State of Influencer Marketing in Sweden

Nature landscape in Sweden with a lake

There were 4 880 000 Instagram users in Sweden on September 2018, which accounted for 48.3% of its entire population.

Instagram was launched in 2010 and rapidly gained popularity.

With its 1 billion monthly active users (June 2018) Instagram becomes not only one of the leading social networks but also the most important platform for Influencer Marketing.

In this report, we will provide you with the most current Instagram influencer's insights and benchmarks and give a data-driven look into the dark side of fraud schemes, that are used by Swedish influencers to fake popularity and get more money from brands.

Instagram influencer Landscape in Sweden

We break down influencers into five main influencer tiers by the number of Instagram followers.

Mega-influencers & Celebrities (over 1M followers)

They often have a very mixed audience with various topics of interest. Their relationships with them are more distant compared to other groups of influencers. They have the biggest reach but the lowest trust.

Macro-influencers (100K – 1M followers)

They are famous in a local community, you can think of them as a “mini-celebrity.” Their content is usually high-quality and is comprised of a certain passion or topic.

Micro (5K-20K followers) and Mid-tier influencers (20K-100K followers)

They have a more niche audience that is highly engaged with a deeper connection. Micro-influencers present in almost any sector: health and fitness, food, entrepreneurship, fashion, and beauty to name just a few prominent categories.

Nano-influencers (1K-5K followers)

They are regular consumers who are passionate and willing to share but have little influence.

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Distribution of influencers by Tiers

There are only a few Sweden Mega-influencers so we didn’t get them into account in this Report. The majority of Sweden influencers are Micro-influencers (58.7%).

Who are these influencers?

Distribution of influencers by gender in SwedenPercentage of influencers by gender in Sweden

Core influencers in Sweden are women aged between 18 and 34 years old. There are also a big amount of male influencers aged between 25 and 34 years old.

Instagram Engagement Rate

For many marketers engagement are the most important metric and a popular KPI of brand awareness. But what exactly does it mean?

What is Engagement Rate?
What is engagement rate Instagram

Engagement Rate or ER is a commonly used benchmark of success on Instagram as it can determine if an influencer is connecting with their audience.

Highly engaging content with many likes and comments often stands a better chance of organically appearing on an Instagram feed.

Average Instagram Engagement Rate by Tiers in Sweden

Average Instagram Engagement Rate by Tiers in Sweden

Nano-influencers have stronger connections with their audience thus, their ER is higher. On the chart below you can see that nano-influencers have the highest ER (6.4%) and then ER is inverse to followers number.

It is also worth noting that the average engagement of Swedish influencers is higher than the worldwide average. Users in Sweden are more engaged in influencers' content.

Average interactions per post by Tiers in Sweden

Average interactions per post by Tiers in Sweden

Compare the number of likes and comments between influencers with similar followers number. Pay attention to Likes to Comments Ratio, this metric indicates how strongly an influencer’s followers are involved in a dialogue.

Instagram influencer Fraud in Sweden

The influencer marketing industry is projected to be worth $5 to $10 billion by 2020 but research shows that a significant number of influencers have falsely manipulated their follower numbers and engagement.

The market growth is directly linked to the cost-per-post value. How much a blogger would charge for a sponsored post hinges on one’s likes averaged per post and number of followers. This is the reason why fraud eventually became a thing: unscrupulous bloggers start buying likes and comments in bulk so that they can grab more money from the brands.

Influencer fraud is so common that marketing budgets are being impacted by it all over the world.

What is influencer fraud?

Organic Instagram growth is a long and arduous process. Not all influencers are ready to invest their time and money in it. Besides, there are tons of apps and websites that tempt to get followers, likes, and comments immediately in any amount and with quite a small sum.

The fraud starts when these impatient influencers connect with brands to advertise their products and services. Usually, a brand agrees to pay a fee based on the number of followers the influencer has and ends up wasting their time and money.

How do influencers inflate their numbers?

Rabbit in a frame with the words fraud detected

Among the most popular tricks are:
– Buying followers,
– Follow/Unfollow,
– Buying likes and comments,
– Buying stories views,
– Comments Pods.

How many Instagram influencers are involved in fraud in Sweden?

Instagram influencers involved in fraud in Sweden

The highest percentage of fraud-free we will find in the group of influencers who have between 1K and 5K followers. 54.59% of influencers in this group are fraud free.

The vast majority of influencers have tried some flawed methods for Instagram growth at least once. influencers who have over 5K followers understand that their numbers correlate with their earnings, thus they intentionally inflate their metrics.

The most controversial is mega influencers and celebrities. Approximately 10% of them artificially inflate their engagement and number of followers, but most of them are just victims of SPAM. We’ll provide details in the following sections.

What is Follow/Unfollow on Instagram?

The Follow/Unfollow trick or mass following is commonly used by influencers to find new followers. It has very simple mechanics:
1. An influencer’s account follows you, gives “likes” or posts a comment on Instagram.
2. You get a notification and follow them back
3. They unfollow you after a couple of days.

influencers use special tools and apps for automatic Follow/Unfollow that start following other users based on the filter criteria.

Why It's Bad?

There is a fierce debate in the community of influencer marketing specialists about the usage of follow/unfollow trick. At HypeAuditor we believe this is SPAM. But more importantly, this method is directly prohibited by Instagram. 

How does this threaten advertisers? 

According to the Instagram announcement, they will artificially reduce the reach of influencers who use third-party applications. Besides numerous articles in the media denouncing such influencers can also have a negative impact on the reputation of your brand. 

How to Detect influencers who use Follow/Unfollow?

Just check out the following graph on HypeAuditor, if you see these kinds of spikes it means that this influencer is using mass following to gain new followers.

How many Instagram influencers use Follow/Unfollow in Sweden?

Instagram influencers using Follow/Unfollow in Sweden

The study shows that follow/unfollow is mostly popular among influencers who have between 20K and 100K followers, over 16% of them use this tactic.

Influencers who use this trick have a bigger percentage of the non-reachable audience, who don’t see their posts, thus they have a lower reach.

Abnormal Growth

Most influencers increase their number of followers gradually. Every month more and more Instagram users are starting to follow them. Some promotion methods, advertising, mentions in media or a shoutout from another influencer could accelerate this growth, but nevertheless, the general pattern remains the same.

However, some influencers do not want to wait and use inauthentic methods to increase their follower's number immediately. Unfortunately, most of these inflated followers are inauthentic.

How to detect Inauthentic Growth?

How to detect inauthentic growth on Instagram

To detect growth anomalies you should check the Followers graph that shows the dynamics of followers' growth. Analysis of this graph gives a lot of information about the account’s growth patterns and trends and also helps to detect if an influencer has bought followers.

Accounts that increase followers number artificially will show sudden rises and hockey-stick growth on a Followers graph.

Who are these inauthentic followers?

Inauthentic followers could be classified into 2 categories:

Mass followers

Instagram users with more than 1500 followers are identified as Mass Followers. They use automatic tools for Follow/Unfollow. Mass followers don’t see the influencer’s posts.

Suspicious accounts

Bots, fake or stolen accounts, and people who use specific services for bulk purchases of likes, comments, and followers.

How many Instagram influencers buy followers in Sweden?Instagram influencers buying followers in Sweden

The easiest and fastest way to grow followers number is to buy them. Over 34% of influencers with 5K-20K followers, and over quarter influencers who have between 1K and 5K followers are buying followers regularly.

What comments are inauthentic?

Comments to tag-to-win giveaways and contests, spam comments, and comments that come from Instagram Pods are considered inauthentic.

When we check a Comment's Authenticity, we take into account multiple factors, among them: the commenter’s content and the quality of the account that left that comment.

We mark as suspicious comments that:
– Consist of emojis only or words like: wow, cool, fantastic etc.
– Are monosyllabically simple and irrelevant,
– Consist of the mention of another account only.

How many Instagram influencers artificially inflate their comments in Sweden?

Instagram influencers using bots in Sweden

Almost one-third of influencers have inauthentic comments. The biggest percentage of them are on celebrities' accounts. We believe this is not due to their inauthentic actions but due to the overall level of SPAM on Instagram. Most of the spam came from users who use Instagram Comment Tools and Bots. They target their comments based on: hashtags, geolocation, followings of other accounts, and specific account targeting.

There are two main inauthentic methods to boost the number of comments:
– Buying comments.
– Comments Pods (we will look at them in more detail below).

What is a Comment Pod?

What is instagram comment pod
Comment pods (Engagement Pods or Boost Groups) are groups of bloggers collaborating to run up their activity. They often gather on Facebook, Telegram, or other chats. A blogger from such pod would make a post and throw a link to the chat with some comment: “likes, comments (3 words and more), saved.” And then he/she would go up the chat to see the last 10 tasks from other bloggers and carry them out. This method is definitely hard to see with eyes only as there are real people with real accounts and high-quality content, and they would write extended comments.

How to detect them?

It’s hard and time-consuming to detect engagement pods manually. To do this, you should check every comment and a follower who left them. If you see that all posts are commented on by the same group of users, it might be a pod. To detect pods at a HypeAuditor our machine-learning algorithm takes into account multiple factors, among them: behavioral patterns, commenter’s content, and the quality of the account that left that comment.

How many Instagram influencers use Comment Pods in Sweden?

Instagram influencers using Comment Pods in Sweden
Investing time in Comment Pods makes sense only for small accounts. That’s why this trick is commonly used only by influencers who have less than 20K followers.

11.96% of influencers who have between 1K and 5K followers use Comment Pods.


The report uses data from a wide variety of sources, including market research agencies, internet, and social media companies, news media, and our internal analysis.

We have collected and aggregated open data from a variety of sources: social platforms, catalogs, websites, crowdsourcing, and many more. After that, we processed the data by anonymizing, sorting and structuring, cleaning and removing any irregularities, and enriching the data.

Then we transformed the data into intelligent estimations by using best-in-class estimation and machine learning algorithms developed by our team of leading data scientists and influencer marketing experts.

About HypeAuditor

This report was made by HypeAuditor
HypeAuditor is an AI-powered Instagram and Youtube analytics tool that helps to get insights about the creator’s audience, increase advertisers’ ROI and safeguard authenticity in influencer marketing. It sets a standard for Instagram analytics by providing the most accurate data.

HypeAuditor applies machine learning to determine behavioral patterns and identify fake followers and engagement on influencer accounts. It presents users with a breakdown of demographic data for an influencer’s audience and brings benchmarks for each metric for influencers with a similar number of followers.

Want to partner with influencers who will be right for your brand?
Find the best creators with HypeAuditor Influencer Discovery and its 139.1M+ account database.
Nick is a marketing and research specialist at HypeAuditor, with a passion for exploring social media trends and uncovering insights to help businesses make informed decisions, recognized by leading publications and events for his expertise in influencer marketing and dedicated to driving innovation in the dynamic world of social media.
Topics:State of influencer marketing
September 10, 2019
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Nick is a marketing and research specialist at HypeAuditor, with a passion for exploring social media trends and uncovering insights to help businesses make informed decisions, recognized by leading publications and events for his expertise in influencer marketing and dedicated to driving innovation in the dynamic world of social media.
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Want to partner with influencers who will be right for your brand?
Find the best creators with HypeAuditor Influencer Discovery and its 139.1M+ account database.