if you are an active user on ig and you used to grow watching numbers of follower instead of targetting in the right way, it just may be that people who often see your content, are not interested cause of bad targetting and just unfollow you.
When you have the fear of targeting fake followers optimize your follow settings:
User has profile Image
Many fake accounts have profile images but filters out a few.
User has a minimum number of posts
Filters out all low lifetime activity accounts. Just keep in mind: The more posts the Users should have, the more sources get filtered out.
User bio/username/name must not contain any invalid words
Make sure you add a long list of promotion, swear words, etc. This can help to filter out a lot of fake accounts. Search in Google or I can give you mine.
User posted within the last X days
Thats another way to filter out accounts which are dead. For example: You can filter out all accounts which did not posted in the last 90 days.
Do not follow accounts with more than X digits in their username
The most normal user dont have tons of digits in their username so this filters out some random created accounts. Again, the stricter you go with the filter, the more people get filtered out.
Here are some other settings for optimizing your follow sources:
Favour sources with high follow back ratio
That makes sure you always use your best sources and dont target the bad accounts to follow over and over again. Even when you not deleted your bad sources already.
Remove poor quality sources
Use this option to automate the process of deleting your bad sources which give you a bad follow back ratio. So you can concentrate on looking for more high quality sources.
Do not allow adding sources that were previously removed
The program reminds for you the bad sources that you never have to think about them again. Just add new ones without thinking about if you tried them once before. This is a huge time and headache saver.
Sure there are more settings you can adjust to avoid fake followers and dead accounts, but with this you can start.
What is the ratio of the followers to following of the accounts that you are following?
Are you following accounts that are following less than they have followers? If so, these accounts are more likely to unfollow at some point in time. It’s best to follow accounts that are following more than have following them back. They’re more likely to followback but also to keep following once you unfollow them.
Thanks for the edit!
I would set both followers/followings to 2000-2500. That is the range in which the ego is not that high that they want to keep the numbers “clean and appealing”. At the same time the number is not to high that they wont even see your content.