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Instagram Follow for Follow: A New Spin on an Old Trick


Plixi Team

Apr 09, 2024 10 min read

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Creators are trying to increase their following gradually. Sometimes, growth comes in big bursts. Other times, it may need a boost. The Instagram follow-for-follow is the go-to method for some creators who want to increase their follower count. What exactly is this tactic?

“Follow for follow” on Instagram is simply growing your social media following by first following a large number of other pages. You do this with the hope that many of those pages will follow you back. What do you do after they follow you back? You could keep following the people who follow you back. Other people choose to stop following them, hoping they don’t notice.

Things may be different on other social media platforms. However, on IG, people try to increase their follower base this way. The hope is that more followers lead to greater engagement rates and overall IG success. The tactic is popular among business accounts and personal accounts alike on the visual platform. It could be a good substitute for social media management tools if done well.

At this point, you could be on the fence. You either think the tactic is very disingenuous, or you’re mildly intrigued. We can give you more information so you can make an informed decision.

Instagram Follow for Follow: A New Spin on an Old Trick

Why Creators Use the Follow for Follow Method

Why do some people use this method? Why would you follow random people that you wouldn’t normally care to follow? Well, some creators feel like they have to use new tactics to combat the apparent biases of the Instagram algorithm. 

So many Instagram influencers find it increasingly difficult to use Instagram to find quality followers. IG users suspect that the app has a new algorithm that only shows posts that already garner high interaction. This makes things difficult if you don’t have high engagement at the point of uploading content. Making money on Instagram is even more tricky because of this.

Pros and Cons of Gaining Potential Followers This Way

We have to take a balanced approach when discussing follow-for-follow Instagram tactics. It may work out well for you, but you have to remember the risks involved. First, we can talk about who you would want to take part in this trend.

Advantages of Follow-for-follow

On a positive note, these are some benefits you could look out for. If this trick is in your favor, here is what you can expect for your brand:

Eventual Earning Potential

If done correctly, you should earn money from this method. You’re supposed to use the follow-for-follow on the Instagram strategy to increase the number of people who know of your brand. The followers you reach on a wider scale could be people who ultimately invest in what you have to offer. Hopefully, you will access a bigger number of individuals who are genuinely interested in your content. You want them to stick around after perusing and watching your material. If they like what they see, the higher the probability that some of these subscribers will support what you offer. Say you have a promo code for affiliate marketing purposes. If these people who follow you back find your content compelling, you can earn a living.

Your Reach Should Increase

If these people are engaging with your content, IG should rank it higher. This means that the material that people will see when they search for particular hashtags. Better engagement should result in IG sharing the content with more people. If your follower count is high enough, you’ll benefit from social proof. This is where IG users follow you because so many other people do. Your high follower count already proves to them that you are worth following.

Disadvantages You Should Consider

Securing followers for Instagram can get kind of dicey, too. The quest to expand your following may cost you ultimately. We’ll explain what we mean.

You’ll Have a Cluttered Feed

You’ll find yourself following people who share content you don’t care for. If you choose this strategy, you won’t have the curated feed that IG wants you to have. You shouldn’t be following random people in the first place. Still, sometimes casting a wide net helps in increasing your chance for a follow-back. When you do this, it will become more difficult to manage your Instagram profile feed. You’ll have too many people to follow. IG will widen the types of content it shares with you as a result. Now, your feed is unrecognizable. How will you find content to repost to your story? The content you see may have nothing to do with your brand. What’s worse is that IG will become a place that you dread being. You don’t want to end up deactivating your account and giving up the mission completely.

Instagram Doesn’t Like It

It may not seem like the most nefarious act, but IG is not a fan of the follow-for-follow game. Instagram has ways of knowing what you’re doing, and they may not treat it lightly. The platform also improves its methods for finding accounts that do this often. What’s the worst that could happen, you ask? Well, have you heard of the shadowban? Those who make improper use of the follow-for-follow Instagram tactic risk having their accounts “Shadowbanned” by IG.

This phenomenon is one in which IG doesn’t promote your content to IG users. You won’t be among the hashtags when people go searching. Very few of your current followers will see your content. IG will hide your content when they scroll through their feeds—thinking of mass following daily? Think again. Your Instagram page can temporarily lose the ability to follow other IG users.

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How To Follow for Follow on Instagram: Two Different Ways

You may be wondering how to follow for follow on Instagram. It seems to be the most self-explanatory thing, right? Still, there are multiple ways to do it. One way is better than the other. In its most fundamental form, follow for follow Instagram is the practice of following as many users as you can. These are ideally those in your niche. This happens with the hope that they will follow you back. 

Before it even had an official name, users were likely doing it. The practice may be as old as Instagram itself. Maybe people aimed for people they knew back then. Now, they are trying to reach strangers. We’re sure you’ve heard of hashtags like #followforfollowback, #followforfollow, and #f4f. You’ve probably seen them on posts and considered using them yourself. This isn’t the best way to go about things.

Instagram hashtags are great, but they aren’t magic. The people who use these hashtags won’t follow you back just because you ask. They likely know that you’re only doing it to increase the likelihood that others will follow you back. IG may even block some hashtags completely because they know they are a magnet for bots. The two methods we’ll outline won’t include hashtags.

Option 1: Go Big

To get your feet wet in the follow-for-follow Instagram rate, try out this method. It works if you’re not too picky about the kinds of users on your feed.

  1. Follow an excessive number of IG users chosen at random. Follow as many as IG will allow you to.
  2. Wait to see if they follow you back.

This method seems easy. Accordingly, it may not yield the results you want.

IG users might consider you to be spam. This could decrease the likelihood that they would follow you back. They may not even notice the notifications if they receive them often enough. Additionally, this widespread following of random users is highly suspicious. You run the risk of having Instagram levy penalties against your account. Ironically, this will prevent you from following others for a time that they will determine.

Option 2: Focus on Your Niche

If the first option did convince you, that’s reasonable. Luckily, we have an updated version of this tactic. You can follow for follow on Instagram using a less haphazard method.

  1. First of all, following all at once just puts you on Instagram’s radar. Instead, try scheduled intervals spread across days.
  2. Follow active users in your niche field. Choose a user who produces the type of content you think aligns with your content.
  3. Spur on authentic engagement. To get someone’s attention, like and comment on some of their posts on IG.
  4. Then, you wait to see who follows back.

This technique is more promising than random following. There is more intentionality in following people who will like the content on your page. It also doesn’t seem as suspicious. This translates to a much-increased follow-up rate compared to what it was in the past.

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How Long Does It Take for Someone To Follow You Back on Instagram? I’m Waiting!

You followed one of our methods above. Now you’re playing the waiting game. You can’t help but ask, “How long does it take for someone to follow you back on Instagram?” Well, unfortunately, there is no straight answer to this question.

This is just the last part of the plan, right? You need your follower ratio to favor you, but this part of the plan isn’t working out. Don’t panic just yet. Not everyone is always on Instagram to notice a new follower. Maybe you could wait out a few days to follow you back. If they don’t follow back after a respectable number of days, it’s probably a good idea to unfollow them. You don’t want your social proof and ratio to look unattractive to followers.

Be careful not to stop following too quickly instantly. This is a dead giveaway that you only followed for a follow in return. They may already be suspicious of this. Unless they have changed their notification settings, Instagram notifies them that you followed them instantly. IG can even tell them when you followed them if they know where to look. Not following you may be a deliberate choice that you shouldn’t take personally.

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Instagram Follow for Follow Isn’t the Only Way To Grow a Following

You have to put in a lot of work to have a solid Instagram reputation. Trying to have a ready and engaged following makes things much more challenging. Picking the appropriate marketing tactics becomes even more crucial. You can come up with these tactics yourself, or you could get help from Plixi. Gaining traction while drawing in the appropriate target market is a task that needs some extra assistance. We think a Plixi professional might help you with this. If you stay with us, your brand’s direction will change significantly. We help our clients become more visible to the public and get enthusiastic, active Instagram followers

With us, you have access to both the artificial intelligence-targeted tools and our staff of seasoned Instagram influencers. They are available to you now, courtesy of us. These technologies enable exponential brand development, thanks to the expertise of Plixi. You can do much more than Instagram follow-for-follow tactics. Get used to long-term growth. Give us a chance to increase your IG clout. Utilize Plixi to increase your Instagram following!

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