Beware Instagram Follow Unfollow Backlash: A New Kind Of Fail

Beware Instagram Follow Unfollow Backlash: A New Kind Of Fail

Beware Instagram Follow Unfollow Backlash: A New Kind Of Fail

Recently a couple of different accounts on Instagram followed me, waited for me to follow back, then unfollowed me. They were both major fails and here’s why.

Here’s another person writing about same issue, from Summer, a blogger: 5 Key Reasons to Stop the Follow/Unfollow Nonsense. She really hits the Instagram nail on the head!

An app for homeowners.

An app for homeowners.

An App for Homeowners

If you have a business that targets homeowners, then you probably want to follow those homeowners on Instagram. So when an app for homeowners followed me, I found their business to be pretty interesting. I followed back. I started reading their posts, and was nearly ready to sign up for their service.

Then they unfollowed me.

Then they unfollowed me.

Then they unfollowed me.

Pretty silly, right? Now maybe the person who did the unfollowing wasn’t the business owner. Could be they hired a social media manager who decided that I wasn’t their target demographic.

However, they just lost a sale!

So don’t do that!

You don’t know how long a sale will take. You can’t predict that it will take two weeks, or two months. If someone is following you back and liking your posts, in my opinion you want to keep that kind of follower.

And to unfollow people to inflate your numbers doesn’t help your bottom line.

 clothing store photo

A Clothing Shop

Here’s a second example. This clothing shop is nearby. I’ve been there many times, and have spent hundreds, if not thousands of dollars there. So when they followed me, I happily followed back. Because I love their clothes!

Then they unfollowed me. Now, here’s the thing. Not only do I not want to go there any more, I don’t want to buy anything from them any more!

And I’ll bet I’m not unusual.

So be very careful when you play the follow-unfollow game. Because you worked hard to gain that customer. So don’t let an idiot of a social media manager lose your customers by pushing a button and trying to gain followers.

The follow-unfollow game can definitely impact your bottom line!

By the way, if you’re looking for a social media manager, here are three articles for you:

Following and Unfollowing on Instagram?

Have you had the follow-unfollow issue on Instagram? How did you deal with it? Leave me a comment! Thank you.

clothing store photo


  1. Ken Scheer says

    This happens to me a lot and it’s frustrating. I will look at the account when they follow me and if their counts are way off on followers vs. follows I rarely follow because I know they will just unfollow me right away.

    • Hi Ken,

      I do the same thing (check the followers vs follows). And it still surprises me when smaller accounts do the follow-unfollow thing. I suppose they’re trying to amass a huge following by following and unfollowing, but they’re losing customers at the same time.

      Thanks for the comment.


  2. I am so disappointed by Instagram lately, it’s all about follow\unfollow, spam bot comments and automatic likes
    honestly I don’t know how to change all this..each week I gain 20\30 new followers and during the weekend I lost all them (probably because of the set od bot software)
    it lets me the feeling that I am waisting my time on Ig, since I am there to promote my brand but I am very careful to not spamming products\promotions, but just let my profile be a sort of inspiration, but who really cares today about the content on IG?
    if you don’t post selfies or you’re not a celebrities, it’s become so useless
    because of these tricks I stopped to follow back because I know how it’s ending all the time
    I think that the fault is in IG, they should stop the use of bots

    • Hi Marie,
      I know exactly what you mean! So many spam bots (and so many of them look exactly the same!). I’ve stopped following back unless people make an effort to engage first. If there were fewer bots on Instagram, people would spend more time there. I’ve been pretty happy with my account now that I don’t follow too many people back–unless they’re local or I know something about them.

      Thanks for stopping by. I hope Instagram gets better!


  3. I recently like 2 months ago started Instagram and was flabbergasted by this because I am used to twitter.

    Here is what I do. I send them s nasty note calling them low class, then I unfollow and block.

    If everyone did this, it would be a true backlash

    • Hi Eileen,
      It’s amazing to me because do they not think we notice when they follow/unfollow? Such a waste of time! Yes, if everyone did block, maybe people would stop!

      Thanks for stopping by, and I promise not to do that to you on Instagram. :D


  4. I report them as spam, I don’t know if that even works but I’m really annoyed by these kind of people!

  5. Michael Skorulski says

    If an instagram account has in the thousands of followers, if they just show up following you and don’t even bother to like one of your posts, if they are Russian and have a lot of girlie or beefcake pictures, These are the accounts I am immediately leery of. Sometimes I just block them. If they are not so suspicious, I may follow them with the thought in mind that my Unfollow app will pick them up later when they unfollow, so that I can do the same.

    • I’m the same way, Michael. If the ratio is really of followers to those following is high (and they’re not an Instagram celebrity), in a language I don’t read, or obviously looking for a date, I mostly ignore them.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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