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Today we’re continuing our series on how influencer marketing can help eCommerce and dropshipping businesses grow by leveraging mass attention with something I’m sure it’s on your mind – how to find instagram influencers you should be working with and stay away from the fake ones?

Adjust your chair, lean back and get ready to to become an influence-hunter at the speed of light.

What tools can you use to find Instagram influencers?

You might be surprised but the answer isn’t as simple as ‘Instagram’s search, duh’, although that might have been nice. In the real world and not this fantasy one where Instagram as an organisation wants to help you make the best choices for influencer marketing, there are a few tools you’ll have to use:

  • #1 Search Engines
  • #2 Hashtags (obvious, I know)
  • #3 Influencer Database Search Engines (yes, they’re a real thing)
  • #4 Locations

Now, let’s go through them one by one and get you equipped with the info you need to start hunting the perfect influencers for your campaigns.

#1 Search Engines

I have some good news. You’re not the first person to think to themselves “I wish I knew where to find the coolest people in my niche”. Nope! There must have been a journalist or a blogger who set out to find them, and you can take advantage of that for free.

Let’s say you own an online shop selling men’s trunks. If you could find some male modules to promote them, you could increase your brand awareness literally overnight. Open Google, type in “instagram male models” and boom – you have hundreds of lists of influencers to choose from.

find instagram influencers

And, yeah, maybe your niche requires something more specific than ‘male models’. You should still try this approach because it only takes you a couple of minutes and the reward can be amazing. Worst case scenario: you uncover some links to Instagram accounts to check out. There are even lists of influencer dogs, so I’m pretty sure you’ll find something useful.

#2 Hashtags

A general account will most likely have one of the keywords relevant for your niche in their username or account name, so you can find them super easy just by doing an Instagram search for that keyword.

You can try it with something like “wedding” and you’ll see the most popular accounts containing the keyword popping up.

find instagram influencers

On the other hand, personal accounts are less likely to contain the keywords in their username or account name, so you’ll have to rely on the hashtag search. What you’ll have to do is to make a list of the keywords associated with your niche, then pass them through Instagram’s search and check out the accounts that posted the most popular posts (first 6 on the page on the desktop, first 9 on your mobile).

find instagram influencers

#3 Influencer Database Search Engines

In some countries, especially if you want to promote your store locally, you have access to influencer agencies who let you find instagram influencers by searching through their database of influencers in search of the ones you want to work with. The only disadvantage in working with influencer agencies is that they usually work with the most popular influencers, and that also means that they’ll be expensive.

Another version of those databases are the international ones. They can stand on their own or be integrated into other marketing tools. For example, when you’re checking out the popularity of a hashtag on, they’ll also show you a few Twitter influencers who usually have a bigger audience on Instagram. A tool that I kind of like if which has a search engine for influencers that sucks up data about the influencer you’re interested in and then displays it in a way that would make sense even to the least tech-savvy marketer.

#4 Locations

What I love about using locations to find instagram influencers is the creativity that goes into it. This is how you use it:

1) think of places that your audience might visit;
2) search for those places on Instagram (you can do it by address or by name)
3) click/tap on the location (the address) to see posts using that location
4) check out who published the most popular posts
5) take a look at their profiles – can they be the influencers you need?

Let’s see this in practice. Imagine I’ve launched an online shop for fake eyelashes and I want to use some influencers to promote it on Instagram. What I know about the influencers that I want to involve in my campaign is that I want them to be super elegant, Victoria Beckham elegant, because my brand is a premium one and I need someone like that to help me market my products.

I’m thinking of posh, ultra fancy places and I remember I saw on Instagram some pictures from a cafe that had a wall made of flowers. I use the keyword “flowerwall” and I find the exact cafe. It’s Elan Cafe, in London. That looks like the place where my audience would drink their coffee at it also looks glam enough to make influencers happy to tag their photos with the location.

find instagram influencers

Unsurpringly, I’ve found many instagram influencers and micro-influencers (like @hellomissjordan in the pictures below) I could include in my marketing campaigns.

find instagram followers

How to spot a fake influencer

As I mentioned when we first started this series, and influencer is someone who has their own audience and who can get them to do things – big or small. Now, as you can imagine, to be able to influence someone to do something, that person needs to pay attention to what you’re saying. And, most importantly, they need to be a real person (LOL).

Some people on Instagram buy fake followers, and to the untrained eye it looks like they have a huge following, and some marketers might take the bait and throw money at them getting nothing in return, but you’ll know how to spot and avoid them.

You’ll first calculate an influencer’s engagement rate, which is as easy as figuring out the ratio between their number of followers and the number of likes and comments they get for a post. If the resulting number is above 3-4% of the number of their followers, that’s normal, especially if they have over 1-2 million followers. If they have 100k followers and 400 likes/post, then there’s something fishy. Their engagement rate is 0.4% which is ridiculously low for someone who has real followers. That is someone who you should avoid.

find instagram influencers

I hope you’re now more confident about planning your influencer marketing campaign, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you’d approach this type of a campaign. Did you ever run an influencer marketing campaign? If so, let me know in the comments below how it worked out!

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