I often get direct messages in Instagram that say “FFF”? or “Follow-for-follow?”. I can tell you right away that I do not participate in such actions, and neither should you. Let me tell you why.
You might think that doing follow-for-follow is a nice way of growing your follower count. Actually yes, it does grow your follower count, no lying there. But the problem lays in the fact that the followers you get might not even be active followers. In fact there even might be a lot of followers that follow you, but haven’t ever liked or commented on any of your photo. These are called ghost followers, and they harm your account more than do some good.
“But the people that follow me in FFF like my content“
In short term the people that follow you this way might be active, because they want the same in return. But if they did not follow you because they like your content – the actions they make in your account will decrease over time. After some time, you may find yourself with many followers who are inactive and don’t Interact on your posts.
“Why do you think that the followers I get in follow-for-follow will be inactive? “
Think about it this way. By participating in follow-for-follow, you just gain followers who follow for the numbers. You follow them, because you want the return follow, but you might even not like their content. This could be mutual, leading to followers who follow you, because you follow them back, not because they like your content. And such followers most probably will not like your posts regularly, or won’t even do so at all.
If you just do follow-for-follow to get a follow back, and don’t even interact with the user’s content – that’s exactly the kind of people you will get in return
Why is having inactive followers so bad?
If you have lots of followers, but get much much less engagement on your posts, then this tells Instagram algorithm that your content isn’t engaging enough. This may lead to your posts not being shown to your followers more often.
A good engagement rate is a like count at least 10% of your follower count. Meaning that if you have 700 followers, 70 likes per post is good. And if you have 10’000 followers, 1000 likes per post is good.
What do I need to do then?
What you need is to gain followers who choose to follow you themselves. To do so, you need to be seen (by getting shout-outs, featured by feature hubs) or get the attention of people (by liking, commenting, following) that might lead to them following you back.
I have written an article about how to grow your Instagram account (the practices I use for my account). Tap here to read it! If you want to know about all my new blog posts, then you can follow my Facebook page (click to open). I always share every new post I make there.
“But can I keep doing FFF?“
Of course, if you both are interested in each other’s content and will continue to support each other, then go ahead!
But note that if you start to follow accounts whose content you do not like, you will earn the same in return. Be careful with follow-for-follow. Better to have less genuine followers than a bunch of inactive ones.