There are many strategies on Instagram that people employ to gain followers. Some good, some not so good. One of the most infamous being the follow / unfollow method. It’s popular across all social media platforms, really.
It’s basically the idea that if you follow a bunch of people, a certain percent of them will follow you back.
And then you wait maybe a day or a week or a month to unfollow all of those people. The hope is they don’t also unfollow you.
Makes sense on paper, right?
To be frank, back in 2012, ’13, ’14, this was not the worst way (for some people) to grow their Instagram. It wasn’t ever super organic, but it was relatively common and actually worked for many accounts.
Don’t get it twisted, though. The follow / unfollow system has always been a 100% inauthentic, inorganic, and impractical way to grow one’s Instagram account.
Sure, you might get some people following you back, but at the end of the day, they’re not genuine followers. The whole methodology behind it just reeks of tackiness.
My son, Brock, recently had an interesting experience in this area.
The owner of an Instagram growth service account DM’d him and asked to partner. Brock said,
“Well, I don’t feel comfortable recommending your service to my people before I first try it out myself. So, let’s do some trial runs on my own account for a couple weeks.”
And, the dude agreed.
They set it up and it didn’t take my son long to figure out that this guy wasn’t being totally truthful in his marketing.
Basically, he had a service that would follow and unfollow!
Now, it wasn’t done by bots (AKA, robot computer algorithm) or anything — which was common practice in the past. No, he had a real person actually doing the dirty work. But, at the end of the day, it was still the follow and unfollow method.
As soon as Brock realized what was going on in his account he put a halt on it. And he told him why,
“We’re going to have to cancel this. It’s just not an authentic, real, genuine way to grow your audience. Good luck.”
For additional practices that may have been effective in days gone by — but, as of right now, they’re highly frowned upon — check out this Build Your Tribe episode:
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