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Instagram Unfollow Tactics: What To Do When Your Followers Leave

Uh-oh, not again… Your following just took another hit as another one of your precious followers decided to hit the unfollow button. There isn’t a worse than that on Instagram, is there? What we can agree on is that whatever you do, you will always experience fluctuations in your following base. Some days you will lose more followers than others, some days you’ll have a net gain.

What you want, and what I think that every Instagram user wants, is to minimize the effect of unfollowing and maintain a steady follower growth. For this need, I have done my fair share of research and I’m providing you with the best solutions that are certain to help you keep your followers from unfollowing.

Instagram unfollow tactic: Beware of the follow/unfollow trend

You got a new follower? That’s great, but don’t start your victory dance just yet. There is an infamous trend on Instagram that is widespread and is called the follow/unfollow method. What the follow/unfollow method means, in short, is this:

  • Instagram users are trying to build their following base by following a bunch of people hoping they will get a follow back.
  • They wait for a couple of days in order not to look suspicious, and then they go back to the accounts they followed recently and unfollow them.

At the end of the day, the users go back to the profiles they followed recently and unfollow them one by one. Users that use this method to boost their following may even wait for a couple of days or a week before they unfollow you, so always be aware of these potential temporary followers that will disappear after some time.

The best way to make sure you don’t become a victim of the follow/unfollow method is to always keep track of who follows you. I know it sounds virtually impossible to keep track of each and every one of your followers, that’s why there are apps that you can use that will notify you whenever an Instagram user just unfollowed you. Try reaching out to them and getting them to follow you again.

Instagram unfollow tactic: Use the right hashtags

Using hashtags is a great way to reach a wider audience with your posts. Instagrammers often forget that their posts need to reach the right audience, instead of just any audience. If you use generic and popular hashtags you might reach a big audience and earn some new followers, but if those followers see that they have nothing in common with you and that you used the hashtag feature only to reach to them, they’ll soon leave. This is how you can check whether you’re properly using hashtags:

  • Stray from generic hashtags: Do yourself a favor and check the content that shows up for the hashtags you use the most. If your hashtags fall into the group of generic and crowded hashtags, chances are you are attracting low-interest accounts. For instance, hashtags like follow4follow, f4f, like4like, are usually used by unreliable users who just want to up their following on Instagram, and will certainly not engage with your content.

bad instagram hashtags f4f

  • Smaller but targeted hashtags: What you need to do is choose more concise and targeted hashtags that will put your content in front of your specific target audience. People follow certain hashtags on Instagram because they want to find the best content for those particular keywords. You are way better off with a smaller and more engaged audience if you want to minimize unfollows.

This will minimize major fluctuations, provided that your content doesn’t drastically change. Proper usage of hashtags has a bigger impact than you may think. If your regular followers see your numbers go up and then drop suddenly, for whatever reason, they may question if they should drop out as well.

Instagram unfollow tactic: Engage regularly

Instagram is a two-way street. Unless you’re a big shot influencer, who is adored by tens of thousands, don’t bother playing the untouchable type. What I’m trying to say is, don’t allow yourself to become someone that never engages with their followers and expects to receive tons of engagement and keep your follower numbers growing. These are my tips that are guaranteed to help you keep a happy and growing following base:

  • A friendly, down-to-earth user: If you want the people who follow you to keep following you and engage with your content, you’re going to have to give them something in return. Give your followers the attention that you want to receive.
  • Likes and comments aren’t indispensable: On Instagram, likes and comments are the most valued gifts you can give to someone. Don’t think that everyone is going to keep liking your posts and will stick around if you don’t engage with their content. You have to give what you want to receive. Don’t spare your likes or comments, and make your followers feel valued.

You have to obey the golden rule on Instagram – give engagement, and you shall receive it. Otherwise, your followers might think that following you is not in their best interest.

instagram engagement starbucks prevent instagram unfollows

Starbucks has over 17.2 million followers on Instagram, and yet they regularly engage with their followers by replying to their comments. Take a look for yourself through their content. There is a lesson to be learned here from how one of the biggest brands on Instagram interacts with their following base, so you can too.

Instagram unfollow tactic: Strategic marketing

Another aspect that can influence whether or not your followers keep on following you is your marketing strategy. For instance, if you have a product or service that you want to advertise, we can all agree that social media platforms are the perfect place to do that. Still, we must place an emphasis on informal, casual marketing:

  • Mixed-marketing: Now, this isn’t a specific term, but I’m using this term to show you how Instagram influencers are handling their marketing strategies. What I mean by mixed-marketing is the fact that you should promote something on your profile, but also add a bit of your own nature as a creator. Or in other words – don’t make it all about marketing. See how this is done by a pro as a professional photographer promotes a product by fusing marketing promotion and breathtaking photography.

  • Every now and then: It’s great that you have learned the craft of proper social media marketing, but you have to know when the appropriate time to market is. Don’t make all your posts about promoting something or your followers will stop paying attention to your posts, like any other commercial. Less attention equals less engagement, less engagement leads to a loss of followers.

Instagram is all about interacting with your followers on a personal level. They don’t want to see you taking advantage of them. That’s why you should tune down the formal marketing approach, and learn from Instagram influencers on how to properly use your influence on Instagram.

Instagram unfollow tactic: More quality content, please!

There is a special art to how you should approach your followers on Instagram. Don’t try to deceive, trick, or manipulate your followers with poor marketing tricks and mediocre content. In order to minimize the unfollowing trend on your Instagram account, you need to learn how to adjust your content on Instagram:

  • Personalize your account: It’s all about conveying the ordinary things in a unique way. Try to stray from the herd and follow your own voice. Try new things, get creative, and don’t be afraid to have fun. Repetitive and stale content will bore your followers as they will get the feeling that you’re not showing your real face. Think outside the box about how you can fuse self-branding and personal content into one visual story. Beyonce always does a good job of mixing in her Ivy Park line:

  • Post high-quality content: Don’t post for the sake of posting or reaching your intended quota. Make sure to always provide value to your followers. If you’re a fitness instructor, post great fitness tutorials, not what your kids did at daycare. If you’re a traveler/adventure, post some really cool shots or vlogs, don’t talk about doing laundry at home. Only quality content matters today, so don’t think that you’ll get away with posting crappy content. Your followers won’t be into it.

People usually unfollow users the moment they feel that their presence is no longer aligned with their interests on Instagram. Don’t forget that Instagram is all about showing who you really are through a visual story. People often forget that followers are real users who want to be entertained, not manipulated. Always give your best to promote content that will bring value to your users. 

Instagram unfollow tactic: Self-reflect

Having users unfollow you here and there is nothing to worry about. However, if you notice a river of followers waving your account goodbye, then something must be wrong. There are one of two things that must have happened if you experience a massive drop in followers:

  1. Your credibility got hit.
  2. Instagram just cleared out a bunch of inactive accounts.

Whatever the reason, the best thing to do in moments like these is to reflect on whether or not you’re doing something wrong. Maybe you’re posting content that some find annoying? Maybe you’re targeting the wrong audience? Maybe you’re rambling too much in your captions, or you’re using way too many hashtags? Whatever the reason, take a step back, analyze your situation, and try to figure out what the cause of the unfollowing trend is.

Date: November 28, 2018 / Categories: Engagement, Follower Tactics, Marketing, / Author: Rich Drees


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