Everyone has a couple of non-active Instagram followers but they can seriously damage your chances of earning money as a professional influencer or as a business. Sometimes fake followers just happen but lots of people also pay for extra followers.
There are around 100 million fake accounts on Instagram, these are being used to circulate spam on the platform. When you consider that Instagram has around 1 billion active users each month, that means 10% of active accounts being used are bots.
In 2019, the institute of Contemporary Music Performance conducted an audit of 100 of the most successful Instagram accounts and found that up to half of all the accounts following celebrities like Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande and Ellen DeGeneres weren’t real at all!
So, if you’ve bought followers in the past or been followed by bots, this article will help you cleanse your Instagram!
What is a ghost follower?
Ghost followers are fake or inactive users on Instagram that don’t engage in any of your content. These accounts are normally called BOTS! A bot is a ‘piece of software that automatically goes through the Instagram sign-up process to send spam messages and comments to other users.’
Most bot accounts are easy to spot and here’s how to spot them:
- A username that makes no sense (normally involves numbers)
- Hardly any followers
- They follow a lot of accounts
- No content or poor-quality content
- Very few likes and comments
If you want to use your account to work with legitimate brands then you need to stay away from accounts that have been created to distribute spam or boost numbers.
Why inactive followers on Instagram are bad news for brands
Fake followers might not seem that bad but if you’re a brand that invests in influencer marketing, they can affect your profit. You earn money from how many people engage with your posts but when a bot engages with your post you make no money from it.
This means one thing for influencers. Brands will be cautious about working with you if you have any bot accounts following you as they know they won’t be able to make a profit from those accounts. Fake followers are bad news for brands, which makes them bad news for anyone looking to work with you.
If you have a lot of bot followers that don’t engage with your posts, Instagram’s algorithms will work against you. Instagram’s algorithms will see the lack of interaction and it won’t show your posts to users who might like your content. This can turn into a vicious cycle; your engagement rate drops so fewer people view your content. And the fewer users who see your posts mean your engagement rate will decrease again.
How to stop Instagram spam followers
- Don’t buy followers – the quickest route to getting low quality followers is to pay for them. If you sign up to buy followers, you’re never going to get legit people following your account.
- Don’t buy an existing account – buying an existing account is against Instagram rules, but that doesn’t mean people don’t do it. When you buy an existing account, you don’t get to see the followers so you could have a lot of bots.
- Don’t buy likes or comments – the comments you get will often be completely irrelevant and will come from accounts that are obviously bots.
- Delete the bots!
How to get rid of inactive followers
If you want to make your account look more attractive for collaborations, cleansing your followers is an absolute must.
There isn’t a quick way to get rid of bots, you must go through your followers yourself and scope them out. There are third party apps that promise to get rid of your bots but giving them your personal information is always a bad idea.
So, here’s a step by step guide to deleting your bots!
- Grab a pen and paper or make notes on your phone. If you’ve got a lot of followers you’re going to have to mark down where you get to as you go through them.
- Scroll through your followers and have a look at people’s profiles and remember the key factors to look out for:
- Instagram names that don’t make sense or contain numbers
- Accounts with low followers but following high numbers
- Low quality content
- A lack of engagement, low likes and comment numbers
- No profile picture
- Get deleting! By hitting the remove button or by blocking them you can delete them.
How long will it take to remove your bots?
Depending on how many followers you have and how long you can look through profiles for it could take several days, but it will be worth it!
Removing your fake followers will take time but in the end if you want to collaborate with other accounts and make money as an influencer, you can’t have any bot accounts ruining your page.