Skip to content
3D illustration of a smartphone, an Instagram icon, and influencer profiles for our blog on how to perform an Instagram influencer audit

How To Perform an Instagram Influencer Audit

Mark Jackson

Feb 19, 2024

Conducting an influencer audit before every Instagram campaign can help you find fake followers and add value. Here’s how to audit your Instagram influencers.

Table of Contents

What Is an Influencer Audit?

An influencer audit is a comprehensive evaluation of an influencer's online presence, content quality, audience demographics, engagement rates, and overall effectiveness as a marketing partner for brands.

The purpose of an influencer audit is to assess the authenticity, relevance, and impact of an influencer's online persona and audience to determine if they are a suitable fit for a brand's influencer marketing goals.

Why You Should Perform an Influencer Audit

Many brands that have hired influencers in the past look at surface-level data and think, Boy, I've hit the jackpot! This influencer has 100K followers, hundreds of comments on every post, and thousands of shares.

woman looking at Instagram influencer audit data

So they wonder why, when they move forward with an influencer marketing campaign, their post gets tons of comments and likes but no click-throughs or conversions.

Sounds like their unicorn Instagrammer is more of an Insta-spammer! Unfortunately, the number of followers an influencer appears to have can be deceiving.

Instagram follower numbers can be artificially inflated by:

Yes, it can all happen when you use influencers based on follower numbers alone. 

Which is why influencer audits are so important — they ensure you’re collaborating with the right influencers. They help you to know your collaborations will be impactful and your campaigns are running as efficiently as possible.

How an Influencer Audit Can Help You Identify the Best Partners for Your Brand

Thanks to sophisticated, data-driven influencer management tools, vetting influencers has become easier than ever before. In the current climate where almost everyone wants to be an influencer (currently, one in four young people say that influencing is a career goal), it’s more important than ever for brands to take advantage of technology and vet their influencer partners.

Most influencer marketing platforms enable influencer discovery with an integrated influencer search engine, reducing the time you once spent performing manual searches for influencers. This makes it easy to learn how to approach influencers: Just let technology do most of the work.

instagram influencer audit performed by searching influencer stats

But discovering the perfect influencer for your brand does not end there. Once you’ve identified potential partners, it is essential to perform a thorough influencer audit to ensure that your collaborations will generate the most impact.

Influencer discovery is only one element of an influencer audit. The entire auditing process is an important component of any influencer marketing strategy and will ensure every stage of your campaign generates a meaningful impact. Using an influencer auditor allows you to review past successes and make the best decisions moving forward.

What You Can Detect Performing an Influencer Audit 

Additionally, performing such a review will help you identify past success and adjust future campaigns accordingly while ensuring that your partners align with your brand values.

Performing an influencer audit will detect and assess the following:

  • The authenticity of an influencer’s audience
  • Realistic expectations with a review of an influencer’s engagement metrics
  • Fair influencer compensation
  • Whether campaigns are penetrating the correct target audience
  • Accurate representation of brand values
  • Campaign and influencer ROI analysis

You may have multiple influencer partners across all your channels, such as Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and Twitter. No matter which platforms you use, the value of auditing remains the same. You don't want things like fake followers, fake accounts, spam, inactive users, or suspicious content killing your vibe.

For the rest of this guide, we're going to focus on auditing Instagram influencers. But keep in mind that you can apply a lot of these follower audit tips to each social media profile.

How To Perform an Instagram Influencer Audit in 6 Steps

Using a dedicated Instagram audit tool makes light work of your auditing process. It's an important part of maintaining healthy influencer relationships, as it sets the tone for all of your influencer partners to follow.

Hint: You can include any specifics about your Instagram audit in your influencer contract, letting influencers know you plan on regularly vetting them as part of your program. Larn more about influencer agreements.

It’s also helpful to have a dedicated influencer auditor who will take the lead in fact-checking influencers before partnering with them. No matter what tools or technology you use, make sure you include the following steps.

Step 1: Verify Instagram Influencer Audience Quality

One of the most common mistakes when vetting social media influencers is selecting an influencer based on the number of Instagram followers in their network. This is typically based on the misguided belief that the more followers a user has, the more exposure their content will receive.

Unfortunately, this notion has caused follower count to become one of the most popular influencer selection metrics, resulting in a false understanding of how to measure a user’s social media impact.

Here’s why:

  • Fake followers abound
  • Users may purchase followers to pad the size of their audience
  • Bots will automatically comment or like content to give the illusion of engagement

When collaborating with influencers, follower count shouldn’t be the end-all metric of evaluation.

Performing an authenticity assessment will allow you to detect users who have used malicious or deceitful practices. This ensures you are collaborating with users who not only have real followers but have followers who want to engage with your Instagram account.

Luckily, most influencer marketing platforms like the Meltwater influencer marketing platform can easily spot fake accounts better than humans can to save you from making a terrible brand mistake. 

Examples of Instagram influencer audit tools include:

  • FollowerAudit
  • SparkToro
  • FakeCheck
  • Social Blade
  • Upfluence

Ideally, you can use the same platform to conduct your Instagram audit as well as manage the entire end-to-end influencer marketing strategy.

Step 2: Assess Influencer Reach and Engagement Metrics

When preparing for an influencer campaign, it’s important that everyone’s expectations are aligned. Whether you’re an agency creating a campaign for clients or a large team working with important stakeholders, influencer KPIs are a great way to address this. This will help you anticipate the impact of a potential partner.

Useful influencer metrics your auditor should prioritize include:

  • True Reach: The number of real views an influencer averages for a single piece of content.
  • Engagements: The average likes and comments an influencer typically generates as well as the engagement rate.
  • Klear Influencer Score: The Klear influencer score within the Meltwater influencer marketing platform measures an influencer's impact by assessing a number of variables, including engagements, true reach, interactions, network authenticity, and more to establish just how influential a user is.
  • Klear Brand Score: The Klear Brand Score within the Meltwater Influencer Marketing suite helps you determine how well influencers align with your brand goals.

This stage of the assessment not only establishes a deeper understanding of the potential of your partners but will create a sense of trust between you and your stakeholders.

Entering a campaign with realistic expectations that are supported by data shows that you’re a trustworthy partner who can be counted on to run a campaign successfully.

Step 3: Fairly Compensate Influencers

Assessing influencer potential and audience credibility are also great ways to ensure that you are properly compensating your influencers. Influencer rates can be mistakenly determined due to the size of an influencer’s network, which, as we addressed before, is not the best way to analyze impact.

Additionally, measuring an audience's impact analytics and KPIs (engagement, true reach, influencer score) will gauge the type of influencer they are, allowing you to set rates that are fair and aligned with industry standards.

Providing fair compensation can help you better build and manage influencer relationships, ensuring both parties are satisfied.

For more information on influencer rates, check out the most important influencer marketing statistics and download our influencer rate card.

Table showing the 2023 influencer rates and prices

*The pricing for Instagram Stories is calculated based on recent average views multiplied by $0.06. Additionally, for stories with swipe-up features and AMA (Ask Me Anything) sessions, the influencer’s hourly rate may be added, or a percentage of the product's cost.

Step 4: Review Audience Demographics

Identifying an influencer with an authentic audience that is generating real impact is only part of the process. Next, your influencer auditor should determine if the influencer is influencing and engaging with the correct audience.

This is where audience demographics come into play. By analyzing your influencer’s audience demographics, you are able to understand exactly who is in their network and ensure this supports the goals of your campaign.

influencer marketing strategy using demographics

For example, if you are running a campaign aiming to spread brand awareness in Germany, but the majority of your influencer’s audience is located in the US, then your goal will not be achieved.

Audience demographics play one of the most important roles in a campaign — don’t ignore them. They are one of the key metrics that will make sure you achieve your campaign goals.

Step 5: Perform an Influencer Risk Assessment

Once you’ve identified partners who have the ability to generate strong and relevant impact, you should assess the partnership for brand safety. This is typically done through an influencer risk assessment, which is meant to analyze the alignment of an influencer’s values with your brand’s values.

A risk assessment will help you ensure brand reputation control through reputation measurement and guarantee your influencers are generating a positive impact.

Step 6: Measure Campaign and Influencer ROI

An Instagram influencer audit is not only useful before the campaign goes live; it’s also a great way to assess the investment impact of your campaign.

Earned Media Value (EMV) offers a great perspective by showing a campaign and an influencer’s impact in relation to paid media standards. This allows you to understand the ROI of your campaign and determine if your Instagram audit strategy should be altered to drive more monetary impact.

search for micro-influencers by campaign type

, which can be customized for a specific campaign. Our research has determined that influencer content is worth 10.52X more than paid media. This allows us to automatically calculate the EMV of a campaign. This data is great for measuring campaign impact and for setting budgets for the upcoming campaign. 

Once you've weeded out fake influencers and confirmed there are no fake followers, inactive followers, spam, or bot content to slow down your influencer marketing, you can move forward with an influencer proposal. See our free influencer proposal template for more details.

Get Started with Your Influencer Audit with Meltwater

Now you have everything in place to perform an Instagram audit. Remember, data is the most powerful tool, and it is essential to have a platform that provides you with the data to perform a comprehensive influencer audit and run a successful influencer program.

search for micro-influencers by campaign type

If you want to learn more about how Meltwater can help you perform an influencer audit, fill out the form below: