Follow/unfollow strategies are controversial, but there’s no denying they work. If they were spells in the Harry Potter universe, you wouldn’t be condemned to Azkaban for using them, but let’s just say they’d probably be in the restricted section at Hogwarts.
For follow/unfollow to work best, the BAMF Bible recommends finding large influencers already in your niche and to follow around 100 of their followers at a time.
Usually, 10-25% will follow you back.
“The idea is that if they have already followed large influencer A who has similar content to you, they’ll be interested in yours too and follow you back.” (BAMF Bible)
Wait a day or two, then unfollow the 100 people you followed yesterday and follow another 100.
It’s best to focus on people who like and comment on the content of large influencers’ content rather than just the people who follow them. You end up with a follower base that is full of people who engage. Your growth rate will be slower, but the people who do follow you back will be much higher-quality followers.
Warning: Don’t get carried away. If you start following/unfollowing too many people, your account is going to reek of inauthenticity. Ever seen ratios like these?
No one believes these numbers unless you’re Coke or Kim Kardashian. Worst-case scenario, Instagram bans you. Equally bad, your credibility tanks.
Public Service Announcement
To be 100% clear, I never recommend the follow/unfollow strategy. There are better ways to build demand, but a lot of them take cash to get started.
And let’s be real here. Telling many of you not to do follow/unfollow is like preaching abstinence in high school. No matter what I say, a lot of marketers ain’t gonna listen.
The most I can do is inform you. Plus, I’d rather you practice safe F/UF using the tactics above than wind up getting burned. Just realize it’s going to be an uphill battle to nurture these fleeting followers who have no interest or time investment with you or your brand to convert into anything valuable.
For more effective and ethical Instagram strategies to grow your following and generate leads, check out these other articles: