If you’ve been on Instagram for any length of time – say, 20 minutes or so – you’ve probably seen various “follow loops” come down the pike.
Instagram (IG) follow loops are supposedly a growth strategy which bloggers and businesses have come up with to beat the Instagram algorithm and gain new followers. The host(s) posts a promotional image and instructs participants to “like/comment” and “follow” everyone who joins the loop, supposedly resulting in beaucoup new connections.
Some people swear by follow loops, insisting that they’re the next best thing to sliced bread in growing your account and gaining new followers.
Maybe. Maybe not. Let me explain.
In the last several months I’ve participated in several follow loops multiple times: Author/reader loops. Blogger loops. Mom loops. Faith writer loops. Creative minds loops. And so on. I’ve gained some new followers. But considering the amount of time and effort expended, I’m not sure it’s worth it. Here’s why:
- Fake followers. Too many people seem to use follow loops only to follow someone temporarily to boost their numbers. Then they unfollow later.
- A lack of sincerity. Related to #1, there seems to be waaay too many people on follow loops who aren’t really interested in your brand, your feed, or you. They’re just following you cuz you’re following them. Temporarily. Then they drop you later.
- Unrealistic demands/expectations. I recently spent quite a bit of time following and liking scores of IGers in a Let’s Loop follow loop. That effort resulted in a grand total of nine new followers. Nine.
I also had a few whiney “You’re not following me” messages from peeps I didn’t follow back immediately. Like, within a nano-second.
Newsflash: After completing the follow loop to date, I was off to work, followed by a loooong evening Board meeting. I don’t steal time from my employer doing social media on the job. I’m just funny that way. I’ll get back to you later. So kindly chill out.
- No thank you. I don’t participate in most follow loops for the same reason I don’t usually participate in “100% follow or you’ll be banned/dropped/shipped to Siberia” threads anymore. I don’t appreciate being forced to follow any random account that joins in, especially if I don’t have the slightest interest in their content, or the account repeatedly posts material I find objectionable or otherwise inappropriate. I’m just funny that way again, thank you very much.
- Other interests. Besides IG, I’m also working on building my Twitter account. But that’s another story.
So, the main reason I don’t do most follow loops anymore? They’re not always a productive use of my time. I’d rather grow my IG organically, engaging with real followers with common interests. I’m not looking for an artificial boost in numbers just for the sake of numbers. As in, quality, not quantity. It takes longer. But I’m good with that.
One follow loop that’s an exception is the Faith Writers Loop. Consistent quality and interaction here, folks. Just sayin’.
How ‘bout you? Have you participated in an IG follow loop? What was your experience?