In short – yes, the follow/unfollow method does work on Pinterest. The follow/unfollow method is one of the most controversial methods you can use to grow your social media followers.
It’s also the most utilized method in social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter; for a good reason.
This is because the method has the potential to grow your followers tremendously.
However, the method is very controversial because of multiple reasons.
What makes follow/unfollow method controversial
Firstly, if you use the method, you’re most likely following a bunch of random users, or maybe people in your niche.
Either way, there is only a slight percentage of them that will actually follow you back. Using an analogy – you’re flipping a coin. If it lands on heads, the user will follow you back. If it lands on tails, the user isn’t going to follow you back.
However, is the follow back rate really 50/50?
If you’re looking for some statistics of users that will follow you back on Pinterest (from the follow/unfollow method), stick around because we have experimented with this using a month old account.
Secondly, you’re only following those users for the sake of a follow back. In other words, you’re not interested in the content that they post.
Lastly, people that utilize this method are less likely to engage in any of your posts at all because they do not care about what you share or post.
Some people are very meticulous about the engagement that you’re giving to them and will unfollow you if you’re not giving them any engagement.
Particularly on Instagram, there are multiple apps that track your engagement rates.
Although this strategy works, it doesn’t pay off in the long run. This is because most people that you’ve randomly followed are more likely to unfollow you in the future.
There’s actually another method, ‘follow for follow’, which is less toxic that the follow/unfollow method.
This is because the general rule of it is that once you’re following someone, you should stay followed.
Check out that method here.
Should you use this method to grow your followers on Pinterest?
In Pinterest, followers do not really matter.
There are some accounts that are able to get millions of monthly viewers but only have a few thousand followers!
However, it does establish authority and attracts more users to follow you. So if you have the time, investing in growing your followers is a good idea.
That being said, you should focus on creating well-designed pins with click-worthy texts that people actually search for. Content is king.
To put that into perspective on Pinterest, pins are king.
Follow/unfollow case study
We’ve created a new Pinterest account and tried the follow/unfollow method for about a month.
Here are our results:
In less than a month, we have followed approximately 500 users and 300 of them followed back (rounded up by 100).
Using simple math, 300/500 x 100 = 60.
This means that from the 500 people that we followed, 60% of them actually followed back!
That’s a follow-back rate of 60%. If you put other social media platforms into context, Pinterest has one of the highest follow-back rates.
It’s noteworthy that we did use a strategy that had contributed to the high follow and follow-back rate. However, it only contributed minimally to it.
Here are our findings:
Pinterest does not have a stringent follow restriction
Unlike social media platforms like Instagram that will action-block you from following too many users, Pinterest doesn’t really penalize users from doing so.
For example, if you were to follow a bunch of users on Instagram, you will be action blocked for an hour, a day or even several days.
However, on Pinterest, even if you were to follow a bunch of users simultaneously, there aren’t any restrictions or even a pop-up stating that you’re action blocked, or following too fast.
Instead, Pinterest counters this by not registering the number of users that you’ve followed in one go in their database.
This isn’t too effective as you can continue your following-spree a few minutes after.
Thus, you can spam the following feature on Pinterest far more than most social media platforms.
In other words, the follow/unfollow method is highly effective on Pinterest. However, that being said, don’t be a jerk and unfollow users right after you’ve followed them.
Going against the literal meaning of follow/unfollow, you should only unfollow users if you have a justifiable reason.
How we managed to get a high follow-back rate
There’s one simple trick we used that got us lots of follow-backs and more followers.
You can also use this trick right away!
Here’s the trick:
Write ‘I follow back’ in your display name (or something similar).
Here are some examples:
This trick got us a bunch of followers, simply by putting “following everyone back!” in our display name.
Here are a couple more examples:
As you can see, there are actually many other users putting “I follow back” on their display name, and you can actually grow your followers and increase your follow-back rates using this.
Here’s a short tutorial to do this:
Pinterest profile > edit info > display name > done.
Firstly, navigate to your Pinterest profile, then click on ‘Edit Info’.
Then, navigate to ‘Display Name’ and edit your display name to include, ‘I follow back’ in brackets.
After this, click on ‘Done’.
And that’s it! People are more likely to follow you because it’s almost certain that you’re going to follow them back because you’ve included ‘I follow back’ in your display name.
Follow users in your niche
You should never follow users randomly because there’s a high chance that they wouldn’t follow you back!
Instead, follow users in your niche. In other words, follow your competitors’ followers.
For example, if you’re posting pins related to social media marketing, you might want to do a quick search using relevant keywords in that particular niche to find your competitors.
Then click on any of the pins that are most related to your niche and navigate as follows:
Click on a pin > their username > community > followers.
And follow their followers (who you analyze are active).
Typically, you should follow users with a decent amount of followers already, or users with ‘I follow back’ on their display name because they are more likely to follow you back.
The follow/unfollow method does work exceptionally well on Pinterest as compared to other social media platforms.
However, there’s a couple of guidelines you have to follow to utilize it to its maximum potential.
- Don’t follow users at random. Instead, follow users in your niche. You can do so by searching for relevant keywords related to your niche and follow your competitors’ followers.
- Follow users in short bursts or intervals of 5-10 mins. This is to prevent your following from being unregistered in Pinterest’s database.
If you follow the steps and guidelines listed in this article, your followers and follow-back rates will skyrocket exponentially.
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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.