The follow-unfollow tactic is still used by many people in order to get their follower numbers up. Good marketers and growth hackers already know for years that this “quick fix” method is not only hurting your profile reputation in the long term and will get your account flagged (which is done by the algorithm and irreversible), but also kills your engagement because of all these zombie profiles that follow back not because of your content, but because out of sheer reflex. Ergo, they give zero F’s for your content.
I can’t point out enough how mind numbingly stupid the follow/unfollow technique is. But the point of this article is to tell you why it will be dead soon anyways, and that you should start implementing smart ways to grow your instagram account.
Why follow-unfollow will be dead soon
In October 2016 Instagram launched a new deep learning feature to reduce spam and nasty stuff in the comments section. Before that there were humans monitoring comments and deleting everything that didn’t comply with the TOS. But Instagrams next big problem are the bots and bot-like behaviour.
F/UF is just that. It has no deeper meaning, and is not a reaction to good content. It is purely random and executed blindly. But what are we trying to archive? We want real people to see our stuff and interact with it. Even the lack of interaction is a good thing because that way we can learn, adapt and improve our content. High follower numbers are worth nothing if you have 0.5% engagement rate. By just following mass amounts of people without knowing if they’re in our target group we only make the impression that we don’t have a real goal, or a special topic to talk about.
Sure, years ago it worked pretty good. But it’s like every hype that get’s joined by too many people. At one time it just looses it’s effect and eventually completely dies out. That’s what is about to happen with F/UF. And not only because every one is doing it already. But because Instagram is taking measures to wipe out those profiles entirely. So you are not only riding a dead horse, but also playing with fire and risking to lose your account(s).
It already started
Noticing a massive drop in engagement? Verifications loops? There you go. Instagram is coming for you. I’m on the forums a lot and people are asking daily:
“Has anyone noticed a significant decrease in impressions/reach this week?”
It is no surprise that this is happening gradually because of the sheer amount of profiles Instagram has to deal with. Just like a new feature that get’s rolled out slowly these are just the signs for what is to come.