Yes, issue. Allow us to explain. The concept of Instagram is very simple: you follow the people whose content you want to see, you see the content on your feed, and a social media network is born. Simple right? If only it was…
Instagram has a complex algorithm that helps prioritise your content in your followers’ feeds, shows you stories in order of how much you interact, there’s certain things you can and can’t do, and those things you can do, you can only do a certain amount of times a day before Instagram slaps your wrist and forces you to stop.
With that said, Instagram is still a fantastic app for visual content & digital eye-candy, it’s just challenging to grow smaller pages. This is why people started to rely on third-party apps.
These apps increase your followers by automatically following a large number of similar accounts/popular pages to try and gain some followers back in return. These were unreliable at best, following people with the widest location, industry and page size you could imagine. Awesome if you run a global business, not so much if you run a local corner shop.
Recently, Instagram made a change aimed towards third party apps more harshly than before. An account that is suspected to have been using one recently will have their account locked until they can prove it’s theirs by going through the security process and answering all the questions!
So, how do you build your following and unfollow your “not-followers” now? – The old fashioned way…yep, I’m not kidding.
It’s a fairly arduous task, but you do actually get results from it, as opposed to Instagram bringing down the ban hammer.
There are things you can do to make your life easier though, like having a set time to follow people everyday, define a sort of audience to look for when following, or even certain accounts to go to and look at their followers.
As for unfollowing, again there are things you can do to make your life easier, like making a list of your followers, and going through alphabetically unfollowing your “not-followers” for example. This means your following will be lower so it doesn’t look like you’re using a bot, even though you’re effectively doing it’s job.
Now this sounds like a lot of work, but it does show results, arguably better than the third party apps ever did. This is because you are following the people you want to follow, and you could even message them if they follow back for a legitimate interaction, as you followed them for a reason, not just because the bot thought it was suitable.