Have you audited your Instagram followers lately? If not, you may want to add this task to your to-do list.
Because your followers may actually be the reason why your engagement is down or you’re struggling to expand your reach on Instagram.
Ghost followers and people who don’t engage with your account can drag your engagement rate down. In this Instagram followers audit guide, we’ll explain why you should conduct an audit, whether you should remove ghost followers and how to clean up your follower’s list.
Why You Should Audit Your Followers
We know what you’re thinking: auditing sounds like a lot of work – why should I bother? Wouldn’t it be better to focus on creating content?
Engagement and Why It Matters
One of the biggest benefits of auditing your followers is that it can boost your overall engagement rate. On Instagram – or any social platform – engagement matters.
If you’re interested in brand sponsorships or just want to make it to the Explore page, having a high engagement rate is critical.
Brands want to know that people are actually interested in what you have to say (your content). If only a small percentage of your followers are liking, commenting and saving your content, then are you really influencing your audience? Probably not – at least not in the eyes of brands.
The Instagram algorithm also favors content that gets a lot of engagement. That alone should be reason enough to audit your followers.
Your engagement rate looks at your number of likes, comments and saves in relation to how many followers you have.
Followers who aren’t active on Instagram and never engage with your account will lower your engagement rate, and that will have negative effects on your account in the long run.
Should You Remove Ghost Followers?
A lot of Instagram accounts have ghost followers. You may have them and not even realize it. But should you remove them?
Yes – if your goal is to boost engagement and grow your account.
Ghost followers from fake and bot accounts aren’t doing you any favors. They’re artificially lowering your engagement rate, and there’s no incentive to keep them around.
What to Look for When Removing Followers?
Your followers made a commitment to follow your account, so you don’t want to remove people who may really be interested in your content.
What we recommend you do is use certain criteria when removing accounts:
- Check the Person’s Profile Picture. If the profile doesn’t have a picture, just delete it. Rarely do people make accounts and not add a profile photo unless they’re a bot.
- How Many Followers does the Person Have? If you notice that they have a handful of followers but follow thousands of accounts, remove them. This is another indicator that the account is a bot.
- When was the Last Time the Person Posted? If the person hasn’t posted in years, their account may be inactive. People change accounts a lot.
- Are those Models or Celeb Accounts Real? We’ve all had accounts follow us that are obviously not the real celebrity or model that they claim to be. You’ll want to remove these accounts after verifying that they’re not real.
- Did You Recognize the Person’s Name? If so, and they engage with your posts a lot, keep them on your follower list.
- If you know the Person and would Rather them not Follow your Account, Remove them. We all have those “friends” or family members that we would rather not see our posts. You can remove or even block them if you know that they’ll just follow your account when it’s recommended to them in the future.
Of course, you’ll want to add your own rules to this list. Once you have a good grasp of the followers that you’ll remove, you can then begin removing them manually. Manual removal will take time, but you’ll shortly find out why it’s your best course of action.
How To Remove Followers Manually?
You know why you should remove some followers – if you have time – but now it’s time to begin the tedious task of removing followers. This method works on every device we’ve tried:
What you’ll need to do first is log into your account and go to your profile. If you’re on an app, you’ll need to tap your profile picture on the bottom right of the app and go to your profile.
You’ll notice a “Remove” button next to all of your followers that you can tap on to remove accounts one-by-one.
If you know that you have certain people that you want to unfollow and have their account name handy, you can also use the “Search” box to find the account and begin unfollowing them.
And that’s it.
Work through your account’s followers, remove those who seem to either have abandoned their accounts or are bots, and you’ll have higher engagement in the future.
Be Mindful of Instagram’s Internal Limits
Removing followers is a lot of work, and if you’re feeling overwhelmed, anyone doing this manually will relate to you. It’s a tedious process, and if you have hundreds of thousands of followers, I wouldn’t bother with your audit.
If you surpass these limits, you may be fine, but it will lead to Instagram limiting your actions at some point. You’ll then need to wait until the limit is removed to unfollow more people. Instead, go through your list and remove 10 – 20 followers at a time when you’re bored, and you’ll be on the safe side of Insta’s algorithm.
Can I Use an App to Remove Instagram Followers?
You’ll find a lot of apps that can “help” you remove followers. If you have hundreds of even thousands of followers, you may be tempted to download one of these apps and let them automatically delete your followers.
Do the apps work?
But look at these replies from a recent Reddit post:
- “Facts, lost my account.”
- “I got a warning for using one of these.”
- “I can back that. I received the same notification.”
- “I was shadow banned.”
Should you remove Instagram followers using an app? NO. You risk getting your account banned.
If you do want to remove followers, conduct your Instagram followers audit and begin removing them manually. It will take a lot of time, but it’s worth not having your account banned and needing to restart.