Curious about the Instagram Follow/Unfollow Method? Check Out InstaRevealed


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How do you feel about the Instagram follow/unfollow method?

Here’s my deep dark secret: I don’t like social media.

<gasp>

What kind of blogger doesn’t like social media?!

The truth of it is that I love blogging because I love writing and I love helping others – whether I’m helping them find a great deal or monetize their blogs, it’s all fun! I did not, however, get into blogging to put my personal life on display. I’m a private person and I live a fairly boring life so there’s really nothing I could share that anyone would be interested in seeing. As such, I’ve skipped Snapchat and Periscope and while I signed up for an Instagram account in 2011, I basically ignored it for a couple of years. Then, for some reason last fall I thought that perhaps I should get more serious about Instagram.

I stumbled upon a Facebook group that was forming at the time, Instagram Posse*, and loved the sense of camaraderie and commitment everyone had to growing their Instagram accounts. I watched in awe as some people grew their accounts quite quickly and I used many of their tips to grow my own account. Over the past year I have grown my account from 350 to 17,000+, which I’m quite pleased with although I was definitely one of the slowest growing accounts in the group. A couple of people grew their accounts to over 30k in just six months!

Instagram Decoded Guide from InstaRevealed

The reason that many accounts grew quite quickly is that the founders of the group are firm believers in the “Follow/Unfollow Method” for gaining followers on Instagram.

If you’re not familiar with the follow/unfollow method, it basically involves following people on Instagram and then unfollowing them a few days later, all the while hoping that the other person won’t notice or won’t care and won’t unfollow you. It’s likened to giving someone a tap on the shoulder and saying, “hey, check out my account!”

I, personally, have mixed feelings on this method and haven’t ever fully done it myself. I do a modified version where I will follow people on Instagram and then only unfollow those that never follow me back. Of course, look at my following compared to others and it’s pretty clear that my way is probably not the way to achieve a high follower account in a short amount of time.

You might enjoy:
Social Media Sites All Bloggers Should Be Using

Using the follow/unfollow technique on Instagram isn’t for everyone. Lots of people hate it. Many Instagram users get pissed when someone follows them, only to unfollow them… and then follows and unfollows them again a few days, weeks, or months later because it can be difficult to keep track of who you’ve previously followed (then unfollowed). It’s understandable, though – nobody wants to feel like they’re just being accumulated as part of a number. If you’re looking for other ways to grow your account, check out 21 ways to increase your Instagram following for 20 alternative methods!

BUT, If you have been looking for a way to grow your Instagram following quickly and you don’t mind that there’s a chance you could piss off a few people along the way, then I highly recommend picking up the Instagram Decoded Guide, which goes through the ins-and-outs of using the follow/unfollow method and, perhaps most importantly, provides detailed hourly instructions for how to go about it. In addition to this Instagram technique, they also cover lots of other ways you can grow your following, but I mention this guide specifically because it talks about the Instagram follow/unfollow method, which many other people dare not mention.

The guide isn’t cheap. So many people have found success growing their Instagram account by following their method that the Instagram Decoded Guide now costs $149.99, which is definitely more than I would usually recommend paying for an e-book. The reason I’m recommending this one to you guys is that very few people are willing to talk about using the follow/unfollow method to get Instagram followers even though that’s exactly what they’re doing themselves. At some point, organic followers usually kick in to propel your account to superstardom, but the follow/unfollow method provides a quick, easy, and free way to get your Instagram account off the ground.

Topics that are covered in the guide include:

  • Setting up your Instagram Profile
  • The 10 Steps to the Perfect Post on Instagram
  • Defining your Instagram Account
  • Hashtag Research Strategy and Implementation
  • Instagram Follow / Unfollow Revealed
  • Increasing Your Instagram Engagement
  • Understanding the Instagram Algorithm
  • Schedule and Checklist
You might enjoy:
3 Reasons Why It’s Okay If People Unfollow You On Social Media

Along with the purchase of Instarevealed Guide 5 you will receive access to the InstaRevealed VIP Group, where you can geek out on Instagram strategy. I’ve found that people are genuinely interested in helping one another grow their Instagram followings. Not everyone is doing the follow / unfollow method, but it doesn’t matter. People are always willing to provide advice or answer questions.

Click here to learn more about the Instagram Decoded Guide.

*Have you heard of the Instagram Comment Pods? They originated in this group! Not in one yet? Join the Facebook group and then join a pod… it’s free!

 

What are your thoughts on the Instagram Follow/Unfollow Method? Have you tried it? Have you found another strategy that works better for you? I’d love to hear!

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Lisa Koivu

Founder at Oh, She Blogs!
Lisa Koivu is the founder of Oh, She Blogs! A seven year blogging veteran, Lisa can also be found posting shopping deals and steals at ShopGirlDaily.com . In her free time (ha!) she is also a freelance writer who has written for About.com and U.S. News.
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  • The follow/unfollow method really irks me. I do a modified method as well – if someone unfollows me after I follow them back, I immediately unfollow them (I have an app for this). I just don’t put up with that crap. I don’t think most of the uber successful accounts do the follow/unfollow thing TBH. To be truly successful on IG, you have to offer something worth value, and so you don’t need to resort to being a jerk. I’m getting really good at figuring out the chances that someone is going to follow me and then unfollow me right away. A tip-off is if they have a fairly high follower count but don’t follow a lot of people, aren’t even in my niche, and they follow me. I usually don’t even bother following these people back since I know they’ll unfollow me right away. And of course they unfollow me the next day… no surprise there. I find that most legit bloggers (in the food blogging world anyway, which is my niche) don’t do this. I think that burning bridges is a bad idea. You never know who you will piss off. I’m more ok with another modification on the follow/unfollow method where you follow someone but unfollow them in a week or so if they don’t follow you back. I still think that’s a little sketchy, but I admit I do that on Twitter sometimes. I think Twitter is a bit of a different beast than IG and reciprocal following is more encouraged unless you’re Beyonce or something.

    • True, I use the same method as you. I follow a bunch (is the only way to make the account visible) and some time later I unfollow the ones that didn’t felt following back. I don’t think is sketchy at all… and of course i have an app to see who unfollows me and bye bye. Sorry if my English is weak, is not my native language 🙂

  • this is fascinating. I’ve tried various ways to grow my insta, and while some have had great moments of success, I still have a LOOOONNNG way to go – these days seems like everyone has thousands of followers, and not sure how they all do it (especially when i see some of the accounts I must say) organically!! But this is a new idea I’ve not yet heard – I can totally see why it would be a little ‘controversial’ but I’m definitely going to try it as you explained and see what happens if anything. How high a number should one typically go in order to see a result ?
    Thanks for all your great posts!
    bee

    • Hi Bee! I’m not sure what you mean by “how high a number…”? How many people to follow overall? Instagram sets a maximum number of 7,500, so you can never follow more than that. They also have hourly and daily limits as to how many people you can follow or unfollow before they will temporarily ban your account. I’ve never hit those limits, so I’m not sure what they are.

  • This method really bothers me. The whole point of social media is to grow a following that is in your audience, to engage with, and to ultimately, help grow your business. The follow/unfollow method is purely a growth method with no regard to accumulating followers that actually mean something to you or your business. If they aren’t truly interested in your account, feed or business, then there will be no engagement from those followers, and your posts/content will be lost into the abyss of the Instagram algorithm. If I get a new follower that has thousands of followers and are following only a small percentage of that number, I will not follow them. They are clearly just racking up followers for their own numbers and not engaging, and ultimately, unfollowing days (sometimes hours) later.

  • It’s so obvious when people use the follow/unfollow method and it’s embarrassing to me. To see an account with 200k+ followers only getting 1k likes a photo says they’re more interested in the number of followers vs actual engagement with their brand’s audience.

    The people I enjoy follow (and will follow to other platforms which is a *HUGE* thing to have from loyal followers) engage with their audience, no matter how big or small their following.

    Anyways, great post and I’ll definitely be bookmarking the “Everything You Need to Know to Get More Instagram Followers” post!

  • Follow/unfollow is rude. It’s for those who have nothing of interest to show or sell but need numbers to stoke their ego. It’s smoke and mirrors. I’m pretty good at at catching them out.

  • A current topic that almost anyone can relate to in this internet world. I was wondering if I were alone in thinking about this tactic. Focusing on hash Tag strategy seems a more likely method to snag loyal followers (albeit with patience). Great discussion post!

    I’m chiming in with my opinion: no thank you to followers/unfollowers. I prefer to grow my audience organically and find similarities to connect with. My Instagram account (connected to my Etsy shop) deals with a constant ebb and flow of these tactics. My follower count holds steady at around 285 but sure enough it will jump within a day of posting new content then fall back to 285 in half that time. I think only 2 or 3 followers per week are actually committed to following me. Never fails. I was annoyed but now it’s just, sadly, expected.

    What I have learned about my customer base is my Instagram count has little correlation to my sales numbers. Posts with a high number of likes + comments are often items that don’t sell quickly – they just sit pretty. I find it funny. Anyway, I’m not an avid Insta user and have much better luck on Twitter. Thank goodness my Twitter isn’t as busy with these “unfollowers”.

  • Thank you for this! I recently just discovered the Facebook group and was looking at the guide wondering if this was using the Follow/Unfollow method. I have a friend who used that method and it really worked for her in terms of sheer numbers of followers of her account. But even when she described her method to me it seemed like that took an inordinate amount of time and then I noticed that yes she has followers but no she doesn’t really have high engagement and it’s just not something I’m trying to do. So I guess I’ll be doing more Instagram research…

  • Follow in follow is just plain rude. I take the time to work out who they are and unfollow if that’s thief game. Won’t work on me.

  • I tried this method because it was highly recommended in a web seminar I took, I realized these high accounts would follow me and I was like wowed that someone with 50k would want to follow little ol me. Then I realized this is what they do, so I tried it for a few days, gained almost 400 followers, but I feel so guilty. Which is how I stumbled upon your post, I needed more insight on this and I don’t think this method is for me, although it does work. It’s just frustrating that you can’t grow your numbers unless your showing your “ASSets” this seemed like the only other way to go.

  • Follow / unfollow is so phony and insincere. I can’t believe people are either so insecure or have such huge egos that the number of their followers is so important to them. Really? It’s so transparent, yet they really think people won’t notice if they unfollow them? Grow up, people, and get a life beyond Instagram.

  • Since I recently just started my blog/Instagram, people have been using this method on me a lot. I agree, whenever I see a blogger who has 20k or 30k + followers and followed me, I get suspicious. I personally think it is a bad way of gaining followers because you aren’t gaining true engagement but just trying to show that you’re popular. It’s just not genuine and plain rude.

  • I HATE the follow/unfollow people. Usually they are personalities or businesses that are similar to other businesses that I already follow, and most of them do not follow back. That is okay and I don’t expect them to follow back. However, when a similar personalities or businesses request to follow me first, I expect that they do so because they are genuinely interested in what I share, especially since many of them are in the same circles and interests that I have (I’m just an average person, no business), and for interaction. When they unfollow soon after, I immediately unfollow and I block them; I have an app that tells me when this happens. I didn’t use to block them, but I’ve had the same people follow/unfollow and try to follow again. It is shady and rude. Any business that does that to me will not get my business.

  • This method really irks me. I downloaded an unfollow app that shows me who unfollowed me and if I’m following them.

    If rather build a following of engaged people than have a huge following.

  • Actually I don’t like such a method, it’s like a cheating for me. So if someone follows me and I see what type of account it is, I ignore that. And indeed more than half of such accounts unfollow me within 3-4 days. And I see that this is a real person, a very interesting one to follow, wy not to follow back?
    Thanks for the post, by the way!

  • I’m wondering if anyone knows of a tool to look at who you follow and see when their last post date was in a list format. I can’t seem to find an easy way to know who is/isn’t active that I’m following to systematically unfollow people. If anyone is familiar with Tumblr when you look at who you follow it will say “last post 2 days ago” or “last post 1 month ago” something like that. Thoughts?

  • Follow/Unfollow is kind of pathetic. I only like or follow something because I like what I see and read. Never so they can check out my stuff. When I first started blogging I would leave comments with a link back. Didn’t do it too much and it was in early days and I didn’t see clearly- not long thereafter I saw how lame a tactic it was and authenticity ruled the day thence forth

    Don’t care how effective it is. Lots of morally reprehensible things can make you money. Ask the no money down real estate infomercial people- they made a lot 9f money off of desperate viewers. Yeah, they may have a Lotus but are contemptible and sad.

  • Instagram Posse is so much more than just f/uf. I tried f/uf last year but hated it. I have instead been putting their other principles into practice and they really work. At the end of the day I follow who I want to follow, I unfollow who I want to unfollow and I enjoy my instagram for me. I don’t have time to mess around with looking at who is actually following or unfollowing me – does it really matter? Everyone has their reasons for unfollowing. Some accounts I like and then they change their style or posting schedule and I find that I need a break from seeing their content so I unfollow. Is this socially wrong? I engage with who I follow and anyone who comments or likes a post will get my attention. I have struggled with posting regularly this year and that has hit me with algorithm, but I am back on it!

  • I find the follow/unfollow method really sleazy and I used to get super annoyed over it, but I’ve just stopped checking my new followers. Now I usually follow back people who engage with my photos a lot. However, I don’t really see a problem in what you do with only unfollowing people who don’t follow back!

  • I’m quite new to instagram, and it didn’t take me long to realize that loads of people are just fishing for followers. All the excitement when seeing that you’ve got a follower or two (when you only have a handful of followers) and then 2 days later it’s bye bye. Annoys me a lot! In my innocent little heart, I really thought they liked my pictures! Hahahaha

  • ugh, this is one of the things that i hate about instagram and twitter. i understand the method of following people so that they will follow you, BUT why do you have to then unfollow them? is it because it makes you feel better to have more followers than the people you are following? if so, please go back to high school and get it out of your system completely before you come back and join us in the adult world. seriously, grow up ; )

  • The follow\unfollow method is totally unscrupulous, dishonest and downright tacky. When I find people doing this I screencap their page over a few days and then report them to instagram, who are being lobbied to do something about it, as Twitter do.

  • Ditto on disliking this method. I got an app for this because it’s such a pet peeve of mine and I immediately unfollow anyone who plays this game. It really pisses me off because I spend a lot of time looking at and liking/commenting on the posts of people I follow. So when I see someone unfollow me when I’ve been liking a lot of their posts, it’s just such an insult. I’m on Instagram to share my art and engage with other artists, so if you’re playing a numbers game, you have no value to contribute.

  • I have a app on my droid that checks who unfollowed me on instagram & I then unfollow them–two can play at that game!

  • The follow/unfollow method annoys me!! I gained about 150 followers over two days and lost them within a week… but I have noticed that the method works for some people. They do this method in the beginning and after reaching a few thousand, they organically gain followers — with pretty good engagement. Sigh.

  • Wow I just started my Instagram account and at first when I started getting followers after the first couple days I thought I would have tons of followers within n a couple weeks! But it slowed down as well as followers died out! This makes sense now why! Thank you for the info! Hmmmm… I got 63 followers Tomorrow probably 59 geez! Oh well just having fun with my food photos! @watchmeeataz

  • Fantastic article Lisa! There are so many EASY ways to grow a following on social media, but the best and most valuable is engaging with and helping people in your niche. Instead of buying fans or following/unfollowing people, I think your time could be better spent having real conversations. I’d rather have 100 raving fans instead of 10,000 inactive, unengaged ones. Don’t get caught up in the numbers and stats, it’s called social media for a reason 😉 Patience is critical if you want to grow organically and logically.

  • This method is so ridiculous. Seriously. If someone does this to me their “brand” is dead to me. I cant respect someone following me just so i will follow them…how narcissistic and selfish can the internet get? If i see someone with millions of followers and shitty content/few likes on their photos its so obvious this person is buying or using this method. Also, i cant even do a modified version because im not interested to follow random accounts just so they follow back.

    I was featured in an influencers article in switzerland by an online magazine. Out of all the bloggers featured…with my measley 400 followers, i was listed as almost the top influencer because i actually had organic and engaged followers. (I dont promote my blog through insta). Id much rather be seen as authentic and engaged.