Fake Instagram followers are a painful reality of the social media platform. Fake followers are a nuisance for some people leaving silly comments on their posts, while for others they are a quick way to increase their follower count. Either way, fake Instagram followers can cause bigger problems than you might think.
Fake followers can damage your credibility and cause the Instagram algorithm to blacklist you.
What Is a Fake Instagram Account and How Can It Cause Problems?
Fake Instagram accounts are those that are not originally managed by a human. Some fake accounts were created by people with various manipulation methods, while others were created by bots. Some accounts stay dormant while others are used for spam comments, likes and following.
Not only Instagram but also other social media platforms complain about fake followers. Twitter bans about 12 bot accounts per second and over 350 million bot accounts per year. There are an estimated 120 million fake accounts on Instagram. It means that roughly 1 in 11 accounts on the platform, which has more than 1 billion total users, is fake.
While the purposes of these accounts differ, fake followers on Instagram generally aim to artificially increase the number of followers. Brands seeking rapid growth and some influencers are buying thousands of fake Instagram followers. As you can imagine, almost all of these followers are bots. What those who do this don’t know is that fake followers aren’t actually helping them, they’re even detrimental to them.
Fake Followers Aren’t Interested in Your Posts
Fake Instagram followers may like a few of your posts and leave spam comments after they follow you. However, these are one-time only. They will never be interested in your posts in the long run. Your engagement rate is calculated by dividing the number of followers you have by the number of likes on your posts. Not every real follower may leave a post or like, but they do count.
For example, let’s say you get an average of 150 likes per post and have 7,500 followers. 150 / 7500 = 2% engagement rate.
The higher this ratio, the more the Instagram algorithm will prefer you, thinking that your account is better. So fake followers who don’t interact with your posts will lower your rate, hurting your profile’s overall visibility.
Your Credibility May Be Diminished
Users can have an idea about you by looking at the number of comments and likes on your posts. But more savvy Instagram users are smart enough to notice that accounts with a large number of followers have low likes. Users who see that your followers are full of fake accounts may lose their trust in your business.