Instagram ghost followers are the users who have social media accounts and follow active pages. But they are either inactive or do not engage in your page. Instagram ghost followers would be harmful as they decrease the engagement rate of your page. 
Ghost followers might be normal users or accounts made by a malware to harm your page. It is usual to see ghost followers in most pages. You can delete these accounts to have higher engagement rate. Based on Instagram’s new algorithm, your pages becomes visible to more Instagram users if it has high engagement rate.  
ghost followers removal
As mentioned above, ghost followers do not engage with your posts but they are still followers who increase your follower count. Number of followers is especially important for people like celebrities who want to have as much follower as possible. They sometimes even buy fake followers to seem more popular. However follower count is not as important as engagement rate for Instagram pages who earn money by receiving ads on their page.

ghost followers removal

Are ghost followers harmful?

Engagement rate is the most important factor in measuring an influencer’s success especially for brands who pay for advertisement. It is important for marketers not to just increase the number of followers but also other factors like engagement rate. For marketers, engagement rate is more important than follower count and ghost followers would highly damage this feature.

To put it simply, consider having a certain number of active followers who engage with your posts, for example, having 20000 followers, your posts receive 1000 engagement on average (number of likes, comments and saved per post) so the engagement rate of your posts would be 0.05. Now you purchase 20000 fake followers for example, followers who will not engage with your posts and are just ghost followers. Your follower count increases. But the number of comments and likes per post remains the same as before. So the engagement rate of your post will decrease to 0.025. With Instagram’s new algorithm rearranging posts in followers’ feed mostly based on the engagement rate of the page, the important of removing ghost followers became more and more clear.

 

ghost followers remove process

How to remove ghost followers?

There are several ways to remove ghost followers. You can recognize ghost followers by having a close look at their account. Instagram pages with zero follower and posts, no profile pictures and unusual user names with numbers and signs probably are ghost followers (though you may not be sure). If you have few followers, you can remove them manually by going through their pages. However there are also applications you can use to remove ghost followers (just don’t trust all apps and do not give them all the information of your account).