In 2021, TikTok’s revenue grew by 60%, making it the most downloaded app of the year. With such a huge audience, it’s no wonder TikTok is fast becoming one of the most powerful marketing tools on the planet. Plus, thanks to TikTok analytics, businesses can audit their accounts more easily than ever before.
But why are regular TikTok audits so essential for your business? In a nutshell, they are a chance to take a step back and make sure your account is meeting business goals. Audits provide your business with valuable data that show how your account is performing. As such, you can uncover what isn’t working and where you need to dedicate more resources.
Auditing fake followers on TikTok is a key pillar of this process. In doing so, your business can review the quality of its followers and their value.
This article breaks down why you need to audit your followers on TikTok and how to do it.
Why you need to audit your TikTok followers
Let’s start with why it’s so important to audit your TikTok followers and weed out the fake ones.
Expand your reach
Say your business has a huge following on TikTok, but half those followers are fake. This means that when you post content, less than half of your followers are likely to engage. As a result, the TikTok algorithm will think that your content isn’t good quality and limit your reach. Needless to say, this isn’t ideal for businesses trying to expand their presence on the app.
Gain insight into your audience
Reviewing your TikTok following has other advantages too. Namely, your business can gather vital information about your followers, including demographic and interests. This will make your content creation process a whole lot easier. For instance, you can use the Follower tab on your TikTok analytics dashboard to see where your audience is and when they’re most active.
Choose the right influencers
Businesses that work with influencers often look to audit influencers’ followers before beginning a collaboration. That way, they get a better insight into how valuable the influencer’s audience is to their business.
The same applies for digital agencies. When taking on a new client, thoroughly auditing the client’s followers list and cleaning it up is a common first step. It gives the agency a proper idea of the client’s reach and audience.
Fake followers are by no means exclusive to TikTok. In fact, a study by UK company fasthosts recently revealed just how many fake followers celebrities have on Instagram. Famous TikToker Adison Rae ranked twelfth on the list. It’s believed that a staggering nine million of her thirty-seven million Instagram followers are fake accounts. This explains her low engagement rate of 7.28%.
Recap: Fake followers are counter-productive. While they may make an account seem more popular than it is, they actually limit your chances of expanding your reach. Put simply, your business needs authentic followers who will engage with your content. This helps it to get pushed out to new audiences and boost your TikTok marketing efforts.
How to spot fake followers on TikTok: Telltale signs
As we’ve already seen, while fake followers look good on paper, they can actually cause more harm than good. Therefore, finding and removing bots just makes sense.
Spotting fake accounts on conventional social media platforms, like Instagram, is much easier. There are common red flags to look out for, such as:
- The username contains a lot of numbers, letters, or symbols.
- The profile is complete – there’s no profile pic or bio.
- They engage in spammy behavior, such as following massive numbers of users straight away and then going silent (the algorithm usually flags this type of activity and shadowbans the account).
- They leave generic or out-of-context comments.
- Engagement is low – they may have thousands of followers but very few likes or comments.
Unfortunately, it’s incredibly tough to spot most of these red flags on TikTok. For instance, there’s no way to access behavior patterns, evaluate engagement, or check likes and comments. This makes it harder to look out for the telltale signs mentioned above.
Having said that, there are still some giveaway cues that can help your business spot fake followers on TikTok.
1. They don’t post original content
While sharing other users’ videos is common on TikTok, most authentic accounts also post at least some original content. So if you come across a follower with no videos of their own, this could indicate that the account isn’t authentic.
2. The numbers don’t add up
The majority of genuine users on TikTok follow similar behavior patterns on the app. This makes it easier to spot fakes. For example, accounts that follow huge numbers of people but have very few followers are potentially bots.
Of course, it’s not always the case. Some new TikTok users may also start following large numbers of accounts when they first join the app, creating a disparity between following and followers. That said, when assessing how valuable a follower is, the numbers don’t lie.
3. They are followed by fan-buying accounts
Are you trying to work out whether an account’s followers are real or not? Here’s a little trick: look through their followers to see if they are followed by any fan-buying accounts. This is definitely a sign that they have bought fake followers.
Review: At the end of the day, it’s tough to spot fake accounts on TikTok, assuming that your business didn’t actively purchase the engagement. Due to the nature of the app, many common red flags are harder to pick up on. Despite this, it still makes sense for businesses or digital agencies working with TikTok influencers to audit their followers.
Similarly, if a client comes to you and has previously engaged in shady activities, you will want to start cleaning their account.
How to audit fake followers on TikTok
We’ve seen why you should audit fake followers, now here’s how to do it.
Manually auditing followers
The first option is to sift through TikTok followers manually, looking out for telltale signs that an account is fake. However, since this is incredibly time-consuming, most businesses and influencers opt for tools to help them.
TikTok auditing tools
From growing your following to auditing your account, there is a plethora of TikTok tools for everything nowadays. Independent TikTok auditing tools, such as HypeAuditor, help your business review the quality and authenticity of your TikTok followers. On top of reviewing your own following, TikTok auditing tools can be used to audit others’ accounts too.
For instance, let’s say your business has a killer influencer strategy. You can use an auditing tool to review the accounts of influencers you are planning to work with. That way, you are able to determine the value of their audience before beginning a collaboration.
TikTok auditing tools are pretty straightforward; simply enter the account name and the tool will draw up a report. Once the report is ready, it will provide an overall score. This score reflects the quality of your account, including your followers. Therefore, the higher the score the better your account is.
How to delete and block TikTok accounts from following you
Unlike platforms such as Instagram, TikTok doesn’t group together the accounts you interact with the least. This makes cleaning up your TikTok account a bit more time-consuming compared to other social media apps. That said, it’s easy to remove or block TikTok accounts if you suspect they are fake followers.
Simply follow the steps below.
How to remove a follower on TikTok
After identifying fake followers or other accounts you no longer want as a follower, the next step is removing them. Once you have removed a user from your followers, this means your content will no longer appear in their “Following” feed.
There are two ways to delete a follower; removing them from your follower list or directly from their profile page.
Deleting someone from your follower list:
1. Click on Profile in the bottom right.
2. Tap on Followers.
3. Find the follower you’d like to remove and select the 3-dot icon beside their name.
4. Tap Remove this follower.
Deleting a follower directly from their profile page:
1. Go to your profile.
2. Tap on Followers.
3. Find the follower you’d like to remove and click on their profile.
4. Tap the 3-dot icon in the top right of their profile.
5. Click Remove this follower.
If your TikTok account is private, a removed follower will need to send a new follow request before they can follow you again.
This is not the case for public accounts, however.
Removing a follower isn’t a permanent solution if your TikTok account is public. Indeed, removed users can easily re-follow your account again. Therefore, if you want to permanently remove a user from your followers, you may want to consider blocking them.
Read on to find out how.
How to block a TikTok account
When you block a user on TikTok, this prevents them from viewing your content or interacting with you by commenting, liking, or leaving comments. It also stops them from re-following your account.
It’s common practice to block fake accounts, users who engage in offensive behavior, or who continue to re-follow you after being removed from your follower list.
We break down how to block someone below.
How to block an account on TikTok:
1. Click on the user’s profile.
2. Select the 3-dot icon in the top right.
3. Tap Block and follow the instructions on-screen.
How to unblock a TikTok user:
1. Click on the user’s profile.
2. Select the 3-dot icon in the top right.
3. Tap Unblock and follow the instructions on-screen.
Let’s say you have a large following on TikTok. Manually blocking each fake account you come across would take an eternity. Luckily, TikTok gives you the opportunity to block users in bulk.
How to block users in bulk on TikTok:
1. Hold down on a comment or select the pencil icon in the top left corner to open an options window.
2. Click on Manage multiple comments.
3. Select the comments of users you want to block.
4. Tap on More.
5. Select Block accounts.
The bulk block feature allows you to block up to 100 accounts at once.
Roundup: TikTok doesn’t currently group together accounts you don’t interact with, making it more challenging to clean up your account. Having said that, you can remove or block users in just a few simple steps. TikTok even offers the option to bulk block fake followers to streamline the auditing process.
Regular TikTok audits confirm your account is performing well and meeting business goals. When reviewing your TikTok account, it’s important to audit fake followers. Fake followers tend not to engage with your content. As such, the TikTok algorithm assumes that your content isn’t good and stops pushing it out to wider audiences.
Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to spot and remove fake followers. Regular audits, reviewing TikTok analytics, and learning the telltale signs of fake accounts can help. What’s more, a robust social media management tool will empower your business to make data-driven decisions that lead to measurable growth.