One of the biggest discussions around building your followers on Instagram is whether or not you should buy fake followers. This has been discussed for a long while now, especially since Instagram started to take actions (2018) to deter people from buying fake followers or using automation systems for growth.
Back in the day, when all of this influencer stuff was just getting started, it seemed perfectly acceptable to buy followers for Instagram, regardless of whether or not they were quality, authentic followers. A few thousand followers to help boost your follower count? No big deal!
But eventually, things started to get out of hand, and it became the trend for people to buy fake followers with little quality or engagement, thus making them less valuable in the long run for potential marketers or brand partners.
It was a very attractive option, since having a high follower count is one of the quintessential elements of becoming an influencer and pulling more deals, but ultimately, it didn’t take long for people to start noticing a problem.
How To Get Rid of Fake Followers On Instagram
Now, in 2020, buying fake followers makes you appear desperate, inauthentic, and fraudulent. It’s not hard to notice if an account has 80k followers with an average engagement rate of about 50 likes per photo (ouch). Learning how to build your Instagram audience the right way pays off in the end.
One of the downsides to buying followers is that many of them may be ghost followers– fake profiles or accounts that are bots.
How can you tell if a follower is a ghost follower?
- Profile name: Many times you will see numbers or random, strange names in the handle.
- Follower count: You’ll see a disproportionate amount of followers; you’ll notice that the account will be following many more accounts than are following them.
- Number of posts: The account may have a very low number of posts, or none at all. The posts will also be very inconsistent.
- Quality of content: The content that is posted will be very random or low-quality.
- Engagement: These accounts will never engage with your account or posts. They do absolutely nothing for you.
On our blog we tell you more about how ghost followers negatively impact your account.
Already bought followers? Not what you expected? You probably know by now that deleting them is not nearly as easy as purchasing them. When you want to delete followers, you have to do it manually, and individually. This can end up being really time consuming and tedious work, especially if you’re not exactly sure which accounts you need to delete.
Even if you haven’t bought fake followers, over time you can still accumulate these fake bot and ghost followers, and maybe you’ve started to notice them hanging around.
If you’re looking for the most effective ways to delete fake followers from your Instagram account, look no further. In this article we’ll take you through a few options for deleting your IG account and giving it the clean-up that you’ve long been waiting for, without wasting hours and hours of your time.
Analyze Your Followers Before Deleting
Before you delete anything, you need to know exactly which followers should be deleted and which ones are actually engaged with your account.
One way you can find this out is to run an audit; there are many free and paid analytics service apps that can help you to do this, such as Hype Auditor or Followers Plus. These are just some examples and there are many different options with different interfaces, but overall you want to find out your level of engagement and which accounts are the ones that engage with your content.
After you discover this, you might be surprised to see that a high percentage of accounts that follow you don’t engage with your content at all. This is where we want to focus our energy.
Method 1: Manually Deleting
While we mentioned above this can be quite time-consuming, it gives you the most control over which followers are deleted and which ones remain.
Another benefit of this is that you can re-engage with followers that you haven’t connected with in a while; if you decide that the follower is a quality follower, you won’t be deleting them but perhaps liking some of their photos or leaving a comment. This is a great way to simultaneously remove those followers that provide no value and reach out to followers that you want to bring back to your account or remind them of you.
When going through to delete these ghost/fake followers, follow our tips for spotting ghost followers (see above), and also look for accounts that haven’t had any activity for years. This is a strong indicator that they are likely fake followers.
Method 2: Instagram Cleaner Apps
As we say these days for everything, “there’s an app for that.” Here, same thing. There are Instagram cleaner apps that will go through and do the heavy work for you, such as identifying and cutting out those fake followers. Here we’ll take a look at a few options for you and you can then make your choice.
Keep in mind though, it may not allow you the same full control that you’d have if you do it manually, but if you have a really high follower count, it might be somewhat necessary if you don’t have time to go through and do it all manually.
Followers+ Track For Instagram
This app is a useful one because it combines the cleanup with the analysis. This app will tell you media stats with audience insight as well as which followers aren’t engaging. It also has all of the features for mass unfollow/block/unlike. The platform has a more comprehensive user interface than some of the other cleaner apps out there today.
There is a subscription for the app, and the pricing starts at $3.99. You can decide on how long of a subscription you need and go from there.
Cleaner for Ins
Cleaner for Ins is one of the most used services for removing followers and unfollowing accounts. If you have been using a follow/unfollow method for gaining followers, these cleaning apps are one way to be able to clean up not only your ghost followers, but also accounts you are following but no longer need to follow.
Cleaner for Ins has easy to use tool features and also a history section so you can see who you’ve blocked or unfollowed.
Pricing is also pretty straightforward. The app is free to download; for 80 operations it will cost you $0.99, for 200 it’ll cost $1.99, and a pro upgrade runs at $2.99.
InstaClean is another option very similar to the others mentioned in this section; they allow you to mass unfollow/block/unlike, and it also has a feature for mass accepting new follower requests. The tools are user-friendly and easy to access and use.
The good thing is that they also have a user search and multiple account support, so that might come in handy if you are managing multiple accounts.
InstaClean has a bit of a pricing difference in that it’s more expensive and has a subscription. The breakdown is as follows:
- $4.99 for one month
- $17.99 for 6 months
- $23.99 for one year
It’s not too pricey and depending on how you decide to use it, it could be worth it.
Mass Unfollow has a setting specifically for ghost followers you can mass unfollow and block them directly. You can also bulk delete posts, bulk unlike, and also bulk block/unblock and unfollow users.
The interface is very simple and user friendly. The good news is that it’s also free; you can pay $1.99 to remove ads, and also $1.99 for an unlimited unfollow feature. It’s an affordable option and easy to use.
So, Should I use an Instagram Cleaner App or Remove Fake Followers Manually?
Ultimately, it’s your call, but we can tell you a few different points for each.
Alternatively, when you remove account followers manually, you’ll definitely be dedicating much more time to removing followers. The good news is that you can use the time to your advantage by also engaging with real followers’ accounts that you aren’t going to delete through liking or commenting, thus giving your engagement a potential boost. Furthermore, you’ll have total control over who stays and who goes, and an even deeper knowledge about who is actually following you.
Final Thoughts On Removing Fake Followers
We can all agree that buying followers is really detrimental to your account and can cost your reputation, authenticity, potential deals as well as time. Building a follower base the correct way through quality content, authentic engagement, as well as a solid social media plan is the best way to go.
Maybe you want to remove these fake followers, but just haven’t gotten around to it. If you know that you have a bunch of followers that need to go, but still don’t have the time to sit and remove them, be transparent when making deals or partnerships.
Don’t lie and say you’ve never bought followers, or that all of your followers are real and authentic; this can be even more damaging later. Let your potential partner know that yeah you did buy some followers a while ago when it was the popular thing to do. Partners and marketers have more on their list than just a high follower count, so if you have strong potential and have shown that you can generate engagement and quality content, it may not even make a difference.
The key is to always be open and upfront, and continue focusing your efforts on building your followers and audience the real and ethical way, and it will sort itself out.
Another tip is to make sure you frequently do cleanups of your Instagram account and are always monitoring who you have as followers on your account, and foster those relationships. The more you maintain your account cleanup, the easier and less time-consuming it will be in the future.