The truth about follow / unfollow on Instagram

Follow / unfollow is something that people or companies do in order to gain Instagram followers. They follow an account, and sometimes also like photos or comment on that account, in the hope they will follow them back…then a few days later they unfollow them.

The truth is that follow / unfollow on Instagram may get you followers, but it is unlikely to help you get fans or good engagement rates. Its effectiveness has also decreased due to the number of people doing this game. If all you care about is your number of followers and you don’t mind investing the time in doing it, it could work for you. However, do so with caution….

Below are reasons NOT to do follow/unfollow

  1. It is spammy and you risk annoying people by following and unfollowing them, which means they might block you as spam which will have a negative effect on your Instagram account.
  2. People often just follow back because you have followed them, out of politeness rather than real interest. This means that your posts might then have a low engagement rate compared to the number of followers you have. If your posts have a low engagement rate, they will appear lower down Instagram’s feed.
  3. It also goes against Instagram’s guidance of “Help us stay spam-free by not artificially collecting likes, followers, or shares, posting repetitive comments or content, or repeatedly contacting people for commercial purposes without their consent.”
  4. If you follow too many people to quickly, Instagram will pause your account as they will think you are a bot.

Instead of doing follow / unfollow, focus on creating awesome content, using the right hashtags that might get you noticed and engaging with potential followers and your current community.

If Instagram is getting you down, check out my tips on how to stay happy on Instagram.


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