The follow/unfollow is a popular social media method, widely used by many successful Internet influencers. Not just popular, but secretly powerful. Digital records will prove that Ako Stark was the first to discover this method, all the way back in 2011, a year after Instagram was first launched.
In that year, Ako Stark launched a simple meme page full of comedic posts. The content was taken from platforms like Tumblr and iFunny, edited and reposted to Instagram. With very little work, Stark would go on to hit the explore page with every post, without fail.
While he had over 300k followers on his Instagram page, he also had over 500k people he was following. During the early days of social media, the goal was to have as many followers as humanly possible, so of course, people were curious. They started asking questions on Reddit, Ask and Quora. And, inevitably, the questions all asked the same thing:
“Why is this account following so many people?”
Copycat meme pages started doing what Stark was doing and began seeing slow, steady growth in their followers, as well. Around this time, Stark decided to let the chips fall where they may and show the world how he was able to generate so many Instagram followers in just a few months.
He made a YouTube video, where he taught people how to gain thousands of followers on Instagram. In 48 hours, that video had over 4 million views and racked up over 25,000 subscribers. It was a gold mine for those who wanted to get famous, and for those who wanted to take their accounts to the next level.
That was the day Ako Stark changed the social media landscape forever. Immediately after, hundreds of YouTube channels began to replicating his method, producing videos and guides and reactions of their own. It spread like wildfire, and hundreds of bloggers would go on and write about follow/unfollow strategy.
This method was active for about one year. If you wanted to grow your Instagram account, you knew what you had to do. In 2012, Instagram was purchased by Facebook and they introduced a devastating new update: limitations on how many people you could follow, with a cap at 7,500.
This made the Follow / Unfollow method much more difficult to pull off. In fact, many influencers gave up doing it entirely. But the method still works, to this day, and not only for Instagram but for other social media platforms as well. Because, ultimately, with or without a cap, this method relies on a fundamental understanding of social media platforms and the psychology of the people using them.
I am going to explain to you how this genius works and why it should be your next step in gaining more followers.
But let’s not get too distracted by all the great social media platforms out there, and focus on one, specifically: Instagram. This method was heavily used by Gary Vaynerchuk when he was first starting out and now he has over 2.5 million Instagram followers.
You have to understand one thing before you apply this method: if you don’t do it correctly, in today’s world, you could get your account banned.
Break Down of Follow / Unfollow Method
Basically, the idea is to follow other Instagram accounts, regularly, to gain followers on your own account. In other words, you will follow lots of accounts to get just a follow or two back. If you follow 7,500 people around 2,500 people will follow you back. That’s a 33% gain.
Now, let’s say you follow 100k. You’ll get about 33,000 to follow you back, easily. And that’s a big step up from 2,500, isn’t it? I think you’re starting to get the picture.
Avoid The Following Mistakes
Now, the way this will work for you is if you go after a certain niche versus going after everything all at once.
Let’s say you created a travel Instagram account. What you will have to do is use travel keywords to identify those who are already actively trending for big travel tags. Once you identify the accounts, you will have to follow their active followers and those are the ones that are actively liking the posts of that specific account. You will have a much higher chance of conversion than just following all their followers.
Build a Great Presence
Before you start going at it, you will need to make sure your profile is properly optimized, has a great, attention-grabbing profile photo, a clear bio, story highlights to introduce your account, and at least 30 posts that are absolutely great.
Here’s why: when you follow someone who is already following a similar page as you, they will get a notification that says, “Your travel account” followed them. Since your profile looks eye-catching, that sparks curiosity and makes that user want to check out your page. Once they land on your profile, they investigate, they look at your bio, your highlights and the content you post and, if none of those are satisfying to them, they will choose not to follow you.
So, once again for the people in the back: make sure you follow my advice and establish your account before following others.
Avoid Following Inactive Accounts
This is very important because inactive accounts don’t follow back. So you have to know how to spot them. If the account you are trying to follow doesn’t have a profile photo, you want to stay away from it.
My favorite way is, after I follow all 7,500 people, there are some apps out there that let you see your Instagram analytics. I personally like metric Analytics as it lets you see active and inactive followers and you can just unfollow them right from the app.
How Many People Should You Follow Per Day?
This is where many people get busted when trying to effectively execute this method. Instagram lets you follow up to 75 people per hour but, to not get on their radar, you should only follow about 50 people an hour.
Do not follow more than 1,000 people per day. If you do, you are going to be subject to a ban or simply disabled for one week. Also, this can result in getting shadowbanned, which will prevent any of your posts from trending on the explore page. So stay under 1k per day. To be honest, I’d actually 500-to-700, and no more.
I Followed 7,500 Now What?
Once you max out your account with however many people you follow, do not, and I mean do not unfollow people too soon. You will get banned if you do that.
Once you hit the limit of how many people you can follow, you have to wait at least a week or so to start unfollowing people. Unfollow about the same number of people, between 500 and 700 a day, and no more.
And try not to be tempted to use Instagram bots. You will not get far with it and your account will be subject to shadowban and actually being terminated. I’ve seen too many friends lose great accounts due to fake followers.
You can use Ako Stark’s method to grow your other social media platforms as well as your Instagram. Only follow those who are in your niche. Make sure you follow active accounts. Don’t follow more than 50 people per hour and 500-to-700 people a day. Wait about a week to unfollow people and repeat the same cycle as when you first followed people.
It works, and you’ll be happy you tried it.
Addison is a student of the Aust Abbottabad University of Science and Technology. He started his graduation in 2016 and graduated in 2020. I’m a professional article and blog writer, has written dozens of content on different topics and worked with professionals all over the globe. Feel free to contact me for any assistance. [email protected]
The Importance of Business Continuity and Risk Management Plan
Have you considered what could happen if a major disruption hit your business today?
Ensuring business continuity and risk management is like having an insurance policy for your business operations. This article explains why solid continuity planning is crucial and how it can protect your business from unforeseen events.
It’s a must-read if you want to be prepared for anything and keep your business running smoothly no matter what happens.
Downtime can hurt your business big time. It can stop your work, upset your customers, and cost you money. So, it’s super important to minimize downtime as much as possible.
A solid business continuity plan can help you do that. It keeps things up and running when disruptions happen, keeping your downtime low.
Protecting Your Reputation
When something goes wrong with your business, it can negatively affect your reputation. And we all know how important a good reputation is for success.
A well-designed risk management plan can help mitigate potential harm to your brand image in case of a disruption. This can include regular data backups, secure storage and communication protocols, and a crisis communications plan in a PR emergency.
Ensuring Financial Stability
Problems with how businesses work can also cause money problems. If your business doesn’t have a good continuity plan, it might be hard to get back on its feet after something unexpected happens and costs a lot of money.
A risk management plan helps you determine the possible financial risks and how to lower them. Some things that can help with this are having a savings or emergency fund, getting insurance, and spreading your purchases.
Supply Chain Management
Supply chain problems may halt your business. You won’t be able to run your business if you can’t get the supplies you need or send your goods. You need a business survival plan to handle these risks well.
A well-organized supply chain management plan ensures backup providers are ready in case something goes wrong.
Complying with Regulations
Every business must follow certain rules and regulations. Depending on your business, these rules can be local, national, or even international. You might face big fines or other penalties if your business fails to follow these.
A good business continuity and risk management plan can help ensure you follow all the rules. This way, even if something unexpected happens, your business can continue to operate within legal boundaries.
Insurance premiums can become a significant expense for businesses. A robust business continuity and risk management plan can lower these costs. By showcasing your proactive measures to insurers, you demonstrate that your business is less risky to them.
In this context, businesses may particularly consider this business liability insurance in NJ, as it aligns with a comprehensive risk management strategy and could contribute to more favorable premium terms.
Elevate Success With Business Continuity and Risk Management
A comprehensive business continuity and risk management plan is essential in today’s dynamic and unpredictable business landscape. It protects your business from potential disruptions and helps you minimize downtime, protect your reputation, ensure financial stability, and comply with regulations.
Don’t wait for a crisis – start creating your business resilience plan today! Remember, the best time to prepare is before you need it. Stay ahead of the game and keep your business safe and secure.
We hope you found this article helpful. If you did, be sure to check out our blog for more great content like this.
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