Curious about the Instagram Follow/Unfollow Method?


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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, in the fall of 2015, I decided that I should finally 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 for 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 two years, I have grown my account from 350 to 31,000, 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!

The Instagram Follow/Unfollow Strategy

The reason that many accounts grew so quickly is that the founder of the group is a firm believer in the “Follow/Unfollow Method” for gaining followers on Instagram.

If you’re not familiar with the follow/unfollow method, this is what you need to know.

How to Follow and Unfollow on Instagram

1. Follow people on Instagram

OK, this sounds pretty basic, but ideally, you want to follow people on Instagram who are in your same niche to increase the odds that they will follow you back.

So, how do you find people to follow who are interested in your niche?

Start following the people who are already following popular influencers in your niche.

For instance, if you want to have an Instagram account dedicated to all of the yummy things you cook and you’re looking for followers, maybe you’d start following the people who follow Smitten Kitchen. Just go through her list of followers and follow people. Based on the fact that they’re already following a cooking/baking account, chances are this is an interest of theirs and they may be open to following your account, too. Of course, you can’t follow too many people at a time or you risk getting your account shut down by Instagram. Follow a few people each hour and, if you wish, slowly increase the number of people that you follow during a specific time period. Slow and steady is the key here. If Instagram suspects unusual follow and unfollow activity on your account, you risk losing the ability to take these actions. (Following and/or unfollowing bans are typically short-lived.)

Currently, Instagram only lets you follow 7,500 users at a time.

 

2. Interact with the people you follow

There are two things you can do as you follow people: Nothing, or you can interact with them a bit. Since ultimately your goal is to get people to follow you, I recommend interacting a bit. Liking a few posts and leaving a few comments will increase the odds that people will follow you back.

Whatever you do, though, don’t leave shallow comments. Try to leave meaningful comments of five or more words. Don’t just leave an emoji or, even worse, a bland “good pic.” I don’t mean to sound callous, but it can take some strategy to get people to follow you. The more sincere you sound, the more likely people are to check out your account.

 

3. Post compelling content

OK, this isn’t exactly part of the whole follow/unfollow method, but if you want people to follow you, you should post genuinely compelling content. Ultimately, the reason you’re doing this is that you want followers. People aren’t going to want to follow you if you’re not posting regularly and/or are posting crappy content. In addition to focusing on creating good content, don’t forget to interact with the people who comment on your posts!

 

4. Start unfollowing people on Instagram

After a few days, start going back through the list of people you follow and unfollow them. You might choose to unfollow everyone except the accounts you really love, or you might choose to just unfollow the people who never followed you back.

 

Apps for Following and Unfollowing on Instagram

If you are interested in using the follow and unfollow method to grow your Instagram account, you should know that it can be a time-consuming process. Putting aside time daily – likely multiple times a day – to follow, like, comment, and unfollow, all while keeping track of who you’re liking and unliking while also posting your own content, can be exhausting. Luckily, there are apps for following and unfollowing. Unfortunately, they’re not exactly sanctioned by Instagram so use them at your own peril.

A while ago, Instagram shut down all of the apps that people were using to follow and unfollow, but recently I’ve heard people recommending Jarvee. Jarvee is a social media automation tool that works on a bunch of different sites, including Instagram.

You need to have a Windows computer (it’s a program you download, not an online app), and then for $19.95 per month you can use it to manage and automate up to 10 social media accounts. For Instagram, that means you can auto-follow, auto-like, auto-unfollow, like comments, leave comments, and so much more.

I have not used Jarvee and cannot provide any support. I am not recommending it because I haven’t used it. But if you want to automate your Instagram growth, this is a tool you might want to investigate.

Click here to get a free five-day trial of Jarvee. (Again, you must have a Windows computer to use this program.)

I’ve learned about another tool that you can use for following and unfollowing, but they’ve asked that people not mention them publicly because Instagram goes after companies that aid in automation. I haven’t used this program, but it’s cheaper than Jarvee and you don’t need to own a Windows computer. If you’d like the name of the program, send me a message via the chat box in the lower right corner of this site and I’ll get you the link asap.

 

 

Why do people follow and unfollow on Instagram?

Generally speaking, someone engaging in the follow and unfollow method isn’t doing it because they do or do not like your content. They are doing it simply to try to grow their own list of followers. In the Instagram Posse Facebook group, they say it’s like giving someone a tap on the shoulder and saying, “hey, check out my account!”

The reason people follow and then unfollow on Instagram is that they’re trying to grow their accounts, but that can be tough to do on a platform that’s always changing. Short of sending everyone on Instagram a personal message, following someone is one way to guarantee that they will at least see that you’ve followed them, glance at your account, and maybe follow you back. This is a method solely used for growing one’s account, so the person doing the following is probably not actually interested in your content, but you won’t know that until they unfollow you a few days later. Chances are, this person never even looked at your page.

Another reason why people may unfollow you on Instagram is that accounts can only follow 7,500 other accounts at one time. If someone gets close to that maximum number, they’re probably going to start unfollowing accounts.

Using the follow/unfollow technique on Instagram isn’t for everyone. All you have to do is look through the comments on this post to see that most people hate it! Many Instagram users get pissed when someone follows them, only to unfollow them… and then see that same person following and unfollowing them again a few days, weeks, or months later! It’s understandable, though – nobody wants to feel like they’re just being accumulated as part of a number. The reason the same people may keep popping up in your feed is that it can be difficult to keep track of who you’ve previously followed then unfollowed, so you’re bound to hit some of the same accounts multiple times.

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 the follow and unfollow method may be for you. If you want to know more about it, you may want to pick up the Instagram Decoded Guide, which goes through the ins-and-outs of using the follow/unfollow method and actually 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. Some of the other topics covered in the guide include setting up your Instagram profile, hashtag research, tips for increasing your Instagram engagement, understanding the Instagram algorithm, and more.

 

How to tell if someone has unfollowed you on Instagram

Unless you’re an eagle eye, the easiest way to tell if someone has unfollowed you on Instagram is via an app. Because of the aforementioned Instagram lockdown on follow and unfollow apps, finding a reliable app can be tough.

One Instagram unfollow app that will still tell you who has unfollowed you (for a monthly fee) is Followers Pro. Two others are the Unfollowers and Followers App and Unfollowers on Instagram. Because Instagram doesn’t approve of these types of apps (or the follow and unfollow method), they frequently shut down these types of apps. I wouldn’t be surprised if any of these disappear at any time!

 

Alternatives to the Instagram Follow Unfollow Strategy

If you’re looking for alternatives to the Instagram follow unfollow strategy, check out 21 ways to increase your Instagram following.

An Instagram guru I really like, who doesn’t believe in follow unfollow, is Alex Tooby. Alex made a name for herself by launching the popular Men and Coffee Instagram account, before deciding to share all of her secrets with us via her two Instagram courses.

Alex Tooby Instagram Courses

Infamous to Influential will teach you everything you need to know to grow your Instagram account without resorting to any gimmicks, while Hashtag Hero will teach you how to utilize the right hashtags on your photos to increase your engagement and grow your followers.

Alex’s classes are in-depth and full of tips that will help you to grow your account and find success on Instagram. She doesn’t offer a grow your account overnight scheme, but instead, tried and true ways to increase your following and engagement.

 

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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Sir Farty Fartsalot
Guest
Sir Farty Fartsalot

I have a better idea for people on IG who use the follow/unfollow method.

1. Get a life.

Rina
Guest
Rina

Good point. Love your screen name by the way

Mindy Ambrose
Guest

Agreed

Yes mamm
Guest
Yes mamm

Your name is sir farty fartsalot….

Marie Louise
Guest
Marie Louise

Thanks for this! Very clear ❤️

Sarah
Guest
Sarah

I don’t think this blog post emphasized enough how inauthentic this method is. It’s like showing up at someone’s party, taking a picture with everyone to look cool, then leaving because you didn’t care about the people in the first place. Not to mention, since you never used Jarvee, it’s a little shady that you used an affiliate link for it. All in all, this method shouldn’t be encouraged. Talked about sure, but not encouraged and getting commission off of it. Social media needs to be cleaned up from unethical strategies like these.

Michelle Wen
Guest
Michelle Wen

Powerlikes is the new norm

Ron Jones
Guest

Follow/Unfollow is tacky. I can sorta see why grasping people might start using the tactic to quickly grow a follower base. But the method is like that “one friend” that only comes around when they want something from you, usually to get you to join their latest multi-level marketing scheme.

Becky
Guest
Becky

So agree. It is hurtful to those of us that try to get followers on our on merit.

Seth
Guest
Seth

Hmm… I debated on commenting on this as I read all of the hate being spread. When I first started using the f/uf method, I felt like a scam. I felt like I was using people for numbers and just followers to sell them something. I grew that particular account above 1k and then stopped because I just didn’t get it and felt ashamed. A few years went by and I got back into Insta and thought this would be a way to grow my following. This time, I had an agenda and a point. I personally endorse the f/uf… Read more »

Helene's+Dreams+on+Instagram
Guest

I don’t mind people following and unfollowing. I mean heck what can I say… but what I don’t like is if someone follows me and I follow them back because I actually like them..and then a day later they unfollow me? What? That’s wrong. I never do this… if I want to tap on people’s shoulders I look for people that interest me too and I like and sometimes genuinely make comments on their feeds. Follow and unfollow all you want, but as time goes on more and more people are catching on …and as you can see …we DON”T… Read more »

Melinda
Guest
Melinda

I agree with all of your points.It also hurts the IG community as a whole because now I am very leery of anyone that tries to follow me if I do not know them.IG should be a place where you do not have to worry about drama, but I guess that is not the case any longer.

Yes mamm
Guest
Yes mamm

Totally agree

Steve
Guest
Steve

If someone follows then unfollows after I have followed them back, I unfollow, block them and report them fir spamming, which is exactly what they are doing.

Helene's Dreams on Instagram
Guest

People don’t realize the kind of impact we put subconsciously on the young person especially. Have you noticed? It’s all about how many followers you have, likes and so on. It’s all about popularity and who is cool ..etc. Seriously it reminds me of high school on a world wide level. It’s sad that we even need to know how many followers a person has or how many likes? Really…why does it matter? Think about if for one moment. If we could just absolutely remove the numbers behind every picture …I think it would promote more genuine kindness…because then…you would… Read more »

Stephanie
Guest
Stephanie

Using people for your own gain makes you a shitty person. I don’t care what your excuse is. It’s sleazy! I have an app that shows me who unfollows me and I promptly unfollow the jerks who pull that crap right back! I wish everyone used those apps so these sleazeballs would have to find another way to get rich or famous or whatever it is they want.

Sophie
Guest
Sophie

Well said!! F/U just to increase your number is totally pathetic & juvenile. Oh and narcissistic. This type of abuse really taints the Instagram for those who want to keep it authentic.

Ravie
Guest
Ravie

I don’t have many followers anyway, but I look for the “user has started following you” notification to disappear and I unfollow accordingly. An eye for an eye they say ha! Not playing your numbers game.

Trixie
Guest
Trixie

Great point! I’ve noticed that I’d see a notification, usually for an account that had thousands of followers, then the notification disappeared when I looked at my account. I think this follow/unfollow is beyond sleazy.

Anais
Guest
Anais

Follow/unfollow is so lame and dishonest. I am on Instagram for art. There is nothing artistic about doing this. Thirsty and creepy.

Suzanna
Guest
Suzanna

Thank you

Jenny
Guest
Jenny

Not a fan of this method or of people who use it. I’m a lowly artist on instagram, so to me it seems predatory and extremely rude. It’s frustrating having artists with 100k+ followers do this to my little account. So I just report them for spam if I’m going to be honest. Not sure if it does anything but it makes me feel good.

Greg
Guest
Greg

If you follow me without liking something in my content, then I know what your game is and I will usually block you. If you follow me and I follow you back, it’s usually because I’ve liked some of your content. But if you unfollow me soon after, not only do I unfollow you, I remove my likes and block you. Taking my toys and going home, perhaps, but I am trying to start a movement to put an end to this silly and annoying game.

Melinda Anderson
Guest
Melinda Anderson

I am with you Greg! It is annoying and discouraging for individuals that are trying to authentically grow their audience.I have started a movement by outing them directly.Of course they block me but at least they know that one person was on to their game.

d.b.
Guest
d.b.

Here, here

Trixie
Guest
Trixie

This is just the worst, phoniest, way to be on social media. If your business model is based on being… well.. a total jerk, then cool. People and businesses that use this method, or pay someone to do it, have no scruples.

Libby
Guest
Libby

It’s a slap in the face. I’ve noticed this for years and I’m not with that. I get wanting to get a high follower account, but then you should work on your own content, not manipulate others. I post my makeup pictures and that’s my form of self-expression so it’s annoying and I do check it… I’ll notice after posting a picture and gaining a few followers the next few days I’ll lose some… and I check that and unfollow right back because frankly, I find it rude, manipulative, and stupid.

trackback

[…] compra de followers se convirtió en moneda común, del mismo modo que lo hicieron los esquemas de follow/unfollow o el uso de bots y herramientas abiertamente parasitarias como Instagress o Archie para obtener […]

trackback

[…] compra de followers se convirtió en moneda común, del mismo modo que lo hicieron los esquemas de follow/unfollow o el uso de bots y herramientas abiertamente parasitarias como Instagress o Archie para obtener […]

Drena
Guest
Drena

I share the same sentiment as the rest of the commenters, which I’m glad to see, but that makes me curious why so many still find this practice acceptable. It’s completely unauthentic, and stepping on the backs of other to build yourself up. That’s just shitty. What is the harm in following a lot of people as well as being followed by a lot of people? I understand building brand awareness, but this is a shitty practice used by shitty people. I also have the followers app and check everyday to see who has unfollowed me. I’ve gone as far… Read more »

Mary Ramos
Guest
Mary Ramos

Love this ❣❣❣

Get back jojo
Guest
Get back jojo

Has anyone else with an F/UF app noticed that some accounts are able to unfollow without it showing up? Just today there were two accounts that I had followed back this week that obviously unfollowed me but only showed up as “AREN’T FOLLOWING BACK”. How are they doing this unless they happen to magically unfollow me the same second I follow them back. Yes, sometimes I like the content but I will still unfollow because I loathe the “me” game. I will block anyone who unfollows right away and I never follow back accounts where the ratio of followers to… Read more »

Jamie
Guest

Follow/unfollow is rude, tasteless and should not be encouraged. To deter such a method, I tend to out the person’s antics by commenting something like ‘follow/unfollow is uncool’ on a recent post, then blocking them. I’d rather not give useless people only looking out for their own success and personal gain communicating with me again, so blocking is must.

Melanie
Guest
Melanie

I didn’t realise it was a ‘thing’ to do this to people. I got a personal account that’s private and of my children so only for family and friends…but I recently set up a pets account for all my animal pictures so as not to bore my family/friends. I am not bothered about how many followers I have for my pet pictures, but it does annoy me when people follow me so I politely follow them back and then I’m left sifting through hundreds of names and having to spend a long time searching each accounts followers to see who… Read more »

Yes mamm
Guest
Yes mamm

Honestly I don’t mind, how is it any skin off my back if someone that’s searching for people that might be interested in their product or service follows me for a follow? If I don’t want what they have to offer I don’t follow them or I watch them for a while and then unfollow them. It’s seriously no big deal. I appreciate the entrepreneurial spirit and I think social media has put the ball back into the court of the small businesses. What if it’s a single mom wanting to sell her hand made jelwery online? Someone looking or… Read more »

Misty Charlotte
Guest

As an Instagram user, I would say that some of the apps that act as a tool could steal your account’s privacy and information. Instead of having numerous likes and followers, it might harm you in a worst-case scenario. Just a friendly reminder, make sure to ensure your account’s safety for this should be your top priority. You might as well check BuyRealMarketing for trusted Instagram Services https://www.buyrealmarketing.com that they offer.

Onsite Reflexlogy
Guest

Oh that’s what it was. I post wellness and positive scripture content for my natural health business page. Get about 10 followers daily and follow them right back. Next day they are gone. I have the unfollower app, so I unfollow them back. But the sad part it I get follows from pastors and church pages. It’s kinda low for them to use these kind of childish tactics just to grow followers. The focus should be on spreading the good message.

Kerry
Guest
Kerry

I think the follow/ unfollow method is really uncool. I had to look into l this up to see if this was a real practice. To my dismay, I learned that it is. I agree with other commenters who noted how inauthentic this approach is. I believe cultivating followers in a respectful, honest way is the best way to build a following. Yesterday, someone who seemed to be aligned with my message, followed me and once I followed them and sent them an engaging complimentary message commenting on their feed, the person dropped me. I feel used and completely uninterested… Read more »

memusetoo
Guest

If you’re going to follow and unfollow me at least bother to like one of my posts. I never follow back anyone who doesn’t like a post. #kma

Lisa
Guest

I want to remove a former lover from my instagram but I still want him to see my post is that possible? I’m not that tech savvy

Sharen
Guest
Sharen

I am not a big fan of it. As a matter of fact I think it’s dishonest thing to do!!
I’am tracking all the unfollowers and unfollow them on my bussiness account!

Mark McClure
Guest

I detest the practice! For those who practice it, know that there are probably some folks (like me) who will ensure that you’ll never get my business. This can have a negative impact on a local business, particularly when you consider the wide reach on social media among family and friends…

Lvbizowner
Guest
Lvbizowner

I have the apps to track followers and I use them. Following then unfollowing is a great way to guarantee I don’t check out whatever it is you’re promoting. I block these people quickly.

Jim
Guest
Jim

If you want people to attend your party you have to send invitations. Right? So I’m inviting you to follow me on Instagram at flowerbox_studios Feel free to like my work, comment, or send a DM. If you like what you see and want me to follow back please invite me to do so. If you don’t find my work of interest I understand and appreciate you taking the time to look at my page. Let’s do this the honest and old fashioned way! Have a good day!

Ronald
Guest
Ronald

I personally don’t like the follow / unfollow scheme on Instagram for all the negative impacts it has to people of all ages (especially the younger generation). For example (and probably one of the most obvious ones), is where the more “followers” you have the better you feel about yourself. Is it really about how many followers you have? What are you instilling to the younger generation?

Please think about the long term impact of your actions when using social media. Use social media morally. It’s common sense really.

Joanne Bevan
Guest
Joanne Bevan

Instagram people may wish to resort to Following & then Unfollowing, But to all of those who choose to do this: It’s Highly Unprofessional & if you’re hoping to appear ‘Professional’ and gain $$$ from being an ‘influential Instagram account’ or receiving free products to review via a company… NOTE: It’s not going to look very favourable or ‘Professional’ when potential customers or Companies see that people such as myself will kindly leave a comment such as the following example on your pages: THANK YOU for UNFOLLOWING ME after I FOLLOWED YOU BACK! P.S: I’ve now UNFOLLOWED YOU BACK. Have… Read more »

Paul
Guest
Paul

So I’m sorta new to IG, had it for awhile but didn’t use it. I live in Colorado, so I started putting up pretty mountain pics. All these people start following me and I’m like that’s cool, people like my pics. But then I notice my followers list is down and I figured out that the follow/unfollow is what people do. I wasn’t pleased. But let’s be honest here: most of the follow/unfollow people on my account are beautiful young female “travel bloggers” who are trying to build their following. Many of them have 30k followers, but again real talk,… Read more »

Staci Perrin
Guest

Thank you for this post. It really helped me understand the IG world. I got a follower yesterday that had 16.5 followers and I was so flattered, then within a day they had stopped following and it stumped me. Now I understand and like you, I’m not a fan! It’s self-serving and unsupportive to people you want to support you…seems unkind. Anyway…thanks for explaining it.

kristi
Guest

I know there are many ways to grow instagram acoount, but I tried only ingramer.com.
and what are you using?

Yeisie Marie
Guest
Yeisie Marie

I can’t stand the follow to unfollow method. It appears that forming an image of popularity has become the sole purpose of this generation. it’s a form of deceit and a revelation of someone’s lack of integrity.

Craig
Guest

I don’t mind accounts that follow you or unfollow you, what I despise is people that follow you, you follow them back, then they unfollow you. I would be happy if Instagram banned those types of accounts.

Nicki
Guest
Nicki

I’m sick of these douchebag wankers following me, getting me to follow back, then they unfollow me. They’re not looking to raise their following per se. They don’t need to unfollow me for that. They want to make sure their followers number is higher than their following number.

The problem is, every tosser on social media thinks they’re some sort of celebrity.

They’re scum.

Steve ebbersom
Guest
Steve ebbersom

LoL it’s a douchey thing to do. Lame

Nia
Guest
Nia

If an account follows me, I go check out their followers/following ratio – and if I see they do not follow many yet have loads of followers – I stay well clear of them – they are obviously the type that will follow then unfollow you soon after. It says a lot about their life ethics and the ethics of their brand too.

Lee'Ann Burgess
Member
Lee'Ann Burgess

I would much rather build a quality audience organically, without using spammy-type methods. I follow accounts that I am interested in – or that align well with my niche, interests etc… I can’t stand the follow-unfollow method. For anyone that I have followed back who unfollows me right away – I unfollow of course!

Amanda Gatton
Guest

Wow. This method is so so so harmful to the art community and essentially meaningless to the people doing it for anything other than an ego boost. It’s so sad to see people with “large followings” actually teaching and promoting this method. While those of us who just let our work and genuine engagements speak for themselves grow disillusioned with the art community. The kind of inauthenticity and discouragement created by this sort of thing will destroy the arts.

Emma
Guest
Emma

If you unfollow someone on Instagram for over 3-4 years will Instagram recommend u to follow them?

Jonathan Belle
Guest
Jonathan Belle

Why would you promote follow to unfollow

Rain
Guest
Rain

This follow unfollow method is actually make me sick and very very annoying like I was trying to get 100 follower (I only have 80 to 86 right now and I believe 100% that tomorrow I will only has more or less than 80 follower) and then suddenly they disappear to 80 follower or even lower. At first I was like “oh… Okay” and this is was 3 week and 3 day ago (to be exact at July 22) where I start to draw character and post it in my instagram everyday until now and all I get was that… Read more »

Pippin
Guest

Thanks! Helpful article!

Jerome
Guest
Jerome

I admit that there are not many approaches to promote one’s account apart from using hashtags, please, however, DO NOT encourage the follow/unfollow method, it is becoming really annoying and is detrimental to community building as a whole. I wouldn’t mind if the phenomenon was marginal, but now (and, unfortunately, thanks to article like this one), everybody is doing it; it’s a real pestilence. Users spending time doing this should focus on their content instead and make more efforts to target potential followers with relevant hashtags.