How to avoid building an unengaged audience on Insta

Last week we talked about the value of having a small, but highly engaged following on Instagram. A high number of followers might feel important or attractive - sadly, it can be a trap! Find out all the details by heading to our post about less followers being more.

 

Today, we’re going to be covering steps that you can take to make sure you keep your audience as valuable as possible. That number might look smaller, but we promise you that it will lead to better results for your business in the long run!

 

But what can you do, right?! It’s not like you’re handpicking your followers. That’s true, but there are somethings that can be done to mitigate the amount of non-engaged or spam accounts you have in your audience, here are some easy steps:

 

  1. Never ever buy followers

It’s easy to get tempted to purchase followers, but please do not fall for this! When you buy followers, you instantly get a large group of people that don’t care about your brand in the slightest, or even more often, a group of inactive or fake accounts. These won’t like, comment or even see your posts. Your engagement rate will fall and this might prevent some of the accounts that really care about your business from seeing your posts.

 

  1. Do not participate in giant loop giveaways where people have to follow 30 accounts at once

You know the type, where you have to follow every account that a certain account follows - often 20 or more people! Sometimes as many as 50! This can be appealing since it’s likely that you will get a lot of new followers, as every account can cross-promote the giveaway. But this type of contest forces people to follow a ton of accounts without even considering whether or not they like them. You’re likely to get a lot of followers that will unfollow shortly after the competition is over, or if they stick around, will often be unengaged with your account.

 

  1. When you run giveaways, only offer products/services related to your niche and don’t give away things like a Starbucks gift card which every person would be interested in winning
    Sometimes it can be hard to run pick a prize for your own giveaway. Sometimes it might feel like offering a certain prize will only attract one type of follower, so you consider doing something that everyone loves! A gift card is easy - people can get what they want, it doesn't have to cost a lot, pretty much everyone can find something that they’ll like at a coffee shop or grocery store. Unfortunately, this is another sure-fire way to build a following that doesn’t really care about your brand and isn’t likely to become a real customer. Check out this post to find out some tips on running a successful giveaway!

These types of giveaways can be tempting, but if they aren't very niched or giving away something SUPER generic like money (Obviously we all could use some extra money!) then you aren't going to get real followers that are genuinely interested in t

  1. Don’t try follow/unfollow tactics

It’s not uncommon for people to follow a lot of accounts that seem like they might follow back, then go back to unfollow the ones that didn’t follow back after a few days. Besides collecting people that again, do not really care for your business and have just followed since you followed them, it can actually have other negative impacts. It looks inauthentic to have an almost identical following and follower numbers, most people see this as a scummy tactic if they realize you’re doing it, people might notice if you don’t engage with them and unfollow you in the end anyway, and Instagram may even disable your account if they find that you regularly follow/unfollow people.

 

  1. Focus on engaging with accounts that would benefit from your business

If you’re trying to build an authentic following, one of the best ways is to think of your ideal customer and engage with accounts that seem to fit that profile. These are accounts that actually have a chance of buying something from you, these are the types of followers you want! Start liking, commenting and sharing these accounts, and you’ll start to build a real community of dedicated followers.

 

  1. If you notice a spam account follow you, remove or block them

It’s hard to say for sure which accounts are spam accounts, but if you get followed by an account that has no profile picture, no posts, a weird name with lots of number or special characters, or following 7000 accounts with only 5 followers, it’s probably a fake. These definitely aren’t you’re ideal follower, so it’s best to remove simply block the account whenever you see them. 

You can see a few red flags here - a strange name with random numbers, following a lot of people with a small number of people following back, the same photo over and over again, very little posts that are bulked together on the same day or two... this is probably a spam account!

  1. Try to do an occasional audit of your followers

Remove some of your followers that seem to follow an outrageous number of accounts (someone who follows 6000 people might never see your posts!) or seem to no longer be active (haven’t posted something in a few years). Some of these people may have fallen into the follow/unfollow trap, and if they’re following so many people it’s unlikely that they’ll ever actually see your post. Just as well, if someone hasn’t been on Insta for 3 or 4 years, the chances of them coming back and still enjoying your content as they did 4 years earlier are small, it’s better to just remove them as a follower.

 

Remember, it’s easy to get caught up in numbers, but in the end, it’s important to keep your eye on the prize and do what’s best to help your real business keep growing!

 

Need some guidance with all this social media stuff? Find out more about our social media management packages here!

 

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Michelle Pijanowski

Michelle Pijanowski, better known as PJ, is our go-to girl for all things social. Don’t let her love of gourmet ice cream and appreciation of craft beer fool you! She isn’t your average millennial whose experience starts and ends with an Insta account. A traveller at heart, PJ has always been excited by storytelling and connecting with people from all walks of life. Her passion for content creation started when she accidentally landed an internship in marketing that ended up leading her into the worlds of social media and journalism. Despite not even having a personal Instagram at the time, she immediately fell in love with helping brands grow a community through the power of the internet. She’s worked with businesses of all shapes and sizes, from hotels to restaurants to startups. After years of learning the ins and outs of different social networks and completing her degree in Communication and Media, PJ is stoked to help brands build a human connection with a virtual audience.


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