The topic of fake followers has been actively discussed in the influencer marketing community practically since the very first days of influencer marketing. Instagram is constantly evolving and improving its capabilities of detecting fake accounts. You need to avoid bots, especially if you use Instagram for marketing purposes.
If you want to know how to get rid of bots on Instagram and clean up your Instagram account, read on.
We at HypeAuditor believe that a fake follower is pretty much any poor quality account, whether it’s a mass follower or suspicious account.
Most of the accounts that are considered ‘mass followers’ are actual bots that follow more than 5,000 accounts. Deadheads with not a single published post.
In 2020, more than half (55%) of Instagram influencers were involved in some kind of fraudulent activity, while 45% of Instagram accounts were fake.
There may be different types of fake accounts with specific characteristics that can help you identify them.
Bots. These accounts are designed to grow your follower count performing certain actions to do that. Bots automatically follow other users, unfollow them after a while, like, and comment on their content.
Dead accounts. Dead, or inactive, accounts are those accounts that haven’t been use for a long time. Some of these accounts get eventually abandoned, while some users try to re-activate their accounts later.
It is now blatant that some of the influencers buy fake followers to make their audience size seem larger than its actual size, while others gain fake followers out of ignorance by signing up for Instagram Growth Services. These services promise a truckload of real followers, but eventually, you end up having your account littered with nothing but poorly designed bots.
In rare cases, we have faced — and this is probably one of the most disgraceful cases — how your competitors buy the bots for you. Yes, you read it right! These “witty marketers” come to the conclusion that there is a painful scarcity of followers on your account, and they feel really bad for you. So much that they go ahead and buy you the cheapest bots you can find on the Internet. Good thing they are fairly easy to notice.
We’ve confronted many situations like the one described above and now we would like to share our knowledge and experience on how to ditch a low-quality audience from your account.
First, let’s figure out why you need to avoid Instagram bots and remove them if you have any. If you don’t want to lose your target audience, damage your credibility, and get banned by Instagram, stay away from fake accounts.
Fake audiences bring your enagagement metrics down
As you may know, today Instagram algorithm decides which posts to show in your feed, which highly depends on particular users’ interests. Content that generates a lot of interactions is more likely to show up in a news feed. Bots don’t interact with your posts, which affects your content visibility and engagement.
Instagram punishes fraudulent activities
Bots do significant damage to your reputation
People may notice fake engagement that your account gets, such as spammy and inauthentic comments coming from bots. It can result in a damaged reputation of your account.
Let’s take a look at some ways you can use to clean up your Instagram profile.
If you have an Instagram Business Account, the only way would be to manually block bots on Instagram. To do that, find their profile by tapping the three dots icon (…) in the top-right corner and hit ‘Block’.
It can make sense for you to switch your Business Account to your Personal Account, and then make it Private. Now you won’t need to block the followers, you can just remove them.
But keep in mind that such manual clean-up will work only if there are less than 10,000 low-quality accounts following you.
It will indeed take a while, but in a week or two, you will have completely resurrected account which will become appealing to advertisers.
If there are tens of thousands of bots on your account, you would have to arm yourself with patience, as it would take weeks, or even months, to clean up your profile.
At the end of the day, have no fear when removing a low-quality audience. It’s better to be a blogger with 20,000 real followers and a good reputation, rather than have 70,000 followers and a pumped up account. Many brands have decided to step back from working with bloggers who have a bad audience. Think of a recent statement by Unilever.