Should you remove/delete ghost (or inactive) followers on Instagram? Or — anyone you think might not be real or part of your ideal audience?
The short answer: No.
There has not been shown to be any benefit to blocking or deleting or removing ghost followers.
Now, there has been a hypothesis, if you will, circulating about that if you remove ghost followers, you’ll improve your engagement rate — that ultimately, it’ll help you grow.
And on paper, that theory makes sense.
However, the problem is you would have to block and remove so many followers to make a substantial difference in your engagement rate! Regardless of your follower count.
The truth, though…
When you remove ghost followers on Instagram, you’re actually hurting your account.
The reason being: If you’re blocking that many people, Instagram is like,
“Whoa, what’s going on here? Why Did Chelsea just lose 300 followers?”
And the algorithm concludes that:
- it’s your content
- people aren’t liking your stuff
- your page has just gone bananas
Meaning, Instagram and the algorithm will limit showing your posts and they’ll stop recommending your account to new potential followers!
Hence (to reiterate), not only does getting rid of ghost followers not help you, it actually dings your account and, not to mention, wastes your flipping time.
Why would you spend hours of your time combing through your list of followers to block people who you think might be ghosting or not part of your ideal audience?
Now, of course, there are exceptions to every rule, like:
- someone’s following you and it makes you really uncomfortable
- you run an Instagram account for your child who’s under the age of 18 and a creepy random dude starts following
- your new follower has no profile, no pic, no posts, no followers
In such situations, then, by all means, block and remove them!
But to remind:
From an algorithmic/growth/sales perspective, it does not benefit you at all to delete a ghost follower.
Also, may I add…
You don’t know if that follower (you’re about to block) with no profile picture — who hasn’t posted in seven years — is actively engaging with other people and might be your next customer.
For much more related to Instagram, like:
- Should your IG handle be your name?
- Why carousels and photo posts aren’t getting as much engagement as they once did
- Engagement on weekends vs weekdays
Then, you must check out this episode of Build Your Tribe:
And don’t forget to subscribe to BYT for weekly shows dedicated to your social media and biz growth!