Does the Follow-Unfollow method still work in 2019?

Maria Noyarovich

Maria is a social media enthusiast who specializes in content creation. She also makes videos for her TouTube channel.

Today’s Special Guest on the HypeAuditor Blog is Alina @kleobeaute, a French Instagram beauty blogger and social media expert. She’s been managing an Instagram blog for quite a while now and remembers the days when everyone used to implement the Follow-Unfollow method to grow their Instagram followers count.

What does it take for you to keep your Instagram page performance on such a high level with over 20k followers?

I think the “secret” formula is to always put the reader before the business and the profit that may you expect to get from your Instagram page when you have just started. People come first! For instance, I launched a blog on my website back in the days when it was not really a thing. It was simply a way to connect and share opinions with like-minded people, where you could embrace the unknown by posting blog articles and revealing your thoughts to a wide audience of complete strangers. It turned out to be successful and today my website blog has around 130 000 visitors each month. Additionally, I created a Facebook page and its popularity has grown quite fast, with 1300 fans at the moment.

Having some media exposure is a major advantage and support in order to grow a truly authentic audience while having an Instagram page. I must admit that proving your value as an Instagram blogger and getting 10 000 followers, who actually engage with your content, was a challenge.. You are not able to gain a couple thousand of real followers in a blink of an eye, only if you fall for suspicious tempting offers to get some for an unbelievably low price.

Nowadays it’s difficult to spend a day without any engagement with your audience, as it might come back and bite you. Instagram stagnation in 2019 is a reality, and we are left with no choice but to show stable progress not only in followers growth but also in constantly improving your Instagram performance by monitoring all the vital metrics. Luckily HypeAuditor provides the following service to keep my Instagram performance on a high level.

How important is it to find your own niche as an Instagram blogger?

I’m aware that the majority of my followers are women of 25-40, and to be honest, it’s not the most pro-active type of audience represented on social media channels like Instagram. I have a golden rule: “quality over quantity”, which is applied in all aspects of my life. That’s why I have “only” 20 000 followers who are truly interested in the beauty product reviews I tend to share in my feed. They can be sure, it’s a top quality product which I’ve been using for quite a while and has my full trust. You should conduct research into your audience’s interests and needs in order to picture a target group for yourself. They follow my page for this specific reason, so sharing a pointless post about my new home decor purchase with my audience is like finding a Christmas present you don’t want under the tree.

I can offer 100% affinity to the brands I work with, and It’s directly reflected in my Instagram performance level and the level of authentic engagement, which now I can track with HypeAuditor. It’s much more effective for brands nowadays to collaborate with microinfluencers that have a certain niche, like me, rather than blowing money on a pricey lifestyle macroinfluencer with a less responsive and engaging audience.

Is the follow-unfollow technique a ‘no-go’ in 2019?

In my opinion, it belongs to the past, it used to be quite a popular way of growing a community on Instagram 4-5 years ago. Back in the day, unknown companies used to send tonnes of Direct Message requests with an offer to help Instagram bloggers grow their Instagram accounts and gain more popularity accordingly. They claimed to use “authentic” methods by only targeting a certain type of audience and attract followers who suit your blog. I had a chance to spot these suspicious activities among the bloggers I was acquainted with. On the one hand, followers count indeed doubled, on the other hand, the Engagement Rate was dropping quite drastically.

I didn’t fall for these of shady activities for the following reasons:

  1. I simply didn’t have extra time to spend on such things.
  2. From the very beginning, I was wondering about the real value of an Engagement Rate over the boosted followers number. Short term success seemed vague to me, I was and am standing for a long run to reach certain goals.

Nowadays, this technique is considered to be old school and proved itself useless when it comes to growing an authentic Instagram community. Luckily, in 2019 the flow of advertising requests such as “Buy authentic followers” or “Boost your Engagement Rate” has diminished greatly.

What are your predictions regarding Instagram’s claim to fight against automated apps that people use to leave spammy comments?

It might take some time for Instagram to undertake such a job. I would like to see total transparency in Instagram insights regarding metrics, such as engagement/reach/clicks and target group statistics.

Thank you, Alina, for sharing your blogging experience with our audience.