Research shows that Instagram has about 1 billion monthly users. Thus, having an Instagram account with thousands of followers has a lot of perks. First, everyone will deem you an authority in your field. Then you will end up with increased online sales, partnerships with brands, and brand loyalty.
What’s more, Instagram will offer you more benefits when you have more than 10K followers. They will let you include links to your site and products in your Instagram stories. Statistics show that 500 million users use Instagram stories every day. You can imagine the potential.
And don’t forget about the social credibility that comes with it. So, show me a business that is not looking to increase their number of Instagram followers, and I will show you a flying turtle.
Everyone is rushing to increase their number of followers through every means possible. But many are unaware of the effect that ghost followers will have on their Instagram account.
What You Didn’t Know About Instagram Ghost Followers
What Are Instagram Ghost Followers?
Ghost followers are fake followers on social platforms. On Instagram, ghost followers usually have very few followers and follow thousands of accounts.
Having many of these accounts follow you can impact your engagement. But if only a few of them follow you, it is nothing to worry about.
See above. This is an Instagram account with 122 000 followers, yet on average receives only 463 likes on average. For an account of that size, typically the average is around 2-3 thousand engagements per post. A popular tool to estimate ghost followers estimates that this account has 30% ghost followers.
Impact of Having Instagram Ghost Followers
When you have ghost followers on your Instagram profile, you will lose social credibility. People will be interested in your profile because of the massive number of followers you have. But when they check the engagement in your posts, they will know you are not authentic.
What’s more, it can be difficult to value any efforts you put into marketing. This is because you do not know the actual number of real followers that you reach.
Instagram is no longer just an online photo album. It is also a marketing platform used by brands and advertisers to promote goods and services. Hence, ghost followers have an adverse impact if you use your account for your advertising efforts.
1. Impact Of Ghost Followers On Brands
Instagram’s one billion users are a big potential for brands that want to market their products or services to these users.
The returns that can be achieved from advertising to a market of this magnitude are significant, and some companies have realized them. But ghost followers on Instagram will not buy your shoppable posts, click a link to your site, or like your posts; they are useless.
If you take shortcuts, you will increase the number of followers, but you will eventually suffer from low engagement and lack of sales. Therefore, instead of buying a bot to boost your follower number, engage with your audience by liking and commenting on their posts. Connecting with your audience will boost brand loyalty.
2. Impact on Influencer Marketing
Some people are in a rush to become influencers, so they end up purchasing Instagram accounts or followers. But they fail to realize that these followers are fake and will impact their online business.
Brands will be attracted to influencers due to the high number of followers. They will be interested in partnering with influencers in order to reach an audience that wants to buy their service or product. But once the influencer makes a post, the brand will be disappointed by the low engagement rate and weak or no sales. As a result, the influencer will end up losing their clients.
3. Action by Instagram
According to an April 2017 article by Business Insider, Instagram started to go after ghost followers. So, they closed down the third parties that were in the service of selling fake followers and engagement.
Instagram felt that ghost followers on Instagram were unhealthy for profiles, and user experience was being affected. Moreover, Instagram is shutting down accounts with many fake followers.
How To Prevent Instagram Ghost Followers
Now that you know how ghost followers can harm your online business, how do you avoid them? Here are the basic ways of steering away from an account with many ghost followers.
- Don’t Buy an Instagram Account
Numerous services sell Instagram accounts. Services such as fameswap.com offer an online shop for people to buy and sell accounts. The issue is that you cannot be offered the Instagram handle for you to assess whether the followers are genuine or fake. As a result, the risk is very high that you might end up purchasing ghost followers. Also, when you purchase an Instagram account, there is a high likelihood that you will change the profile name and post photos that not related to the previous ones. This will result in real followers leaving you, and only fake ones will remain. Keep in mind that Instagram can close the account once they notice a name change that results from a sale. Do you want to make no return on your investment? Because buying an Instagram account will give you no returns.
- Don’t Buy Instagram Followers
Many online services are offering Instagram followers on the cheap, including Gramblast and Buzzdays. You can get 100 followers for $2.99 and $1.89 respectively on these services.
Once you buy the followers, you will get an eye-catching account with low engagement. And remember, you will lose your credibility because real followers can easily spot a fake account.
- Don’t Buy Instagram Likes or Engagement
Buying ghost followers on Instagram leads to the added investment in comments and likes. Services such as IG Flash, Super Liker, and Gramplify offer to position your posts on their newsfeed so that their users can like and comment on them. In return, you will like and comment on the posts of their users.
Even though you will have some short-term engagement, this will only last for so long. Moreover, these comments are generic because the users commenting on your posts are only doing it to get the same. You can differentiate the comments of such a user from those of a real follower who is genuinely passionate about your post.
That is why growing an Instagram account organically is the best option. It might be tasking, but you will get steady growth that will be there in the long-run.
How To Get Rid of Instagram Ghost Followers
You might be affected by ghost followers on Instagram by any one of the above reasons or some other reason. If that’s the case, do not be alarmed as there are means you can use to remove these fake accounts from your profile. How do you go about it?
- Use Detection Tools
The first step to take in getting rid of ghost followers on Instagram is to carry out an analysis of your followers, comments received and likes gained. You can accomplish this through a tool such as Sprout. In-depth analytics will help you understand if you have bot activity on your account. Then you can know the necessary steps to undertake to remove these fake followers. Fakecheck is another useful paid tool.
- Remove Manually
If you are worried that you might have a few ghost followers on Instagram, you can decide to remove them manually. This is practical if your account has a few hundred followers.
Go through them and check the ones with few followers and have followed many accounts. Such accounts also have very few photos on their profile. Remove every account that has these features.
HeyDominik breaks down exactly how to remove ghost followers in 2019 here:
- Remove with Tools
If your account has thousands of followers and you feel that it might be a challenge to remove ghost followers manually, tools such as Simply Measured can help. The tool will carry out in-depth analysis regarding your followers and their engagement. This report also has the number of times your followers have engaged with your posts. The tool provides you with the option of removing those followers that are deemed as fake.
How To Grow An Instagram Account Organically
Do you want to know how to grow an Instagram account without using fake services? Your wish is my command. Make sure you post high-quality content that users will like. If you post a picture that is well shot and edited, your followers will like it and engage with it. Then their followers will know, and they will follow you.
Also, ensure you include geolocations as you post your pictures. This will feature you in the explore page where people in your location can discover you.
What’s more, use hashtags, interact with other users’ posts, host Instagram contests, use influencer marketing, and use an Instagram growth service like ours.
Learn more about organic Instagram growth services here.
Summing Up Instagram Ghost Followers
Having ghost followers on your Instagram profile can be damaging to your credibility as an individual, professional, or brand. Your posts will get minimal engagement, brands will receive low sales, and partnerships will be broken. And don’t forget that Instagram can close your account if it detects a high number of fake followers.
So, to avoid having ghost followers, ensure you don’t buy an Instagram account, comments and likes, and followers. Thank me later.
But all is not lost if you have ghost followers. You can use detection tools to determine them. You can then either remove them manually or automatically, depending on the number of followers and your preference.
Organic growth of Instagram is the only way to get genuine followers who will benefit your business. Do you want high engagement? Do you want Instagram users to shop from you? Then you need to avoid shortcuts and put in the work, which we can help you with.
By following these steps, you can ensure you don’t rack up ghost followers, and only have genuine people following you. If you’d like to grow your Instagram account, reach out to one of our experts. Hypeplanner helps brands, individuals and businesses grow their Instagram accounts. Feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about pricing and how we can help you grow!