The term “ghost followers” may not sound particularly ominous, but it can wreak havoc on the health of your Instagram and bring your engagement down. Brands and influencers alike do what they can to ensure their social media campaigns attract more followers and potential customers. However, when ghost followers become apart of any Instagram campaign, the results may be disastrous.
How Ghost Followers Bring Your Instagram Engagement Down
Amidst the ever-changing Instagram algorithm and the shift in people’s interest and trends, it can be hard to pinpoint what drives your metrics and what doesn’t. However, if you’ve noticed a steady decline in your followers’ engagement despite having a healthy amount of followers, your account may have its fair share of ghost followers.
These ghost followers follow your profile without ever engaging with your content or your profile. They never like posts or share comments, yet are still following you. These ghost followers often serve to just follow other people and are generally fake accounts.
Ghost followers may not initially pose a problem, but brands that are focusing on generating authentic engagement and attracting real followers need to address their ghost follower issue.
Identifying and Removing Ghost Followers
The truth of the matter is that regardless of the number of followers you have, if any of them are ghost followers, your metrics aren’t real. You can determine whether or not you have ghost followers by analyzing your engagement rate.
The basic equation for an engagement rate calculator:
(Total # of likes / Total # of followers) x 100
Thus, you can determine the total average rate of engagement by first dividing the aggregate number of likes by the average number of followers. Then, multiply by 100 in order to find the percentage for your rate of engagement.
This is where the trouble of having ghost followers comes in and why they bring your Instagram engagement down. Since your followers aren’t liking posts or commenting on your content, they will inflate your average follower count, ultimately working to lower your engagement rate.
Your Solution for Ghost Followers
How do you tackle the problem of ghost followers and fix your engagement rate? The best way to do it is by removing your ghost followers. While some brands do pay for ghost followers, you may have acquired a lot of ghost followers unwittingly.
It’s best to begin the removal process in an organic way to prevent Instagram from taking any action against your account. Try blocking fake accounts to clean out your Instagram and to improve your engagement rate.
To keep track of your progress, it’s a good idea to go through your list of followers to identify ghost accounts. These accounts typically have very few images and few accounts following their page. Generally, they’ll have a significant number of people that they are following, either because they are part of a package of fake followers that have been purchased or they are a spam account.
Keeping track of the quality of your followers is one of the only ways to improve your engagement. In addition to having quality content, you won’t be able to grow your brand and attract real followers if you continue to let ghost followers bring your Instagram engagement down.