Does the follow unfollow method still work?

Follow unfollow has been an immensely popular strategy for growing an Instagram account for many years now. The method is a simple one where you find a big account within your chosen niche and follow all their followers.

Upon seeing the notification pop up, these helpless victims would then click on your account and follow you back. You would, of course, unfollow these fools and begin the cycle anew!

Once upon a time, Instagram had a time-based feed, which meant that users would see the most recent posts from the people that they were following. This all changed when Instagram introduced a more sophisticated algorithm.

Now you can’t simply win by pure volume like in the good old days. You can’t just grow a huge following using the follow unfollow method with the assurance that a decent chunk of your followers would see your posts due to the feed’s chronological nature. These days if you don’t have quality posts with high engagement the algorithm will bury you.

Doing follow unfollow with no other strategy simply will NOT work in 2018.

Let me explain why…

Imagine you go to a party in the pursuit of making some friends. You enter the party and greet people and immediately ask for their phone numbers. You keep persisting and eventually some people agree to exchange numbers with you. COOL!

The next day you sit in your house and wonder why no one has been texting you.

This is exactly what is happening when you do the follow unfollow method. You are asking for too much compliance too soon. Yes, these people will follow you back, but they are not truly your friends.

They were forced into the relationship through the urge of courtesy. They will not love you or engage with your content of their own volition, and as a result, Instagram will not want anything to do with you.

The result is a tragic one. Your account will then dissolve into the Instagram graveyard, the same one with all the other accounts that attempted to post porn on the Gram.

There is another option though…

A better approach to the follow unfollow method is to actually engage with these people that you are following.

Each time you follow someone who might be interested in your content, make sure you like at least 3 of their photos and leave one meaningful comment.

No, “cool pic” or “nice post” is not meaningful. You might as well not comment anything if you are going to leave that rubbish.

Avoid these types of comments!

I am not saying to write them a love letter. Just write something relevant.

I am sure you have received a good comment on one of your pictures before. How did it make you feel?

A well-placed comment could create a fan for life. Assuming that your content is high quality, if you do this enough times you will develop an army of foot soldiers ready to do your bidding.

Soldiers that are ready to wage war against the Instagram algorithm for you and ensure that your post goes viral.

The key to viral posts on Instagram is a mixture of high-quality posts with good engagement served quickly. Stay consistent and you won’t need to continue using the follow unfollow method. Each one of your posts will be able to stand on their own.

Don’t grow your account like a chump, do it the proper way and you will thank yourself later.


Isaac Tinashe

Hi, I am Tinashe and I started delving into entrepreneurship in 2015. It started with YouTube, and I was drawn to having my own business even more as time passed. I am now the proud owner of digital marketing agency The Insta Hustle. My team and I work with clients ranging from dentists to real estate moguls and public figures. The world is changing and if you don't keep up you'll be left behind. Let me show you what is possible with digital marketing.