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How to Stop People from Unfollowing You on Instagram (7 Proven Tips)

If you’re losing followers on Instagram, you might be searching for ways to stop people from unfollowing you.

Followers are the second most important metric on Instagram; second to engagement rate.

In that regard, growing your Instagram followers should be one of your main priorities.

But growing your followers comes with a few challenges. One of its challenges is retaining them.

Followers come and go on Instagram, so you’ll need to have a strategy in order to retain and keep them engaged.

Without further ado, here are 7 tips you can utilize right now to stop people from unfollowing you on Instagram.

1. Stop posting too much

The first way to stop people from unfollowing you on Instagram is to stop posting too much.

If you are guilty of this, you should try putting yourself in your followers’ shoes.

Imagine if there’s someone posting 3 or more consecutive posts at one go.

Your feed will be flooded with the same person’s posts and it will obstruct two things.

Firstly, it’ll take a longer time to like everyone’s posts on your feed if there are too many users posting consecutive posts.

On Instagram, engagement rate is important so people care a great deal about it.

If there are too many posts on your feed, it’s hard for you to keep up on liking each and every post especially if you’re not consistent with it.

It’ll take a longer time for you to scroll down your feed and like everyone’s posts.

Secondly, the posts from the people you care about (e.g. friends, family) might be buried in your feed.

Since the removal of chronological sorting on Instagram, posts on your feed are no longer listed in newest first.

Instead, posts are sorted based on how quickly it received engagement and how likely are you to interact with it.

Because of this, it’s harder to keep track of the latest posts on your feed.

Unless you deliberately visit your friends’ or family’s profile after they’ve posted something, you might miss their post.

This leads back to the main point; if you’re posting too much, people tend to be annoyed and might unfollow you.

Posting too much is also one of the more common reason why someone unfollows you.

Hence, if you want to stop people from unfollowing you on Instagram, make sure that you’re not over-posting.

As a general guideline, posting once a day is more than sufficient.

Posting more than once a day (e.g. 2 to 3 times) is too much as it may overcrowd your followers’ feed. As a result, they might either unfollow or mute you.

If you’re looking to post more than one photo within a short period of time, you can utilize the carousel feature instead of posting them seperately.

2. Always engage

Instagram like

Engagement is the most important metric on Instagram and people care a lot about it.

If you’re not interacting with other people’s posts, they might unfollow you.

You might be wondering, how will people notice that you’re not liking their posts?

There are two ways to go about this.

Firstly, someone might notice this if they post frequently.

By posting frequently, they are able to easily detect whether someone is liking their posts or not.

On Instagram, there is always a group of people that consistently like your photos each time you post them.

These people are known as your ‘top followers’ (followers who interact with your posts the most).

Conversely, there is a always a group of people that don’t like any of your posts.

These people are known as your ‘ghost followers’ (followers who don’t like or comment on any of your posts).

You must always aim to be the part of someone’s ‘top followers’ especially if they are a mutual follower (you’re following them and they’re following you).

In the present, most users have an Instagram tracker app on their device because of the prominence of the follow/unfollow strategy.

There are users who follow you for the intention of a follow back and unfollows you right after you followed them.

In addition, there are also ghost followers on Instagram which can be tracked in the app as well.

However, tracking ghost followers is usually a paid feature. But just to play safe, you’ll want to like at least one of every of your mutual followers’ posts to not count as a ghost follower.

This will stop people from unfollowing you on Instagram because you won’t be regarded as a ghost follower.

The general idea is that whenever you post something, you’ll hope that most of your followers will like your post.

Similarly, when someone posts something, they’ll expect you to like their post as well.

Hence, if you don’t interact with your mutual followers’ posts, they are more likely to unfollow you as you will be regarded as a ghost follower.

3. Focus on quality content

To stop people from unfollowing you on Instagram, you need to focus on creating or posting quality content instead of quantity.

Quality content always stands out from poor or bad content and they tend to get higher engagement.

There are a few factors that makes a photo exceptional.

Firstly, you’ll have to make sure that the lighting of the photo is good.

If you’re taking a picture of yourself, good lighting can accentuate your features and makes the photo more appealing.

On the other hand, bad lighting makes your photo less appealing and it might get lesser engagements.

Secondly, the background/environment of the photo that you’re taking matters.

Is the environment that you’re in clean or run-down?

If your photo is taken in a poor environment, people may unfollow you because as it negatively affects the quality of the photo.

On the contrary, if the photo is taken in a good environment, your followers will have a higher retention rate (remain as followers) because it looks good on their feed.

The goal of Instagram is to show the best content on everyone’s feeds. Hence, if your content is poor, you will not be able to reap its benefits.

4. Follow them back

Instagram following list

Most people unfollow you because you didn’t follow them back.

On Instagram, it’s common courtesy to follow someone back (especially if you know them in person).

If you don’t follow someone back on Instagram, they have a high chance of unfollowing you as they want to maintain their followers/following ratio.

A majority of Instagram users have an analytics app on their device that tracks followers, unfollowers, etc.

From the app itself, they are able to track people that are not following them back.

Hence, if you are one of those users in the list of people that are not following back, the person might unfollow you.

This is apparent if they’re using the follow for follow strategy.

Fundamentally, the follow for follow strategy is following someone for the intention of them following you back.

Once they followed you, you will remain as one of their followers.

However, if they didn’t follow you back or unfollow you after a period of time, you can unfollow them.

Nevertheless, if you want to stop people from unfollowing you on Instagram, following them back is a must (if you haven’t already).

5. Don’t post too little

Contrary to over-posting, you should not post to little or not post at all on Instagram.

This is because people might deem your account as inactive and unfollow you.

If your last post is several months ago, people might think that you’re no longer using Instagram.

Consequently, they might assume that you’re not going to interact with their posts.

There are two ways to counter this if you are guilty of this.

Firstly, you’ll want to make sure that you’re posting at least once a month, or two times a month.

By posting something on Instagram, it shows that you’re still active on Instagram and people are less likely to unfollow you.

Secondly, you can try being more active on Instagram stories.

Instagram stories gives a strong signal to others that you’re still active on Instagram.

This will not only show others that you’re active on Instagram when they stumble on your profile, but it also keeps your followers engaged.

If you don’t post much on Instagram, Instagram stories is a great alternative to help retain your followers.

6. Be consistent

Instagram feed ideas

Being consistent is one of the more important ways to stop people from following you on Instagram.

In addition, it helps to maintain or even increase your engagement rate.

Consistency consists of many different factors. The niche of your content, how often you are posting, your theme, and much more.

Let’s dive deeper into each of the factors.

To begin with, once you pick a niche for your account, you’ll have stick with it.

For example, if your profile is a personal one, and you’ve been always posting fitness content, you should continue to post content revolving around fitness.

You should try your best to not post content that are out of your niche.

If you happen to post something out of your niche, you’ll confuse your followers and they have a high chance of unfollowing you.

Moreover, posting something out of your niche tends to get lower engagement because your followers might not be interested in it.

Secondly, you need to go with a consistent theme. Similar to having a niche, you’ll need to have a consistent theme if you want to beautify your feed.

For example, if you’re using a certain filter (e.g. black and white) for most of your posts, you’ll want to stick with it for your future posts.

Using similar filters or colors for your photos can make your feed look really nice and organised which appeals better to your audience.

At the end of the day, keeping everything consistent will mitigate people from unfollowing you.

7. Attract the right audience

Lastly, in order to establish a follower-base of active and engaged people, you’ll need to attract the right audience.

This means that you need to know where your target audience are and how to get them to follow you.

The more interested your followers are in your content, the less likely they’ll unfollow you.

If you’re using the follow/unfollow strategy (not recommended), try following people in the same niche as you.

To accomplish that, you’ll have to take note of who the person is following and the content that they are posting.

A better alternative to finding and following the right audience is by joining follow for follow communities.

The follow for follow strategy is an altruistic way you can grow your Instagram followers.

Unlike the follow/unfollow strategy, once you follow someone (and they followed you back), you will stay followed.

In addition, people in these communities usually mention a short description about themselves or the content that they post, so you can easily find people in your niche to connect with.

Attracting the right audience is key if you want to have an engaged follower-base.

Since there isn’t much disparity (if both parties are in the same niche), it’ll stop people from unfollowing you on Instagram.


Losing a follower on Instagram can be quite disheartening.

Although you can’t literally stop people from unfollowing you on Instagram, there are ways to reduce it.

To recap, here are 7 tips you can carry out right now to mitigate unfollowers:

  1. Stop posting too much
  2. Always engage
  3. Focus on quality content
  4. Follow people back
  5. Don’t post too little
  6. Be consistent
  7. Attract the right audience

If you follow these tips, people will be less likely to unfollow you.

Further reading

> Hot ? How Much Do TikTokers Make? (An In-Depth Analysis)

How to Find Inactive Instagram Followers (And Remove Them)

> 12 Reasons Why You’re Getting Less Likes on Instagram

Author: Lim How Wei is the founder of Followchain. 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 thousands of articles ranging from social media platforms to messaging apps.

Lim has been quoted and referenced by major publications and media companies like WikiHow, Fast Company, HuffPost, Vice, New York Post, The Conversation, and many others. One of his articles about the gig economy was quoted by Joe Rogan who hosts The Joe Rogan Experience (arguably the most popular podcast in the world), in the This Past Weekend podcast by Theo Von.

In his free time, Lim plays multiple games like Genshin Impact, League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Hearthstone, RuneScape, and many others. He creates guides, walkthroughs, solutions, and more on games that he plays to help other players with their progression.