The Follow/Unfollow Method
If you’ve ever heard whispers of the follow/unfollow method or have thought of trying it yourself, please read this first and be forewarned; it is not all it’s cracked up to be.
Many will demonize anyone who uses the follow/unfollow method, calling them “sleazy” and “inauthentic”, painful words to someone who has done it, but not necessarily undeserved.
Although I participated in the follow/unfollow method and even used Mass Planner to do it, I’m not a monster. I hope this post will help shed some light on the topic and stop the gossip.
How to grow your following on Instagram, the biggest question people ask me.
Everyone wants to know the secret to gaining followers on Instagram quickly.
Words like “bots” and “follow/unfollow” are whispered in the darkest corners of comments pods.
People turn up their noses and claim to use only the “purest” of growth techniques.
I’m sick of reading article after article that just tells you to “engage” and “have good content” and you’ll just magically grow.
BS. I’m so over it and all the people pushing fake growth “techniques”.
But this isn’t about them, it’s about me, and how I did it wrong.
I’m not here to point fingers at anyone else of try to justify the way that I chose to grow my account.
I want you to know how I did it so you can learn from my mistakes. So take it from me, Instagram is not a get rich quick scheme, and there is lots of hard work involved in growth and partnerships.
Back when I started I didn’t know anything about Instagram or how to grow or even why I’d want to. No one really talked about growth strategies so I didn’t know where to turn for help.
Then I realized you can Make Money on Instagram and decided I’d give it a shot.
Sometimes I wish I never would have.
For the last couple of years, one of the hottest topics surrounding Instagram was/is the follow/unfollow method. Everyone has their opinion on it and most people have participated in it in one way or another.
To sum it up quickly, follow/unfollow method (also known as the follow/F-you method ha ha) is where you follow a bunch of accounts hoping for a follow back and then a few days later unfollow them regardless.
Yep I know, it sounds absolutely horrible, but before you pull out your pitch forks lets talk about it a little more.
I knew nothing.
And no that is not an excuse, but it’s not a reason either.
When I got started all the webinars I joined and advice I could find said to follow a whole bunch of people in your “niche” and then unfollow them later (or sometimes not if you liked their account).
I was naive and assumed if this is what everyone was doing I should do it too.
Ugh, 1000x wrong.
To make matters worse I learned about the use of bots. Yep I know, you’re probably lighting your torch to bring along with your pitchfork, I get it, I did it wrong; but isn’t that what I said to begin with?
A few of the girls I knew were using a bot system to help with their engagement. Basically it liked photos, follow and unfollowed, and even commented on photos for you if you wanted.
And believe me, more people then you realize utilized bot systems. (But again, not about them, so back to me.)
Because I was just starting and didn’t want to invest tons of time on Instagram daily (and we’re talking these seminars preach about spending 6+ hours a day doing this), I opted for the easy way and let a bot do it for me.
No, I didn’t “buy” followers, although some would claim I did in a sense since I paid for the site to follow people for me.
But let’s be clear on one thing; these were all real accounts with real people behind them who followed back.
And actually I did find a lot of quality accounts and I’m sure I gained a lot of quality followers.
The bot helped me do what I couldn’t otherwise and get my account in front of more users faster. In all reality it’s not really any different than what people are trying to do with comment pods.
My regret in all of this is that I may have left a bad taste in people’s mouthes because I unknowingly “unfollowed” them.
I allowed a computer to act on my behalf and that was just plain dumb.
There’s not much else I can say, I did it, I regret it, and now I’m doing my best to fix it although it’s not easy.
I wish more people would talk about these things rather than pretending that we’re all saints and that the integrity of our social media account is without spot or tarnish -give me a break. We’ve all done, said, or posted things we regret.
The follow/unfollow method is still widely preached today as one of the best ways to grow your Instagram and twitter accounts; don’t believe me? Type it into Google.
But please do believe me when I say this was not any easy article to write or share. I’ve been thinking about it for months but have been very scared to put myself out there in this way.
The world of Social Media Motherhood can be a harsh and unforgiving place and I am very aware that by posting this I may get kicked out of many groups and also shunned by quite a few people that I consider friends. And honestly that’s okay.
I’m just so over it.
I’m over people pretending that everything on social media is real and perfect and that all intentions are pure.
So here I am, in all my ugly honesty, may he who is without sin cast the first stone.
PS) If you’re looking for a very different perspective on the follow/unfollow method, check out this blog post by Belle Brita. She shares the common reasons people don’t like the follow/unfollow method and her views on the matter. One thing that she said about follow/unfollow is that it is a social media marketing technique, and she’s exactly right. There is no denying that it produces results.
A Note on “Organic Growth”
I don’t believe there is a lot of organic growth happening these days, mainly because the strategies that people claim help with organic growth are just that; strategies.
The whole concept of organic is that you put it out there and watch it grow, nothing artificial, no pesticides, no added growth hormones. So lets equate that to Instagram life; that would mean no loop giveaways, no like/comment pods, no promoting in anyway, no following hashtags and engaging with others in hopes of a follow. Do you get my drift?
I know a lot of people disagree with me on this topic and that’s okay. I’m just sharing my perspective because I feel a lot of the “little” people are disillusioned with Instagram because of all these “organic” strategies.
True organic growth can and does happen, but in today’s version of Instagram it’s very rare.