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Follow for Follow on Instagram: The Ultimate Guide

The follow for follow method on Instagram is a great way to grow your followers on Instagram.

However, for some of us, we’re accustomed to follow a bunch of users in a list.

This is a bad thing.

It’s important to realize that whenever you’re following someone at random, the probability of them following you back is very low. This is because of a couple of reasons.

Firstly, people are increasingly wary of spam followers. Most likely, someone that follows you out of the blue just hopes for a follow back in return.

Hence, they wouldn’t bother engaging much on your posts, or not at all. They’re what we like to call ghost followers.

Secondly, you haven’t broken the ice with them. In other words, they are complete strangers and are less likely to follow you back.

So how do we utilize this method effectively?

In this post, we’re going to take a look at how you can increase your followers with the follow for follow method.

We’ll look at the right way to use the method, its advantages, disadvantages, misconceptions and restrictions to be wary of.

By the end of this post, you can use this method to skyrocket your Instagram followers right away.

Let’s begin!

Follow for Follow on Instagram (Table of Contents)

  1. What is the follow for follow method on Instagram?
  2. How it works
  3. Case Study
  4. What we learned
  5. Advantages
  6. Disadvantages
  7. Misconception
  8. Restrictions
  9. General FAQ

What is the follow for follow method on Instagram?

Basically, the follow for follow method is the act of following as many users as possible (preferably in your niche) for the intention of a follow back. This method has been around for quite some time now.

In fact, it originated in the earliest days of Instagram. This method is also reinforced by a bunch of different hashtags such as #followforfollow, #followforfollowback, and #f4f.

However, the people who use these hashtags most likely aren’t going to follow you back because they’re using it just for the sake of others following them without them actually reciprocating.

Quite recently, the recent section of the hashtag #followforfollow has been removed to stop the influx of fake accounts, spammers, and bots.

A part of Instagram’s service is to ‘offer personalized opportunities to create, connect, communicate, discover, and share’.

Technically, this method isn’t violating Instagram’s Terms of Service.

This is because if you’re following others in your niche that you want to connect with, the notion that the person will follow you back is entirely up to them.

Moreover, the following limit of Instagram is 7,500. This is a sufficient restriction on its own that speaks for itself.

Anyhow, if you’re following users that are in your niche/mutuals, enjoy their content and truly want a connection (follow back), it’s justified and you’re more likely to get a follow back.

How it works

Note: This is a recap for the article, ‘Follow for Follow on Instagram: Tips and Tricks‘.

Here are three methods. The first being the worst and the last being the best.

Feel free to skip to the last method if you’re looking for the most reliable one.

The old school method

The old school follow for follow method works like this:

  1. Follow as many random users as possible in a list.
  2. Pray and hope for a follow back.

As you can see, this is rather ineffective because of a couple of reasons.

Firstly, you’re less likely to get a follow back because people will regard you as spam.

Secondly, you’re prone to be action blocked (covered later in the restrictions section below) by Instagram and you can’t follow people for a period of time.

This method used to work in the past when Instagram was fairly new, but it’s almost redundant today.

In the past, Instagram hasn’t implemented any follow restrictions. This means that you can spam follow as many users and you won’t get action blocked (good old days).

Additionally, there used to be no following limit, so you could follow an infinite number of users. And yes, there are some users who followed millions of users (who abused the following action to the max).

Unfortunately, the days of spam are over as restrictions are getting stricter and stricter to prevent automation.

The new school method

What’s a newer method then? A more current follow for follow method is by following others in a list and in timed intervals:

  1. Follow users in your niche or of your competitors’ in intervals.
  2. Like a few of their posts to grab their attention.
  3. Hope for a follow back.

This method is more refined than the previous one because it relies on intervals and grabbing attention. This means that the follow back rate is going to be much higher than before.

However, there is still one underlying issue. A very important one.

You’re still not breaking the ice with users that you’ve followed so the person is less likely to follow you back.

For example, if you know someone in-person, you’ll need to ask them for their username to be able to follow them on Instagram.

If you’re following someone using this method, you’re still not providing any context and the person is less likely to follow you back because you aren’t mutual.

A great way to solve this is by direct messaging the user you’ve followed and politely ask them to follow you back. But this is a bit odd.

The most current (and effective) method

The most current and effective method is by joining follow for follow communities. It’s one of the easiest ways to grow your followers, which reinforces the follow for follow method.

You can join our follow for follow community for free today on our website.

Grow your Instagram followers!

Grow your Instagram followers with Followchain, a follow for follow community for Insagram.

These groups are basically places where you can share your Instagram username, follow others and direct message them for a follow back. And the work tremendously!

Here’s how they work:

  1. Share your Instagram handle.
  2. Follow others that interest you or are in the same niche.
  3. Direct message them that you came from the respective community for a follow back.

You can quite possibly gain 10–20 followers a day (until it plateaus) by joining them.

There are lots of follow for follow communities on the web.

You can find a full list of those communities here: List of Instagram Follow for Follow Groups.

Case Study

We’ve created a new Instagram account and tried the follow for follow method using various follow for follow groups for three months.

Here are our results:

Week 1

In the first week, we followed 212 users and 180 of them followed back.

Using simple math, 180/212 x 100 = 84.9. That’s a follow back rate of 85%!

Week 3

In the third week, we followed 451 users (up by 200+) and 413 of them followed back.

413/451 x 100 = 91.5. That’s a follow back rate of 92%, up by 10%!

Week 5

In the fifth week, we followed 751 users (up by 200+ once more) and 701 of them followed back.

701/751 x 100 = 93.3%. That’s a follow back rate of 93%, up by 1%!

Week 7

In week 7, we followed 1054 users (up by 300+) and 1001 of them followed back (up by exactly 300).

We also joined a couple more follow for follow communities outside of Reddit which further expanded our followers.

1001/1054 x 100 = 94.9%. That’s a follow back rate of 95%, up by 2%!

Week 12

In the last week (exactly 3 months), we followed 1467 users (up by 400+) and 1404 of them followed back (up by 400+).

1404/1467 x 100 = 95.7%. That’s a follow back rate of 96%, up by 1%!

In summary, we went from 0 to 1,400 followers in 3 months by joining various follow for follow communities.

It’s noteworthy that we did use several tips that had contributed to the follow-back rate. You can read more about them in the next section.

What we learned

Note: This is another recap for the article, ‘Follow for Follow on Instagram: Tips and Tricks‘.

During the past three months of utilizing the follow for follow method and joining several follow for follow communities, we’ve learnt quite a lot.

Follow for follow communities work tremendously well, especially for new accounts (if you use them correctly)

There are a few pointers you’ll have to follow in order to utilize these communities to its maximum potential.

Firstly, it’s extremely important to send a direct message to the user that you’ve followed that you came from the respective community. This will pretty much guarantee you a follow back.

Otherwise they would have no clue that you came from the community without looking at mutual followers.

Secondly, liking a few of a user’s posts immediately after following them is a great way to grab a person’s attention. After all, Instagram users feed on followers and likes because they are means of gratification.

Lastly, following users in the same niche as you will increase the chance of them following you back.

Always follow and direct message others in intervals and don’t spam

Instagram’s algorithm is super sensitive when it comes to spam.

You’ll have to be sure not to spam follow or direct message others or you will be action-blocked. The action block can last for a couple of of hours or a few days depending on your account’s status.

The quickest way you can get action blocked is when you use an action without stopping (e.g. following users without stopping in a list, or direct messaging users one after another).

Advantages

Like any strategy, there is always a spread of advantages and disadvantages. To begin with, here are some advantages of using the follow for follow method (joining follow for follow groups):

It’s an actionable way to grow your Instagram followers where you can see near-instant results

There are loads of generic Instagram advice out there like utilizing the right hashtags, posting consistently, or using analytics.

But let’s be honest, they don’t perform as well as we hope them to. This is why some people result in purchasing fake followers which is one of the worst things you can do.

Not only it violates Instagram’s Terms of Service but it also ruins your engagement rates.

A great alternative is by joining follow for follow communities and connect with people who actually enjoy the content that you post.

By joining follow for follow communities (reinforcing the follow for follow method), you get the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals who will follow back and engage frequently.

You don’t have to post much; or at all to grow your followers

A great benefit about the follow for follow method (especially if you’re participating in follow for follow communities) is that you don’t have to post much to grow your followers.

This is because your followers aren’t going to be finding you from hashtags or the explore page. Instead, they’ll find you through your post in the respective follow for follow community.

If you don’t have much content prepared or effective hashtags you can use, joining follow for follow communities is the perfect solution for you.

It can drive awareness and traffic to your business

By utilizing the follow for follow method and joining communities, you can drive awareness and traffic to your business from people all around the world.

Because of this, your business isn’t restricted to just friends or family, but other people who might be interested in what you’re offering.

It also provides an opportunity for you to pitch your product/services or provide offers/discount codes.

Disadvantages

Next, here are the disadvantages of the method.

It’s very time-consuming

Be prepared to dedicate hours of your time daily if you want to utilize this method to grow your followers.

This method isn’t for everyone because it takes lots of work ethic.

Although the method guarantees almost instant results (follow backs), you’ll have to spend a lot of time to follow and direct message those users one-by-one.

With reference to the case study above, we’ve spent approximately 3-6 hours daily just following and messaging users in intervals.

It can be a long and exhausting process but it definitely pays off.

You’ll have tons of photos on your feed

Because you’ll be excessively following others, your feed will be filled with lots of posts.

It may be hard to keep up with every post as you’ll find yourself struggling to like each and every one of them if you’re not consistent.

Sometimes, there’s no other choice but to mute users who spam too many posts. Otherwise, you might have to spend several minutes of your time just liking user’s posts on your feed.

You’ll have to constantly keep track of ghost followers and users who didn’t follow you back

It’s mandatory to have an Instagram app to track ghost followers, people that unfollow you and ghost followers who never engage in any of your posts.

Due to the fact that you’re going to be following lots of users, you’ll have to constantly track people that unfollow you or ghost followers on a daily basis to clean your ratio.

If you aren’t consistent with this, your follow to following ratio and feed will be negatively affected.

Misconception

There’s a common misconception between two methods. The follow/unfollow method against the follow for follow method.

The follow for follow method is not the same as the follow/unfollow method.

These are two completely different methods with different applications.

Follow for follow vs. follow/unfollow

Follow for followFollow/unfollow
Follow and stay followed.Follow, then unfollow after a period of time.
Usually reinforced by communities.Follow others in a list.
Often engages in posts.Rarely engage in posts.
Generous with likes and follow backs.Selfish, and does not want to reciprocate.
Shows some interest in your content.Doesn’t show interest in your content.

Restrictions

Note: This is a recap for the article, ‘Instagram Action Blocked: How to Fix And Prevent It?‘.

Before diving into the follow for follow method, or joining follow for follow communities, it’s always important to be wary of certain Instagram restrictions.

You should never follow a bunch of people at one go. Similarly, you should never direct message a bunch of people at one go.

Here’s the safest way you can follow to prevent being action blocked:

  1. Follow others in an interval of 5-10 mins.
  2. Direct message others in an interval of 5-10 mins.

We’ve tested following and direct messaging others in intervals of 10 mins and it seems to be the safest interval that prevents your account from being action blocked.

If you follow these guidelines accordingly, you will not be action blocked.

General FAQ

What is the follow for follow method on Instagram?

The follow for follow method is the act of following as many users as possible (preferably in your niche) for the intention of a follow back.

How does follow for follow communities/groups work?

1. Share your Instagram handle.
2. Follow users that interest you on Instagram.
3. Direct message them that you’re from the respective community/group for a follow back.

How do I find follow for follow communities?

You can join our follow for follow community at followchain.org. Additionally, you can find the full list of these communities here: List of Instagram Follow for Follow Groups.

Are these communities legit?

Based on our case study, the follow back rate is incredibly high, averaging at 90% if you send a direct message.

If you’re looking for a complete guide to Instagram Marketing, feel free to read this:

Are you struggling with growing your Instagram followers? Stop paying for agencies that require your Instagram password or growth services that utilize bots or fake followers. Followchain is the only community you need. Sign up and create an account for free today.

Author: Lim How Wei. Lim How Wei is the founder of Followchain, a community that simplifies growth and networking for Instagram users. Feel free to follow him on Instagram.

About the author

Lim How Wei

Lim How Wei is the founder of followchain.org, with 8+ years of experience in Social Media Marketing and 4+ years of experience as an active investor in stocks and cryptocurrencies. He has researched, tested, and written hundreds of articles ranging from social media platforms to messaging apps.