Unmasking the Shadows: Tackling Bot and Ghost Followers on Instagram

Tackling Bot and Ghost Followers on Instagram

Ever look at your Instagram and wonder why your engagement is low but you have a strong following?

The answer to your question may be simple. Bot followers or ghost followers.

What are ghost/ bot followers?

Ghost Followers: These are inactive accounts, once real people who perhaps abandoned Instagram or simply never engage.

Bot Followers: These are fake accounts run by automated software, following thousands of users with no real interaction.

How do I identify these accounts?

Instagram created a new tool that detects spam followers and you can remove them in bulk. The only issue with this, Instagram may get some of those followers wrong and you may end up deleting real, engaging followers.These inactive or fake accounts inflate your follower count but do absolutely nothing for engagement, which can lead to problems.

Instagram posts your content to a proportion of your audience (followers) and if that percentage doesn’t engage, your post most likely will not reach non-followers.

There are a few ways to identify bot accounts:

Username Red Flags: Look for usernames that are generic strings of letters and numbers, or names followed by random digits (think “flowerpower1234”).

Profile Emptiness: Bots often lack profile pictures, or might use stolen or generic images. Their bios tend to be short, generic, or stuffed with key words.

Activity Anomalies: Bots have very few posts or an unusual posting pattern, like a sudden burst of activity followed by silence.

Why should you care?

A high follower count riddled with ghosts hurts your account in two ways:

Low Engagement: Instagram prioritizes posts users interact with. Ghost followers just scroll by, leaving your amazing content unseen.
Shadowbanning: Instagram frowns upon inauthentic activity. An abundance of ghost followers might trigger a shadowban, where your posts disappear from most feeds.

So how do you get rid of these accounts?

There is no simple way to remove these accounts but here are a few tricks:

Manual Checkup: Look for profiles with generic usernames, no profile picture, and few to no posts. These are red flags.
Engagement Rate Calculators: Several online tools calculate your engagement rate (likes, comments divided by followers). A low rate suggests ghost followers.
Third-Party Apps (Use with Caution): These apps scan your followers, identifying potential ghosts. However, be wary of apps requiring login information or promising instant fixes.

How do you stop this from happening?

Instead of chasing follower numbers, focus on building a real community:

Post Engaging Content: High-quality photos, videos, and Stories with clear calls to action will attract genuine followers.
Interact with Your Audience: Respond to comments, answer questions, and run contests. This fosters loyalty and encourages interaction.
Target the Right Audience: Who is your ideal follower? Tailor your content to their interests to attract a more engaged audience.

Remember, quality over quantity! A smaller audience of engaged followers is far more valuable than a ghost town with a high follower count. By understanding and eliminating ghost followers, you can create a thriving Instagram community that boosts your reach and helps you achieve your social media goals.

Not sure if bot and ghost followers are harming your engagement? Schedule a call with us today!