Instagram Users that Follow Back: Boost Your Instagram Growth with a Quid Pro Quo

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Heidi Lang

Instagram Growth | Sep 29, 2022

Want More Real Instagram Followers?

“For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction,” according to Sir Isaac Newton, and in a perfect world, you’d receive exactly what you give. If we translate this fundamental law of physics into Instagram language, you’ll get a follow back from every person you follow on the platform. But the world is not perfect and Instagram is much less so, even with the preponderance of perfect filters. The follow-for-follow strategy, however, remains a popular hack among users who are looking to get more Instagram followers. How effective is this strategy and where can you find Instagram users that follow back?

Phone screen displaying Instagram follower numbers from Instagram users that follow back.

How to Get More Followers on Instagram: Connect with Instagram Users that Follow Back

Before you set off on a hunt for Instagram users that follow back, there are a few important things you should keep in mind:

  1. Don’t skew your follower/following ratio in such a way that your following numbers are a lot higher than your follower numbers. This will adversely affect your account metrics; for starters, Instagram’s algorithm will rank your posts lower on your followers’ feeds. Avoid following accounts indiscriminately in the hopes that the more people you follow, the more followers you’ll also earn.
  2. Don’t exceed Instagram’s daily limit on both follows and unfollows; these two actions are considered the same and are counted together. Indiscriminate, random follows — especially when you hit that follow button too many times in an hour, per hour — will be flagged by Instagram as spammy activity, and your account may get penalized for it.

Man working on a laptop searching for Instagram users that follow back.

How do you find Instagram users that follow back?

If you are going to try the follow-for-follow approach to grow your follower numbers, then make sure you do it right and make sure that you find Instagram users that are most likely to follow back. Here are some tips on how to find them.

  • If you have other social media accounts, make a list of the people with whom you are connected and have had a fair share of interactions on these other platforms. Find them one by one on Instagram, or link your Instagram account with your other social media accounts to sync your contacts. 
  • Use Instagram’s Search & Explore feature to find photos and videos that you might like from accounts you’re not yet following. These accounts are curated based on your shared interests, so these are Instagram users that may follow you back. You can tip the scale in your favor further by visiting a user’s profile, and liking and commenting on a few of their most recent posts.  
  • Check out your competitors’ followers, as these are people who are genuinely interested in the kind of content you’re offering. Select followers who actively like and comment on your competitors’ posts. Visit each follower’s profile and interact with them directly by liking and commenting on their posts as a way to introduce your brand. Just avoid shameless and aggressive self-promotion! If they respond to you, they will likely follow you back. 

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Track down your target audience by doing a search on hashtags relevant to your niche and industry, as well as location tags. Go through the results and find people who match your target audience’s profile. Again, try to engage with them first; those who respond are most likely Instagram users that will follow you back.

Of course, make sure that you create an Instagram profile and Instagram content that will appeal to your potential new followers. Create Story Highlights that will pique their interest, at least, and make them want to see more. Pin your most popular post to make a good first impression to curious would-be followers. Craft a unique and fascinating bio that will make your account worth following.

Tablet screen showing various social media platforms to demonstrate linking of accounts to find potential Instagram followers.

Should You Use Apps to Find Instagram Users that Follow Back?

There are tons of third-party apps that promise to deliver Instagram users that follow back or just one-way-street followers, so to speak.

Some apps directly sell followers or trade credits for followers. Other apps offer a full suite of social media management services, which include audience targeting, content promotion, and account engagement to deliver “organic” followers. Take note, however, that most of these apps use bots or fake accounts, or both. Any automated activity on Instagram, such as automated follows and auto-generated likes and comments, go against the platform’s terms of use and will put your account at risk of getting suspended or permanently banned.

Even if you do earn some genuine followers, these users are most likely random and not at all interested in your content. They will not provide engagement and will, therefore, end up throwing your metrics out of whack — because your increase in follower numbers has no corresponding increase in engagement. These random followers can also unfollow you any time they want.

If you use the wrong app and your numbers get boosted with fake accounts, this may backfire on you. Instagram users are quick to spot spam or bot-like activities, and fake accounts. Whether or not you’re aware that the followers delivered to you are fake accounts, their mere presence will affect your credibility and you may end up losing your existing followers and potential new ones.

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A Follow for a Follow: What’s the Final Verdict?

If you know how to find legit Instagram users that follow back, then the follow-for-follow strategy can give you the numbers boost you need. But always keep an eye out for fake or bot accounts; never hit that follow button unless you’ve checked out the user’s profile and verified that they’re a real person.

If you need help growing your brand on Instagram, you may also partner with a reliable growth service, such as Path Social. Unlike third-party followers apps, Path Social will help you gain real followers who are genuinely interested in your content so that you can also expect quality engagement. Take advantage of Path Social’s proprietary AI targeting technology and in-house team of experts, and start growing and gaining Instagram followers today!