The last few months I’ve implemented the whole follow/unfollow method. You know, the one that all of your favorite sprouting bloggers are doing?
What the Follow Unfollow Method?
It’s a basic technique based off of the genius methods developed by InstaRevealed. Their course and its methods definitely work, but the fallout definitely has negative consequences.
1.You put yourself on the map for porn accounts.
I’m a mommy lifestyle blogger. There are a lot of us out there. We definitely a force with which to be reckoned. Fourteen percent of American families in 2012 (an entire five years ago) had at least one family member blogging about family life within the household. Here is the scary part: as I engaged in follow/unfollow, no matter how well my “nets” cleaned out accounts, there were still accounts that masked themselves well enough on the outside, but then had straight porn as soon as you clicked into the feed. Worse, these porn accounts started following my followers, which resulted in three things: 1. creeping out my followers 2. driving the true followers away 3. compromising my family and opening us to having our photos published on these awful accounts.
2. You get blocked by Instagram. A lot.
Holy crap. I’ve gone five years on Instagram without EVER getting blocked, and as soon as I started implementing this method, I got blocked at least once a week for “abusing” the follow and unfollow features–no matter how slowly I moved. Over time, if you get blocked too often, Instagram can ghost block your account from gaining followers and can even get your account removed from Instagram completely.
3. You lose your true followers in the noise, sacrificing your “community.”
If you a member of any Facebook blogging group, you’ll notice that there is a lot discussion about creating a community. A strong community is an easy and more organic method to growing a blog. People like to feel heard and when you do follow/unfollow you create noise and drown out the voices that were originally loyal to you. Plus, it ruins the likemindedness of your “community” expanding it to fit everyone instead of making it feel like “home” to anyone.
4. It’s hard to find tools to mass unfollow.
What does it say about an account when it has 6000 followers and 6000 following? It means that this account is a follow-for-a-follow account. The ratio of true followers is shot. People are only following you because you’re following them, and that just says that your content isn’t worth sticking around for. It would be better to up your content game instead of focusing on pure numbers. Further, when you decide to start slimming down your following numbers–guess what, you can get blocked by unfollowing too quickly.
Free third party apps can compromise account security (I had my account hacked in India because of this). Further, other services are paid–also a pain in the butt for a budding blogger. If you want to do it the old-fashioned way, each unfollow can take three seconds–multiply that by 6000 and well, there goes your entire day. And who has a day to completely devote to unfollowing people on Instagram? And how do you do that without Instagram blocking each day, dragging out the process for weeks? Is it worth it to pimp your account out with the hope that someone will look at your account, like what they see, and then follow you back? Honestly, if I had an assistant, it might be worth it, but it probably still isn’t.
5. You might be wasting your time.
Instagram is catching on to this follow/unfollow method. It isn’t hard to write an algorithm to see what users are doing to gain followers. If you’re planning on growing your followers this way (and again it does work fairly well–I tripled my follow number in two months), do it quickly because it might not be an option in the foreseeable future.
What are your thoughts on the follow/unfollow method? I would genuinely love to hear your opinion. Drop your ideas in the comments below.