There is this follow unfollow game which many people play on the social media to boost up the number of followers. Initially it did disturb me but then I got the hang of it and managed to keep out of it to a large extent.
I signed up for the Instagram few months for sharing my life experiences. The secondary aim being to use it as a means to showcase my hobby of photography. For someone like me who doesn’t believe in going out of the way to ‘attract the followers’ the result has been quite encouraging. I have made a few friends, some willing to hear my experiences and some taking a step to help me improve my photography skill.
Why do I follow People?
I follow a simple protocol for following any subscriber. The subject can be any but the feed got to attract my mind. I do not care about the region, religion or gender of the person. I do not get disturbed if someone has followed me back or not, I follow the person for the quality he/ she puts across. I do not follow back a person who has followed me if his ‘feed’ doesn’t appeal to me.
I am certainly not on the social media to generate show numbers. I know ‘numbers’ are a big morale booster and do matter specially to those looking to earn money. But I think even if the aim is making money than also it is the quality and not gimmicks what many indulge in, which will draw quantity. People resorting to gimmicks normally run of gas pretty early.
I would prefer building numbers with the originality and quality I showcase.
Do I unfollow ….
I have unfollowed, though rarely, some people based on their behaviour pattern and ethics. Some I have unfollowed for not sustaining quality or the account going dormant. The social media platforms are a means to generate interaction. If that end is not being met than I do unfollow and remove the account from my followers list too.
Why do people play the game?
There are people who unfollow for genuine reasons like niche, behaviour and likeability. There are others who unfollow because they have not been followed back. Many indulge in the follow- unfollow game to generate numbers. They will randomly follow number of accounts every day. Some do manually while some even use bots. Normal human tendency is to reciprocate positively to anyone who has followed. In the bargain such people add followers to their list and then they unfollow most of these accounts within 48/ 72 hours.
This also helps them in keeping their own feed clutter free.They do not have to respond to hundreds of posts. These players can be easily made out from the ratio of followers they have and the number of people they follow. It will always be heavily lopsided.
Though Instagram is getting stricter by the day and penalising the ‘players’ but then people are also getting smarter and using new ways of beating the system. The methods include using manual following only and restricting the number of accounts followed/ unfollowed per day within a reasonable limit.
Does it help?
Yes, it does help in generating numbers but in the long run may not help. The numbers may not result in growth in engagement. Finally, it is the engagements which matter. The moment you stop the follow-unfollow game the number of followers and the engagement starts falling.
The chances of getting caught and being penalised by Instagram are quite high. I have seen some accounts amassing thousands of followers in a span of months and then suddenly vanishing from the platform for unknown reasons.
Better way to generate followers….
The best way is always to generate organic followers based on the niche and delivering quality.
Do not follow accounts randomly even if you have to indulge in follow/ unfollow game. Follow accounts with whom you would like to engage and who are likely to engage with you based on your niche. Unfollow accounts which do not engage.
Limit the number of accounts you follow/ unfollow in a day to avoid attracting penalty. It is rather good to limit the number of people you follow within a manageable limit.
Do not use random broad-based hashtags. Use hashtags which are specific to your post.
Build relationships, have good collaborations to improve your visibility.
There are all types of people on the social media. They use different means to boost up their following. The follow-unfollow players generally target the new entrants who are easy to con. There is no need to feel bad or get disturbed by the way some play the game. You should play the game the way you feel. Aim should be to enjoy the interactions.