This is the first part of a Two-Part Social Media Blog Series Focusing on How to Get Rid of Bots and Fake Followers to Increase Your Engagement Rate. The impact that bots and fake followers can have on your account is massive. The second part to this series, which I will link at the end of this article, will give you FREE access to my very own Instagram Engagement Rate Calculator that I developed myself with 3 different Engagement Rates (ER) to help you analyze your account.
Trust me. If you are interested in maintaining the health of your Instagram Account, then this Instagram Engagement Rate Calculator is perfect for you!
I created this calculator out of an honest need. I don’t know about you, but I am constantly searching for calculators that can give me an accurate depiction of my Instagram statistics!
However, every website and subscription out there give different information. I guarantee you that if you check your Engagement Rate on 5 different websites, you may get 5 different rates.
Why Does This Happen?
There are a few reasons for this. One of them is that they are simply not Instagram. Only Instagram can give you EXACT statistics on your account. It does not matter how much these websites tell you that their information is accurate. I have proved them wrong. More on this in a bit.
I have subscriptions to a few of these websites because I have been tracking my account ever since a bunch of bots appeared on it 2 months ago. My Gmail account was also hacked at the same time. A “fashion” page said they were going to shout out my account. What they really did was just send a bunch of bots and fake followers my way deceiving me. They wanted to make it seem like all these followers were from them shouting my account out.
This was simply not true.
How do Bot Accounts look?
When I looked closely at these accounts, they all looked fake. Some didn’t have a profile pic and others did. One of the key things that I noticed that these bot accounts had were that they barely had any followers. They were following thousands of people. The posts were also quite random with pictures that didn’t make sense. They had no likes or engagement on their profile. And most of their posts, if not all, were all posted on the same day.
What did this do to my account?
After these bots appeared on my account, my Engagement Rate went down. I immediately noticed less engagement on my posts and barely any reach. Both my stories and posts were barely being shown to my followers.
This is because Instagram’s algorithm shows your posts to your most active, engaged audience. They also tend to show your posts a bit more to your newer followers. If your profile has a bunch of new bot accounts, your posts will be shown to those bots. The problem with that is that obviously these new fake bot accounts on your profile are being shown your new posts by Instagram. Because these are fake accounts, they cannot engage with your posts, therefore your posts will now barely get engagement.
Meanwhile, your followers are wondering why they cannot see your posts in their feed!
I realized what was going on. I need to fix my account and fast! It seemed overwhelming and I was completely stressed out. Imagine putting so much work into your content and your followers not being able to see this. It was stressful.
I immediately contacted Instagram and their support team to get further guidance and alert them as to what was going on. They were INCREDIBLY helpful and even called me by phone to help me. I ended up putting two-factor authentication on my account and every possible security issue that I could find was addressed.
But how do I fix my account now?
My Engagement Rate had tanked, and I needed to do something fast. I knew the only option I had was to MANUALLY remove each one of these accounts. And there were a lot! I know that from previous experiences with Instagram and other Digital Creators, that you have to be careful with the amount of actions that you take on your account daily.
What does this mean?
This means that if your account has a certain number of bots that you want to remove, you can’t just remove them all at once. This can trigger a suspension from Instagram. They start off with smaller suspensions, that last anywhere from 24 hours to a few days. If you are a repeat offender, as in, you continue to unfollow or perform too many actions in one day, they can then suspend you for longer. I’ve seen other influencers get suspended anywhere from a week to a whole month.
I’ve also seen accounts banned. And that is the least thing you want to do. So, any advice that I give you will ALWAYS be to follow the Terms and Conditions that Instagram puts forth.
Now I know what you’re thinking. How am I violating the Terms and Conditions by just removing all these accounts at once or performing too many actions in one day?
This is because a lot of things at Instagram are automated. There are just too many users on Instagram to monitor every single account by an actual human being. So, Instagram has their automatic checks in place that alert them if someone is doing something unfavorable.
What happens when you perform too many actions at once?
When you perform too many daily actions on your Instagram account, its automated software thinks you are either being too spammy or an actual bot. Instagram does NOT want any bots or spam to be on their platform. They may block your account from performing any more actions, such as, liking and commenting on other people’s posts.
Instagram can block you from following or, in this case, unfollowing anymore accounts because they feel you may be a bot.
So Don’t Over-Do It!
This is why it is important that you don’t overdo it. I personally would NOT unfollow more than 120 to 140 accounts per day. However, everybody has a different limit as to how many actions they can perform from their Instagram account in one day.
Each account is different and Instagram does not tell us how many actions each account can perform so I suggest you start off slow. Unfollow 10 or 20 a day. Then maybe go up to 30 or 40. Work your way up to about 100 accounts per day. Again, every account is different. I cannot tell you what your maximum threshold is of how many accounts you can actually unfollow daily. I’m just letting you know what I’m doing on my account that works because as of this writing, I am STILL getting rid of bots.
If your account is relatively new, your daily limits will be much less than an account that is older and that Instagram trusts more. The older your account gets, the more Instagram will trust you.
Check your Account Regularly to see if your ER is Rising.
As you get rid of the bots and fake followers on your account, you will want to see if your Engagement Rate (ER) is improving! It more than likely is, unless you are having another issue with your account, which I will do a dedicated blog post on this later with more detail.
Click on the link below to use the Instagram Engagement Rate Calculator that I developed in order to properly keep track of your progress.
I explain how to use it and the different metrics that I created in order to reach the 3 different types of Engagement Rates that my calculator measure.
I hope it helps you as much as it is helping me daily! Let me know if you need any help or have any questions. I am active online and can be reached here or on my Instagram, @realdenisewilliams.