Finding and removing inactive Instagram followers is important if you want a good engagement rate.
If your engagement rate is low, you might have a lot of inactive or ghost Instagram followers.
If you’re not consistently removing inactive Instagram followers, your engagement rate will start decreasing as your followers are increasing.
This will negatively affect your account.
However, finding inactive followers can be quite a hassle.
Hence, this article guides you on how to easily find inactive Instagram followers, how to remove them, and more.
What are inactive Instagram followers?
So, what are inactive or ghost Instagram followers?
Inactive Instagram followers, also known as ghost followers, are followers that don’t like or comment on any of your posts.
Inactive/ghost Instagram followers are followers that don’t engage on your posts. These are the type of followers that you want to get rid off.
In other words, inactive followers are following you, but they are not engaging on your posts.
A majority of these followers are bots that utilize the follow/unfollow strategy to grow their followers.
If you don’t know what the follow/unfollow strategy is, it’s basically the act of following a bunch of users with the intention for them to follow back.
However, some of these inactive followers are real people.
Either way, it’s a good idea to find and remove these followers as it will benefit your account.
It’s always better to remove a follower than to have an inactive one.
This is because even though you lose a follower, your engagement rate will be maintained, or even be increased.
Engagement rate is the most important metric on Instagram.
You can have tens of thousands of followers on Instagram, but if your engagement rate is low (under 3%), your account is poor.
In order for brands to work with you, your account has to have at least 1,000 followers and decent engagement rates.
Hence, likes is an important factor to determine whether your account is of quality.
At the end of the day, the more inactive or ghost followers you have, the lower your engagement rate.
How to find inactive Instagram followers
There are two different types of inactive Instagram followers.
The bots and real people that are inactive.
To find inactive Instagram followers, you need to be able to detect bots on your list of followers and people that are inactive, or don’t use Instagram anymore.
There are two types of Instagram followers you need to remove. Bots and real people that are either inactive or are not using Instagram anymore.
How to find and remove bots
Bots can be easily identifiable on Instagram.
Here’s what a bot account looks like:
- No profile picture
- Little to no posts
- Posts have little no engagement
- Not many followers
- Odd username
These are the number of factors you should take into consideration to identify a bot.
However, you need to make sure to go through each person meticulously.
This is because there could be real people that have all of these factors but bots that don’t.
So, you shouldn’t jump to conclusions.
Real people vs. bots
Using the above comparison, it’s easy to determine real accounts against bots or fake followers.
When you’re looking at these bot followers, you’ll need to keep the end goal in mind.
It’s all about getting people to engage in your content.
So if you’re looking through your list of followers and you think that someone might be a real person but you don’t think that they are going to engage in your content, then you should remove them.
How to find and remove real but inactive people
Now that I covered on how to find bots, how can you find real people who are just inactive followers?
How do you identify these people?
You can find real but inactive people by looking at the people that are consistently liking or commenting on your content.
If you know that you have followers that are not liking or commenting on your posts, that’s how you can find people that are inactive.
Additionally, you can use Instagram’s ‘Least Interacted With’ feature to find out who you interact with the least which means that the person might not have engaged on your posts as well.
The ‘Least Interacted With’ feature is great if you want to mass-unfollow or unfollow people on Instagram fast.
Since the feature is quite new on Instagram, you can use it to unfollow people without getting action blocked.
The feature is Instagram’s way of telling you that you should unfollow these people based on your low interaction with them.
Use a third-party app
Using a third-party app is one of the easiest ways to find inactive or ghost Instagram followers.
Simply search for “Instagram analytics/followers/unfollowers” on the App Store or Google Play Store.
However, viewing your inactive or ghost followers is usually a premium feature in these apps.
So, in order for you to view these followers, you’ll have to be prepared to spend some money.
However, if you’re utilizing these apps, make sure to never unfollow or remove followers in the app itself.
Otherwise, your account will be action blocked.
This is because Instagram is able to detect that you’re using a third-party app because you can carry out actions faster than normal.
Instead of removing/unfollowing people from the app itself, do it manually.
How to find inactive Instagram followers: Next steps
Now that you know how to find bot followers and inactive people, you have two options next.
The first option is to go ahead and engage with these people by going through their content, liking, and commenting on it.
However, you should only do that if you really enjoy their content. Don’t just do it for the intention for them to reciprocate.
By engaging on other’s content, they are more likely to engage back.
This is because once people know that you’re liking their posts, they may return the favor by liking your posts back.
It’s sort of a like for like thing.
Alternatively, you can remove these people from your list of followers.
Let’s dive into this in the next section.
How do I remove inactive Instagram followers?
There are a couple of ways you can use to remove inactive Instagram followers.
Here are the ways you can use to remove inactive Instagram followers.
1. Remove inactive followers from your list of followers.
The first way to remove inactive or ghost followers is to remove them from your list of followers or from their profile.
Instagram released a new feature where you can directly remove people from following you.
Not everyone has this feature, but if you have it, it’s incredibly useful.
You can remove followers by going to your list of followers.
On your list of followers, find bot or inactive people and then tap on ‘Remove’ to remove them from following you.
After you removed someone, they will no longer follow you.
They will not be notified that you removed them as a follower.
Also, they won’t be able to see your new posts or stories unless they happen to visit your profile and follow you again.
Secondly, you can remove someone from following you by going to their profile.
Search for their username on Instagram and visit their profile.
Then, tap on the triple-dots icon on the right-hand corner of your screen.
Lastly, tap on ‘Remove follower’ to remove them as a follower.
Again, the person will not be notified that you removed them as a follower unless they happen to visit your profile.
2. Block them
The second way you can remove inactive or ghost followers is by blocking them.
I do not recommend doing this, but if you do not have the feature to remove followers, then you should go ahead and block these users instead.
Here’s how you can block users.
Simply visit a user’s profile and tap on the triple-dots icon on the right-hand corner of your screen.
Then, tap on ‘Block’ to block them.
After you blocked someone, they will be removed from following you, your account will be removed from following them, and they will not be able to find your account.
The person will not be notified that you have blocked them.
Why are inactive Instagram followers bad?
If you have a bunch of inactive or ghost followers on Instagram, it can negatively affect your reach.
What happens is that you will get lesser engagement on your newer posts as they are not being shown to everyone.
For example, if you have a lot of followers on Instagram that are not engaging, Instagram will think that your content is bad.
Here’s how the Instagram algorithm works.
In the past, the posts on your feed are shown in a chronological order.
However, in the present, posts are being shown based on how likely you are to engage on it.
This means that if you recently posted something and people are not engaging on your post, Instagram will think that your content is bad and prevent it from being shown to more people.
Instagram’s algorithm works this way because they only want to show you the best content to get you to stay on the app.
Imagine if your feed is filled with low-quality images. You’re more likely to leave the app and not come back.
However, if your feed contains great content, then you’re inclined to stay on the app for a longer period of time.
In some occasions, having a low engagement rate does not mean that your content isn’t good.
It just means that you have a lot of inactive or ghost followers that aren’t interacting with your content.
Why is it important to remove inactive Instagram followers?
Inactive followers will decrease the reach of your posts and the engagement rate of your posts drastically.
It’s important to remove inactive Instagram followers to maintain your engagement rate.
As mentioned in the earlier sections, your engagement rate is the most important metric on Instagram.
Using an analogy, inactive followers are just followers that sits on your list of followers and do nothing.
They don’t like or comment on your posts.
This is unfavorable if you’ve been liking someone’s posts for a really long time but the person never engages back.
These are the type of people that you want to unfollow or remove as a follower.
By doing so, your engagement rate will either increase (if you get rid of a lot of inactive followers) or be maintained.
Why do people not engage on your posts?
People might not engage on your posts or you’re getting less likes because of several reasons.
Here is a list of reasons why people don’t like your posts or why you’re getting less likes on Instagram:
- They don’t bother to
- You are muted
- They are uninterested in your content
- Insufficient time
- They have way too many posts on their feed
- You are shadowbanned
- Your content is bad
- They don’t use Instagram anymore
- You’re using bad hashtags
- You’re not engaging on their posts
As you can see, there are lots of reasons why people don’t engage on your posts.
It could be because they are no longer interested in your content, they don’t use Instagram anymore, you’re not engaging on their posts, and so on.
Otherwise, it could be because your content is just low in quality. If that’s the case, you’ll have to create better content.
Benchmark your posts against others’. Is the quality of your content comparable to the users that have millions of followers/likes?
If not, you need to rethink on your content strategy or increase the quality of your content.
Removing inactive or ghost followers is crucial if you want to maintain or increase your engagement rate.
To find inactive Instagram followers, you can either do it manually or use a third-party app.
You can remove inactive followers using the ‘remove’ feature or by blocking them.
Engagement rate > followers.
After all, it’s better to lose a few followers than to have a poor engagement rate.
Remember, inactive or ghost followers are not helping your account — they are only harming it.
Further reading (related articles)
> Hot ? How to Unfollow People On Instagram Fast
> Why Do People Unfollow Me on Instagram?
> How to Unfollow Users on Instagram Who Don’t Follow You Back
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Author: Lim How Wei. Lim How Wei is the founder of Followchain, a community that simplifies growth and networking for Instagram users. Feel free to follow him on Instagram.