If you’ve ever bought fake followers, you have probably noticed the lack of engagement on your Instagram account. The more fake users follow you, the lower your ER is, and thus, Instagram doesn’t rank you enough to recommend your profile to the audience, which might be interested in you.
As a brand or an influencer, you should make sure that no ghost or fake users follow you on Instagram and discredit your reputation. And if they anyhow do, you can remove them manually, yet there might be a difficulty to identify them.
How fake Instagram followers influence your Instagram growth
The Instagram algorithm ranks accounts that have much organic engagement. When you post your photo or video, Instagram shows it to a small percentage of your followers. If they respond to your post (like, comment, or share it), the platform starts showcasing the content to more and more people.
It can even appear on the Explore tab if users have seen your post will find it appealing.
And what happens if you have many fake followers? Instagram shows your post to your followers, who are actually a dead weight, so they can’t like, share, or comment on your content. Instagram algorithms detect that this content is not of interest to your audience, and thus, it doesn’t give it a shot to be seen by a real audience. As a result, your reach and ER drop, your account has a low trust score, and you have a hard time recovering it. Thus your income or monetization may be affected, too.
So you will need to build authentic followership. Fake followers flatter the ego but do not take a step forward, growing your Instagram account.
Besides, Instagram doesn’t only rank accounts with fake followers lower; it might as well flag or ban them. It means you will need to start all anew: create a new account, develop it, spend money on ads, and fake followers again. It seems like a vicious cycle.
How to figure out if you have fake followers
If you have ever bought them and never got rid of them, you have fake followers. This is obvious. And if you’ve never bought them, there’s no guarantee that you don’t have fake or ghost accounts in your Followers tab.
If you manage a brand account on Instagram, your competitors might buy bots to follow your Instagram page and thus slowly kill it. The same can happen to successful influencers.
Apart from bots, there are also ghost followers. They are, unlike bots, are real people who aren’t actually your target audience. For instance, if you sell female lingerie and you have many men in your followers, these are definitely not your target audience, and you should remove them from your audience.
To find fake or ghost followers, you need to examine your followers and see who’s in there manually. This method will work fine if your followership isn’t large; otherwise, it’s rather time-consuming. Once you found users who don’t actually belong to your target audience, you can remove them.
Find the Remove button next to a user in your Followers tab. Press it, and you will remove a ghost follower who doesn’t bring you any engagement.
How can you identify a fake follower
- An empty Instagram account or an account stuffed with giveaways and scam content.
- Shallow engagement rate. Nobody comments on their photos, and if some do, bots don’t reply back.
- The number of their Following tab is more or equal to the number of their followers.
- They have strange usernames consisting of numbers or irrelevant words.
- They comment on your posts. If they comment on your content something like ‘Nice picture’, ‘Good job!’, or emojis, this account might be an Instagram bot.
Find fake followers with Combin Growth
Researching dubious subscribers might be time-consuming. It is tedious to do the job manually. Here where advanced software proves to be really helpful. The advantage of such apps is that you can find fake followers quickly.
Combin Growth is an option. After opening the app, you can browse the list of your followers and find out who of them are irrelevant to you.
To do so, install and launch Combin Growth on your computer. It’s available for Windows, macOS, and Ubuntu. Then open the Search tab and start a new search. Open the Users tab, choose search by followers and type in your username or a username of an influencer whose audience quality you want to check.
Once the search results are loaded, sort them by engagement rate or follow ratio to find the most high-quality ones.
Or you can use the Irrelevant Users filter. You can hide all irrelevant users from your search results. Combin Growth detects irrelevant accounts with its machine learning algorithms. The app counts Instagram stores, celebrities, bots, and other accounts that will unlikely drive you any engagement as irrelevant.
Thus you can make an initial assessment. Are there any fake followers? You can easily determine this through Combin Growth.
Combin Growth enables you to check your personal or brand Instagram profile for fake followers. You can also audit influencers’ profiles with this app before outreaching them.
Apart from finding inauthentic followers, you can also grow your audience with Combin Growth, find your competitors’ audience (even their likers and commenters), use advanced searching functions to find content based on various criteria, set up targeting searching, and automate your interactions such as likes, comments, and follows.
Combin Growth lets you in-bulk unfollow Instagram users who don’t follow you back and track your performance statistics to realize what works best for your Instagram growth strategy and what doesn’t.
Instagram fake followers: the bottom line
An inauthentic audience can be tough to identify and detect, but it’s worth the effort since otherwise, you won’t be able to grow your Instagram account organically and properly. If followers themselves are nothing more than a vanity metric, they are the assets that can bring you authentic engagement and reach. And these two are a big deal on Instagram.
This is why we feel that Combin Growth might be a great solution for your business to grow on Instagram and drive more clientele from the platform. Try Combin Growth for free now.