Get Rid of Fake Instagram Followers (Here’s How to Do It)

May 6, 2023

Justin Kerby

Get Rid of Fake Instagram Followers

Alright. So it happened. You got nervous, bought some fake followers, did a follow/unfollow spree, or joined some sort of witchcraft seance to grow your Instagram following. Or maybe you’ve just taken over your company’s Instagram account and have noticed that your following is mostly fake people, meaning someone else did this before you stepped into your role.

We see this a lot.

There was a time when buying a following was a popular thing to do. The problem with blackhat, quick-fix strategies is that they will always come back to bite you. Remember: anything that benefits you immediately is likely going to hurt in the future, and vice versa.

Here are a few reasons you should get rid of fake followers on places like Instagram and Twitter immediately, and how to do it.

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Fake Followers Kill Your Engagement

Bad news. Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and virtually every other major social network can’t show your content to all of your followers. They have grown too big, and there are too many users on the platforms to make this happen. On average, Facebook only shows posts to about 6% of your page’s total likes.

Average engagement per post - something great marketing

Platforms like Instagram run small tests when you post content to their platform. If a small initial pool of people like your content, the algorithm takes note and shows your photo to more people. If the pool doesn’t engage with your content, your post gets buried.

When a large percentage of your followers are fake accounts, most of the audience that your posts are shown to won’t be interacting with your content. Instead of real fans seeing your posts, fake fans will be shown your content. This kills your engagement rate, as your reach will go down on future posts.

Fake Followers Kill Your Reach

Fake followers don’t engage with your posts and people who run follow/unfollow campaigns will mute your account. This causes bad engagement (as described above) which leads to less reach. If no one likes your posts, Facebook and other social networks take notice. The algorithms are quick to show your content to even less of your followers. We call this the social media penalty box. It’s what you get for using bad practices.

Fake followers affect on reach - something great marketing

Fake Followers Kill Your Influence

Picture this scenario. You’re at a conference. A speaker has just left the stage to be surrounded by 20 fans, asking for autographs and answering questions. You’d probably assume that person had some pretty good things to say in their talk, and that they might be worth checking out – right?

Now imagine how you’d feel if you saw that same speaker pay those 20 fans to come and talk to him to try to seem important. You’d probably have some different feelings about whether or not that person was worth knowing. If you’re like most people, you’d assume the speaker was insecure, envious, and probably a little shady.

This is how your users feel when they notice that you’ve bought followers, and trust us – more users notice than you’d think. When you have 10,000 followers on Instagram and only 50 people like your posts, it’s easy to tell something’s up. There’s no better way to let your fans know you shouldn’t be trusted than by having a fake following. Don’t kill your influence. Kill your fake followers and build trust with your real ones.

How to get rid of fake followers

Getting rid of fake followers is different on every social media platform. Typically, you’ll need to block the fake accounts to make sure the social network knows you don’t wish to share your content with them.

Go through your following manually and watch for accounts with weird usernames and no posts, or use an automated tool to do the analysis for you. There are plenty of tools for each major social network, with both paid and unpaid options available. We like HypeAuditor for Instagram and Twitter Audit for Twitter.

Don’t put this off. Your fake following is hurting your online presence more than most people realize, and it only gets worse. Four quarters are better than one hundred pennies. Especially when the pennies are counterfeit.

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Written by

Justin Kerby

Justin is the founder of Something Great Marketing, leading our Vancouver marketing agency. He specializes in content strategy, website design, and branding.

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