If you’re on Instagram you’ve probably fallen victim to the follow unfollow tactic some jerks use to try and grow their accounts.
This is how it looks:
You write a killer insta post accompanied by an attention grabbing photo.
You’ve added a few hashtags into the comments section to help get your post seen.
The notifications start rolling in and you’re beaming with pride over how many likes you’re getting.
Then the follower count starts going up and you’re pumped because you know, in order to grow your business you need to grow your audience.
After a 20 second happy dance session you shut it down and hop into bed feeling like an insta-ninja.
With 8 hours of blissful sleep behind you, the alarm rings and you rise. Reaching for your phone to check on your raving post.
And (insert dramatic music)
You gained 7 new followers but your overall follower count has dropped by 10. WTF!
This is the Instagram follow unfollow method and it’s wreaking havoc on your account.
It’s one of the biggest frustrations I see clients dealing with on the regular.
What is the Instagram Follow Unfollow Method?
It’s when an Instagram account follows a ton of other Instagram accounts (usually by searching a particular hashtag), with the sole objective to receive a ‘follow back’.
If they don’t get a follow back from an account within a certain timeframe then they will unfollow that account.
Often times, even if you do follow back, they still unfollow you. They want their account to have more followers then following, because yeah, who doesn’t?
Thankfully not all Instagram users are like this.
There are many account holders who genuinely want to connect with you, follow what you’re doing and may turn into a client or collaboration.
These are the people you want following your account. And, the people who you want to follow.
How Do I Stop the Instagram Follow Unfollow Method from Affecting My Account?
Followers are going to unfollow and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.
Not what you wanted to hear is it? Stay with me though, I’ve got a few things you can do to reduce the amount of follow unfollow jerks from targeting your account.
First, stop letting the number of followers take up any more of your focus. It’s going to happen and it happens to most of us, especially if you’re using popular hashtags (more on this later).
If you’re really concerned about the amount of asshats targeting your account with this method, set your account to private.
By having a private account you have the ability to accept or decline follow requests. You can check out each person who sends a follow request and decide if they fit your target audience or if you’ll benefit/connect with their content.
However, if the purpose of growing your Instagram account is to grow your audience and turn them into paying clients you’ll want a public profile. I don’t recommend a private account but it’s totally up to you.
Second, know that the people who use this method probably aren’t the type of people you want following your account anyways. The type of people you want following your account will stick around and engage with your content.
Be Strategic in Who You Follow and Follow Back
If you truly want to attract and grow an engaged audience don’t just follow any account. Only follow accounts who you genuinely want to connect with.
Search out accounts that have similar target audiences as the one you are building. That way, when you comment on their posts and provide value, their followers may click over to your account and start following you.
Don’t ‘follow back’ just for the sake of it. If someone follows you, only ‘follow back’ if you genuinely want to connect with this account.
Don’t be afraid to remove/block accounts from following you either. Your account may be public but that doesn’t mean you need to open yourself up to internet creeps and trolls. If someone is giving you the heebie jeebies or they look like a fake account report them.
Don’t Use Too Many Hugely Popular Hashtags
When you use a hashtag like #entrepreneur that has over 49 million posts under it you’re opening yourself up to a greater chance of attracting people outside of your target audience.
Bots and Insta-a$$holes love sifting through highly popular hashtags to victimize with their follow unfollow method.
Instead, be particular about the hashtags you use.
Again, the purpose is to attract people who fit your target audience so you can eventually convert them into paying clients.
The more specific you can be with your hashtags the better chance you have of making real connections.
To Sum It Up
We all want more followers on Instagram but the follow unfollow method is not the way to get them.
But, now that you know this happens and you’re not the only one being victimized by these terrible tactics you can focus more on the value you provide and less on the fluctuating follower count.
By limiting the number of hugely popular hashtags used in your posts, engaging with legit accounts who have similar audiences and being strategic in your own follow methods your account will grow with the type of people you want following you instead of fakes, bots and losers.
Hopefully Instagram will consider starting to penalize accounts that use this shitty method to gain followers but until then, you do you.
Spend your energy and time creating killer posts that pack value and are accompanied by an attention grabbing photo so you can attract the people who may one day do business with you.
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