently have, the average likes/comments they receive on their posts, and their engagement rates.

Read more: How to Find and Convert Your Most Active Instagram Followers

4. Instagram Shoutout Sites

An Instagram shoutout site is a marketplace of Influencers selling shoutouts. This is an option to kill two birds with one stone. You can shop around to find the best influencers to work with plus collaborate with the influencer by purchasing a shoutout.

The service I would recommend is Shoutcart. Super simple site to navigate and the service is easy to understand. First, you choose the industry you want to target. From fitness to beauty, there’s a long list of categories to choose from.

Then you can narrow down the demographics of who you want to target. You can filter down by gender, country, and language.

Lastly, you can filter down by how much you’re willing to pay and the quality of the account (proprietary metric to rank influencers based on reach and engagement). At the end of these steps, you have a long list of influencers that have the user base you want to target. Before you buy, I would still do your due diligence to make sure these are accounts that have grown organically and not through buying fake followers.

5. Influencer Agency

If you have deep pockets, this is an option that will bring you the best results. There are lots of influencer agencies that have partner up with the top echelon of influencers with 5m+ followers. The agency will work as the intermediary between you and the influencer to make sure the content you want to promote fits with the requirements of the influencer.

The benefit of this option is that most agencies are professionals in pairing influencers with your needs. Their target is to pair medium to large sized businesses with influencers. Therefore, most packages start from $25K+ upwards per campaign.

Whichever option you go with, never blindly put in money. Always have a report that measures conversions per dollar spend. Test all the options with a small budget before you decide to scale. As the old saying goes, don’t put all your eggs in one basket.