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How to Remove Followers on Instagram Without Blocking Them (Public and Private)

(For those interested in why cleaning up your following can make you more authoritative in your Instagram community and even make you more money through sponsorships, start reading here. For those simply looking for a practical how-to on how to remove followers on Instagram without blocking them, skip to the section beginning with “Whether you run a public or private….”)

More harmful than a small Instagram following is a big Instagram following filled with inactive or unengaged channels.

If you are trying to attract brand or community attention, then you are really going to want to shed your excess followers.

Contrary to what might think, a large following isn’t the only thing that brands look at when deciding which channels to sponsor. A large following is definitely part of what they look for and might help initially attract brands to your channel, but more importantly than the size of your following is your audience engagement rate.

As explained in a past article exploring why automation produces better results than buying Instagram followers, your engagement rate can be understood as:

number of Likes + number of comments / number of followers x 100 = engagement rate

If you have a huge following but very few consistent likes or comments, there’s a very high chance that brands are going to pass on your channel.

It makes sense. If you imagine your Instagram channel as a physical store, the total number of people who walk into your store doesn’t matter nearly as much as the number of people who ask a question, take a business card, or ultimately buy something.  The total number of people who walk into your store represents your Instagram following, and the number of people who show an interest in your business represents your engagement rate.

To a potential sponsor, the number of people who walk into your store doesn’t matter nearly as much as the number of people who actually buy something.

So, with this in mind, it’s time to clean up your following.

Whether you run a public or private Instagram account, here’s how to remove followers on Instagram without blocking them:

A lot of existing articles state that you have to have a private account to delete any followers. This isn’t completely true.

You do have to set your profile to private to be able to remove followers, but you’re just as easily able to switch your profile back to public after you’ve deleted the desired followers.

Follow the two quick steps below to delete followers on Instagram:

Set your profile to private by tapping the switch beside “Private Account”.

Go to your followers, tap the three dots beside “Follow”, and choose “Remove”.

That’s it! And if you want to return your channel to Public, simply follow the instructions below:

Return to settings and tap the switch beside “Private Account”.

What about the channels you follow?

So now you know how to remove followers on Instagram without blocking them. Awesome!

While you’re cleaning house, take a look at the channels you’re following. Are they still active? Are they following you back? Is your follower-to-following ratio proportionate (another feature that potential sponsors look at)?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, a smart automation tool like AiGrow would do you well.

Not only can you automatically unfollow all channels you currently follow who aren’t following you back, but you can set customizable follow/unfollow cycles. For example, you could set it so that after following 1,500 new Instagram channels, you will automatically begin to unfollow all channels who haven’t followed you back.

This helps to maintain a healthy follower-to-following ratio and ensures that no effort you make towards growing your Instagram channel is unrewarded.

Interested? Sign up for AiGrow here for free.

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