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What Are Ghost Followers And How Do They Affect My Instagram Engagement?

The common sense of every starting Instagram influencer will tell him to get as many Instagram followers as possible.


After all, every BIG star on Instagram has a lot of followers right?

So that must be their hidden sauce.


And then they start investigating all the BS strategies of getting fake followers…

… a.k.a The most self-sabotaging thing you could ever do to your Instagram.


Okay, let’s break the common misconception right here.

It’s not followers that matter to your Instagram growth.

It’s the ENGAGEMENT of those followers on your content.


That’s what defines you as a real Instagram influencer.


Think about this for a moment:

Would you rather have 1000 REAL Instagram fans that engage every time with your content and actually respond to your offers or…


… have millions of fake followers that are there for the count to make you cool in front of your friends?

Obviously, the first option is better if you want to actually make a following that you can monetize.


Here’s a perfect example why:

(hint: she couldn’t make 100 bucks with 3 million followers)

But that’s NOT even the biggest problem!

Besides the fact you won’t be able to monetize your ghost followers, you also wouldn’t be able to reach and attract real followers to your account…

…because the fake followers lower your trust score.

And the trust score of your account is determined by:

1. How trustworthy are the people you are following


 2.How trustworthy are the people that follow you

Now you’re thinking, “Okay but why does the trust score lower my reach?”

And here’s where we dive into the technical explanation of why having ghost followers will absolutely decimate your growth on Instagram.

The Instagram engagement algorithm works like the judge in court.

You have a follower count

This follower count divides into 2 audiences.

People that USUALLY engage with your content.

And people that USUALLY do not (most of them are ghost followers that you want to remove, obviously).

So what the algorithm will do is whenever you post content, it will show it only to a small section of your followers.


And analyze the results.

If you get a steady amount of engagement on your post, the algorithm will further show it to other followers you have.

If it doesn’t perform that well though…

Well, then your content will forever be hidden by any real human being on Instagram.


Basically it works like a feedback loop.

Summed in 3 words: Engagement = More Engagement.

Here’s how to remove ghost followers from Instagram (without getting yourself blocked)

Step Number 1: Analysis.

Before you jump to some cheap mass unfollow on Instagram apps, read this first, because that could hurt or ban your account for good.

Okay, you’ll have to do proper research of all your followers and see who engages with your content and who does not before you start removing ghost followers.


You can do this by making a list or doing it in an excel sheet and list all your posts the past 1 or 3 months (depending on how much data you want).


And see all the Instagram accounts that like you.


Because those people who liked your posts have the potential to be the true fans that you want to go after.


You know this might take some time, but the more data you have, the better end result. 

Now comes the second part of the analyzation process!


And yeah, you guessed it…

… you now have to make another list.

With all your followers.


Now, of course, if you have 50,100k followers that might not be easy or pleasant at all.


Luckily for you, we’ve developed service for all this using AI and real people.

Click here to see more. (we also delete the ghost followers for you)


Anyways, with both those lists what you want to do is compare them.


And whenever there is a name twice, this means you have a person that interacted with your Instagram account.

Obviously this means you don’t want to unfollow these accounts.

Now comes the fun part.

Step Number 2: Extermination.


You will feel like a pest removal professional on a mission to save your house (Instagram account) from these unwanted guests while deleting these Instagram accounts.

Well, to be honest, it might be even more boring than the first part, but I mean, It’s really up to you how you look at this.

Anyways, you now have located your potential true fans and now it’s time to go and manually block the ghost followers you have.


Look out for these features before deleting ghost followers:


  • 0 posts


  • No profile picture


  • They follow more than 1500 people


  • 0 posts in the last 60 days


  • Username filled with random numbers


  • 0 or very low rate of followers

Be careful though.

When you’ve located the scourging banes, there’s something VERY important you should remember before you start the extermination process…



After you’ve located these fake Instagram accounts, you will have to remove them GRADUALLY!


Please do not make this mistake and mass block accounts, Instagram will block you instead.


If you want to monetize your followers from your Instagram account, don’t use some cheap bots or mimic ones.


A good rule of thumb would be no more than 40 actions an hour.


So don’t exceed that.

Step Number 3: Maintenance.

Okay good, now you know how to analyze your account.


And you know what that you have to do to delete the ghost followers afterward


Of course, it doesn’t stop there.


You have to actually maintain the account and do this process at least once a month if you want to exponentially grow.


And we know this is the most important part of the whole process.


After all, your Instagram will bring in followers all the time, so you have to clean the fake followers all the time as well.


That’s why we’ve developed a special Instagram cleaner that does that for you on a monthly basis.


You can see more about it here.

Also one more thing.

You should consider unfollowing ghost followers as well.

This is because the Instagram algorithm also watches if you follow trustworthy accounts.


The more ghost followers you follow the lower the trust score you will have.


Which again, means you will have less reach to actual real humans.


Ghost followers will never ever buy from you.


Ghost followers hurt your reach.


They hurt your trust score as well.


They literally sabotage your account and you have to delete them as fast as possible.


You might’ve come to the conclusion yourself but I’ll say it anyway:


Don’t ever buy followers, that will hurt your account more than you can imagine.


If you already did though, there’s still hope.


You have two ways of deleting the ghost followers.


The first one is following the steps I shared with you in this article.


If you have more than 50k followers though, that would be really hard to do.


You can use our professional Instagram cleaner services or hire a freelancer to do it for you.


Make checking and removing ghost followers a mandatory part of your Instagram growth.


It keeps your account healthy.


It increases your Trust Score.


It helps you monetize real people following you…


…and most importantly build you a better online community!


Yours in your Instagram success and beyond,



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