If you’re looking to unfollow people on Instagram, you might not know who you should unfollow.
It’s important to unfollow the right people as it will benefit your account.
If you happen to unfollow the wrong group of people, your followers and engagement might decrease.
For example, if you unfollowed a mutual follower that have been constantly liking your posts, they have a high chance of unfollowing you.
Consequently, your engagement rate will drop.
This article tells you the types of people you should unfollow on Instagram so that you can get the most (benefits) out of it.
1. People who post too much
The first type of people that you should unfollow on Instagram are those who post too much. This is due to a couple of reasons.
Firstly, someone who posts too much will overcrowd your feed with their content.
People who post too much will overcrowd your feed. So it’s best to you mute or unfollow them.
Consequently, this might bury the posts of other people that you care about. People who overpost can be really annoying.
For example, if your close friends/family happen to post on the same day as an overposter, their posts may plummet at the bottom of your feed.
This means that you may not be able to stay updated on their posts because you may miss some of them.
Secondly, if you’re following people that overpost, it’ll be harder to like every post on your feed.
It’ll be harder to keep up with every post on your feed if you’re following people who overpost.
If you’re the type of person that consistently likes every post on your feed to stay updated, following an overposter is a huge drawback.
This is because it’ll take too much of your time if you were to like every post.
To make matters worse, Instagram’s feed is not chronological. Instead, posts are ranked by a complex algorithm.
As the feed is not chronological, the only way you can stay updated on a single person’s feed is if you deliberately visit their profile.
Otherwise, you’ll have to consistently scroll and like every post on your feed so that only the newest posts are shown.
Another way to stay updated on the people that you care about is if they shared their posts to their story. If that’s the case, you can check their stories instead of scrolling endlessly down your feed.
At the end of the day, if you happen to come across someone you’re following that posts too much, you can either unfollow, mute or block them.
This will reduce the time taken to stay updated on every post on your feed.
2. Ghost followers
The next type of people you should unfollow on Instagram are ghost followers.
Ghost followers are people who don’t like or comment on any of your posts. If you have a lot of ghost followers, your engagement rate will be low.
Unfollowing ghost followers will not only improve your engagement rate, but it’ll also decrease the number of posts on your feed.
Improving your engagement rate should be your number one priority on Instagram.
You can have thousands of followers on Instagram; but they mean nothing if your engagement rate is low.
The goal of every Instagram account should be developing highly engaged followers. If you have engaged followers, the reach of your posts will increase.
This is because Instagram’s algorithm puts a lot of weight on posts that get early engagement.
For example, if you post a photo and it gets hundreds of likes within the first 30 minutes, Instagram will rank it higher on your followers’ feeds.
On the other hand, if your photo gets little likes within the first 30 minutes, Instagram will rank it lower on your followers’ feeds.
Hence, it’s important to unfollow and remove ghost followers if you want to improve your engagement.
Thirdly, you should unfollow people who unfollowed you.
Unfortunately, Instagram is a numbers game. So when there is a way to improve your numbers, you should go for it.
By unfollowing people who unfollowed you, your followers/following ratio will be improved/maintained.
So what is the followers/following ratio?
The followers to following ratio is basically your followers divided by the number of people you are following.
For example, if you have 1,000 followers and you’re following 500 people, your followers/following ratio is 2:1.
Typically, you should aim for a 1:1 ratio or better. But of course, you should never aim for a perfect ratio as it is very unselfish.
Following others back and liking their posts shows that you care about your followers, which will benefit both parties.
Conversely, if you don’t follow anyone back or don’t like anyone’s posts, it shows that you completely disregard your followers.
In addition, people who unfollow you after you followed them back are most likely using the follow/unfollow strategy.
The follow/unfollow strategy is the act of following as many people as possible for the intention of a follow back. Once they follow back, you simply unfollow them.
This strategy is extremely controversial due to its greedy nature, and I do not recommend using it. Instead, you should use the follow for follow strategy which is a less selfish strategy.
Ultimately, you should always unfollow your unfollowers if you want to improve or maintain your followers/following ratio.
4. People who don’t follow you back
Similar to the previous point, you should unfollow people who don’t follow you back.
There are two main reasons why you should unfollow people who don’t follow you back on Instagram.
Firstly, people who don’t follow you back won’t interact with your posts. This is because your posts will not be displayed on their feed as they are not following you.
Consequently, this will negatively affect your engagement rate as you will receive fewer likes.
Secondly, unfollowing people who don’t follow you back will improve your followers/following ratio.
As mentioned in the third point, having a good followers/following ratio is crucial to avoid overcrowding in your feed. If you follow too many people, it’ll be harder to keep up with the posts on your feed as there will be too many.
By unfollowing people who don’t follow you back, you can significantly reduce the number of posts on your feed.
In order to find out people who don’t follow you back, you can download an app that tracks this.
Simply do a search on the Google Play Store or the App Store for “Instagram analytics” or “Instagram insights” and download an app there.
Typically, viewing people who don’t follow you back is a free feature on these apps, so you don’t have to pay for it.
Paid features are usually for ghost followers, stalkers, blockers, etc. Once you downloaded the app, you can find out who isn’t following you back and unfollow them.
However, you should not unfollow people directly from the app or you will be action blocked.
This is because you can carry out actions much faster in a third party app then if you were to do it on Instagram.
Instead, unfollow people by searching for their username on the Instagram app, and do it in intervals of 5 to 10 minutes.
This will mitigate the action block.
5. People who have low-quality content
The fifth type of people you should unfollow on Instagram are those who post low-quality content.
So, what is defined as low-quality content?
Low quality content can be comprised of many different factors—bad lighting, low resolution, random content, etc.
For example, if someone posts random photos, their feed will be very disorganized which is less appealing to others.
When you’re following someone, you’ll usually want to go with someone with a niche (e.g. fitness, personal, quotes).
Only then, you’ll be able to determine the profile of someone based on their posts.
You should be able to tell the niche of someone by looking at their profile. After all, it is the niche that makes a profile stands out from the rest.
People with low-quality content shows that they don’t really care about enhancing their photos.
At the end of the day, if you want the best content to be displayed on your feed; you have to either unfollow or mute those that don’t post quality content.
6. Fake/spam accounts
If you’re following a lot of fake or spam accounts, you’re harming your account.
You should always unfollow fake/spam accounts on Instagram as they won’t interact with your posts.
There are multiple ways you can detect a fake account on Instagram. Here are the most common ones.
No profile picture.
Typically, a fake account does not have a profile picture.
Even if they do, the quality of the picture will be very low.
A fake account usually has a random username that does not make any sense.
Here’s an example of a username from a fake account, “schweinepink123”.
If an account’s username has a random mix of words, letters, or numbers, it is most likely a fake account.
In addition, a fake account’s username usually don’t make any sense.
Little to no posts.
Lastly, fake accounts have little to no posts on their feed. Even if they do, their posts will have very low or no engagement at all.
By following fake accounts, your follow/following ratio and engagement rate will deprove.
This is because fake followers will not interact with your posts.
Hence, it’s important to consistently check who you’re following and unfollow fake accounts if you want to ‘clean’ your account.
7. Inactive people
Similar to ghost followers, you should always look for inactive people to unfollow on Instagram. Inactive people are people who don’t use Instagram anymore.
However, they to detect than ghost followers because they might have interacted with your posts prior to inactivity.
Hence, you will not be able to track inactive people if you were to use a third-party app.
This is because ghost followers are people who don’t interact with any of your posts at all (no likes, no comments).
On the other hand, inactive people may have liked your posts before, but not anymore in the present. Since some inactive people might have liked your posts before, they are not counted as a ghost follower.
So how do you find inactive people that you’re following?
In order to find inactive people that you’re following, you have to manually go through your following list. To make the process simpler, you can sort your following list by “earliest”.
This will categorize the people that you’re following based on the first to the last person you followed on Instagram respectively.
Typically, the people that you’ve followed the earliest are more likely to be inactive as compared to the people that you recently followed.
Thus, it makes sense to sort your following list by “earliest” first.
Once you’ve sorted the list by “earliest”, go through everyone that you’re following one-by-one and check two things. When was their last post, and whether they posted a story.
If their last post was several months or half a year ago, there’s a high chance that they are no longer using Instagram.
However, if they posted a story recently, that means that they are still active Instagram, but they’re not actively posting.
A bonus way to know whether someone is inactive on Instagram is to checck whether they watch your stories.
If you don’t see them watching your stories, posting content or stories, then they might be inactive on Instagram.
Unfollowing the right people on Instagram is important as it can help improve your followers/following ratio and your engagement rate.
If you unfollow the wrong people, it might decrease your engagement rate.
As a start, you should never unfollow mutual followers that are consistently interacting with your posts.
Instead, you’ll want to unfollow ghost followers, inactive people or those who post to much as they harm your account.
I hope that this article is of use to you, especially if you’re looking to “clean” your Instagram account.
Fundamentally, if you unfollow the types of people listed in this article, your account will benefit greatly.
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Author: Lim How Wei is the founder of Followchain. Feel free to follow him on Instagram.