Do you know if you have ghost followers on Instagram? No, we’re not thinking about Halloween far too early. In fact, if you’re trying to grow your Instagram account, you need to make sure you are only attracting real followers for Instagram, not ghosts.
If you haven’t heard of ghost followers, get ready to learn about something that could be hurting your reach and performance on Instagram.
What Are Ghost Followers?
Ghost followers are accounts that follow you but aren’t real potential customers. They won’t engage with your posts, and they probably don’t even want to see your content.
They might be real people, but they’re likely robots or fake accounts. The only thing they do is inflate your follower count, and while you might think a high follower count is a good thing, it can actually hurt your credibility if your engagement rate doesn’t match.
Let’s take a closer look.
Why You Should Remove Fake Followers
1. They Affect Your Engagement Rate
First of all, fake followers will negatively impact your engagement rate, as we mentioned. Your engagement rate is based on how many likes, comments, shares, and saves your posts generate when compared to the number of followers you have.
So, if you have a large number of people who aren’t engaging with your posts but they’re following you, that’ll drive your engagement rate down.
2. Hurt Your Credibility
Having fake followers on Instagram will also hurt your credibility. Almost everyone looks at your engagement rate, whether they call it that or not.
Potential followers will scroll through your recent posts and see how many likes and comments you get. If you have thousands of followers and are only getting a handful of likes, that might indicate that your content isn’t very good.
Additionally, any brands you might want to partner with will look at your engagement rate when they decide whether or not to work with you. A low engagement rate will indicate that you don’t have a strong relationship with your following and makes you less credible. This will likely make them less willing to work with you on a partnership or giveaway.
3. Limit Your Instagram Growth
Finally, when you have a significant amount of ghost followers, it can hurt your ability to grow your Instagram following. Instagram shows your posts to more people based on how your followers engage with it. So, if you have lots of ghost followers who aren’t engaging, the app isn’t likely to promote your posts very much.
How To Identify And Remove Fake Followers From Your Account
So now that you know those ghost followers are bad let’s take a look at how you can get rid of them.
How To Identify Fake Followers
There are a few key things to look for when you’re trying to identify if you have fake followers:
1. No Profile Picture
If the account doesn’t have a profile picture, that’s a strong indication that it could be a fake account. Additionally, if it has a very generic stock image, that could also be a clue that it’s fake.
2. Long Username
Not all long usernames belong to fake accounts, but they often are. This is especially true if it’s a long string of random letters and numbers or if it’s the word “user” with lots of numbers after it.
3. Off Following/Followers Ratio
If someone is following thousands and thousands of accounts (or even just hundreds of accounts) and only has one or two followers, that most likely means they’re a fake account. You can also take a look at their posts. If they don’t have any or have very few, very generic posts, they’re likely fake.
Now, just because an account meets one of these criteria doesn’t mean that it’s automatically a fake account. However, if it checks multiple of these boxes, then it likely is fake. Use your best judgment as you’re evaluating.
How To Remove Ghost Followers
There are two primary ways to remove ghost followers.
1. Manual Removal
With manual removal, you get to do all of the work yourself. Use the hints above to detect and remove suspicious followers. Once you’ve identified someone as fake (or suspicious enough that you don’t want them following you), you can remove them as a follower.
2. Third-Party Tools
Your other option is to use third-party tools. There are plenty of options available on the internet, so do some research and find one that works for your needs. Many Instagram cleaners also offer additional services so that you can find the right option.
How To Avoid Ghost Followers
Now that you’ve cleared out your following from any ghost followers let’s make sure you don’t attract them back.
1. Only Use Organic Instagram Growth Services
If you want to grow your Instagram following using an external source, make sure you do so only by investing in an Instagram growth service. A growth service can act on your behalf to help you generate real, organic followers who want to see and engage with your account and your posts.
Think of a growth service as a way to automate your follower growth, just like you’d automate your posting or chatbot responses. It can save you time, but it’s still a real, trustworthy tool.
2. Avoid Buying An Existing Instagram Account
If you’re starting a new account, it can be tempting to buy one that already exists. After all, there are so many followers sitting there just waiting for your content, right? Well, not really.
In this case, you might not be getting fake followers in the sense that they’re bots, but they’ll likely be ghost followers in that they don’t care about or want to learn about what you’re posting. They might unfollow on their own, but they also might just sit there without ever engaging.
3. Don’t Pay For Likes Or Engagement
This is another tactic that can be tempting. There are lots of places that sell likes or comments on the internet, but unfortunately, that’s just going to hurt you in the long run. This, too, will throw off your engagement rate.
You’ll get likes from accounts that don’t care about your content, and if you purchase followers, they’ll likely be ghosts that just sit there without ever engaging.
The Big Picture
At the end of the day, your Instagram account is a marketing tool designed to teach people about your business, products, or services and encourage them to make a purchase. Ghost followers are bad for your business, even more than they’re bad for your account.
Ghost followers will never turn into customers, so there’s no reason to have them around. They’ll just muddy the waters and keep you from reaching the real people who are interested in what you have to say and might one day want to become customers.