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Instagram Morals, What Is Acceptable? How I Gain Followers


So recently there has been a lot of drama going on over Instagram and the morals behind it. Which ways is growing accounts considered as acceptable? Who defines these rules? Bloggers? Friends? Instagram? Who manages these?


There seems to be a new trend of "Calling out" people using tactics, highlighting their growth and it can feel like a witch hunt at times, hunting down people who may be "cheating" the system, but at what point is it cheating? Which level do you find it acceptable?

If feels like everyone is having issues growing their accounts at the moment, and this plays a huge part in the feelings around instagram. The old fashioned way of good content simply isn't working, so people are pushing past the organic marker and trying for more, or becoming frustrated with those who are pushing past, so really is anyone winning? Maybe we could all learn from one another.


Acceptable & Organic:
  • Posting Good Content - Of course your picture quality is key here, posting lovely, clean, crisp photos to draw in an audience, and even theming your account so it seems more flowing. 
  • Interacting - Constantly talking, commenting, liking on your own photos and other peoples. 
  • Using good captions and being regular - Simply being predictable and being human to your audience. Letting them get to know you. 

Somehow Acceptable, But Definitely Not "Organic": 
  • Competitions - These have been going on for years, but definitely are not organic, we have all seen them and entered them, where it be following and commenting, reposting - you name it - its happened. But it is a way to drive people to follow you. 
  • Loop Competitions - these are newer, but the idea is the same, you end up having to follow loads of accounts to enter a competition. I have seen this method grow accounts by thousands in one day. 
  • Comment Pods - I hate to say this, but these are not organic, they are designed to trick the algorithm and overcome the new changes put in by instagram, this will also help to boost your following too. 
  • Shoutouts, shares - agreeing to do a share4share with other accounts, sure you are probably sharing with people you love, but if you agree to do it first - it definitely isn't organic.

The Grey Area:
  • Follow/Unfollow - we all have seen this, accounts who will follow you, wait on you following back then straight away unfollow you again. This is part of the reason why the follower count will go up/down all day. I get about 15-20 of these per day. 
  • Following Accounts - Following similar accounts to yours, other bloggers, hoping they follow back. 
  • Unfollowing Accounts - Unfollowing accounts who unfollow you, or unfollowing accounts who never follow you back or interact. 

Totally Unacceptable:
  • Buying Followers - Buying 100s or 1000s of fake account followers to boost how your account looks to others. The issue with this is they are inactive, and well, your paying for em. Not good. 
  • Using Bots - Using a machine, or programme, to like, follow, comment, unfollow people - again costs money. 

Now, the reason why so many people are frustrated with instagram at the moment is because being "Organic" simply isn't working. No one is gaining followers this way, at all. The most I have seen (check my twitter pole) is typically about 30 a week, some are loosing followers every week. 

This is making people angry and frustrated, making people assume that if your account is growing it must be because you are using bots or buying followers. If you have over 20K they must be bought? I see the accusations flying about ALL the time at the moment. 


How I have Grown My Account: 

So I thought I would share with you all how my account is growing every month, what I do, why I do it, and why I am NOT ashamed of it. 

So everyone right now has it in their head that to have a good instagram you need to follow less than 500 people and hope people will want to follow you based on your pictures, right? Good content first? The problem with this theory is that your assuming people will want to "Fangirl" you. So to have thousands of people want to follow you knowing they aren't going to get anything back. 

How about if I told you that most of the people who like, interact, comment, are also bloggers, in the same situation. So basically instagram right now is filled with bloggers all doing the same thing, not following people and then complaining that no one is following them. Are you seeing the problem? 

So all I do is follow people. I follow people with similar accounts, I like and comment on their pictures, I make friends - this is what instagram is designed for. I follow people every day, sometimes it's 10 sometimes if I am bored I will follow 100+, but I will check every single one and see them commenting on others, interacting, so if they follow me back, they will probably do the same with me. 

Once a week I then go in and unfollow people who don't follow back - I use an app to do this, why? because I don't have time or energy to be wasting on people who don't want to show support back, I don't want to be fangirling my whole timeline, I would much rather consider everyone friends when I am commenting. 

And you know what has happened with me doing this? I go onto the "recommended" bit when you add someone, so people are adding me "organically" too. 

I know a lot of people disagree with my methods, and I am ok with that, I am ok with people not agreeing with what I do, but I would much prefer for you to say. Or simply block me? 

Just to be clear: 

I DO NOT FOLLOW/UNFOLLOW. 
I DO NOT USE BOTS. 
I DO NOT PAY FOR FOLLOWERS OR SERVICES. 

And you can check my social blade all you want, all it will show is growth, and I am ok with that, as I am doing it all manually - myself, and that isn't anything I will ever be ashamed of.

I think I just wanted to post this for clarity, I am fed up of feeling like I am doing something wrong, and maybe it will call out people who disagree and we can have a discussion about it like adults? Maybe not. 

What is your thoughts? And if you disagree, are you growing "organically"? 



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25 comments

  1. My Instagram is really hacking me off, I just don't seem to be going anywhere 😩 I'll definitely take your advice on board & give it a go lovely, great post xxxx

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  2. I'll be honest, I don't check who follows me back - I'm not sure I know how to! lol!

    I really don't like how people can jump on bandwagons of assuming an Istagrammer is doing something dodgy if they suddenly get more likes on a photo - that happens from time to time so people shouldn't be so quick to judge and make assumptions about buying likes or comments! Not everybody takes Instagram so seriously! xx

    Beautylymin

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  3. I'd rather my following count be higher than followers count. I use Instagram purely for fun and I would much rather support other people. If I gain followers because they like my pictures or my personality, great but its not something I'm really TRYING to do. I'm definitely trying to grow my blog followers but Instagram, i'm more of a supporter <3

    Chelle | chellebelle2016.blogspot.com

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  4. I'd rather my following count be higher than followers count. I use Instagram purely for fun and I would much rather support other people. If I gain followers because they like my pictures or my personality, great but its not something I'm really TRYING to do. I'm definitely trying to grow my blog followers but Instagram, i'm more of a supporter <3

    Chelle | chellebelle2016.blogspot.com

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  5. So many people are getting away with it that's the problem! It drives me insane! Be open honest and most of all have fun x

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  6. I agree with you that good content by itself is not enough. I do the same to grow my instagram. I am not willing on buying followers or paying for a service to get followers!
    HTTP://WWW.CLAIRETALKSBEAUTY.COM/

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  7. It is good to see peoples different opinions on this, I don't think everyone will ever agree with each other will they haha.

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  8. Instagram is both my most favourite and most loathed social media platform. I love seeing beautiful photos, but hate how difficult it is to gain a following organically these days. A few months ago mine seemed to grow really quickly and then the algorithm changed and it's just slowly creeping downwards. I use an app to see how many people have followed and unfollowed every day and for every 3 followers I gain, I lose 5! I'm definitely going to give your technique a go. I don't think it's a bad way of doing it at all, it's about all we're left with!! xx

    Rhi | www.rinkydinkyrhi.com

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  9. I'm really sick of Instagram at the moment. Nothing I do seems to make much of a difference.

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  10. It's SO so tough to gain followers. EVERYONE is trying to do so and failing and unfortunately the only bloggers I am seeing who are getting good growth are using some kind of bots thing to comment on other pics or the whole follow/unfollow. I just can't go down that route. I don't think you are doing anything wrong by unfollowing accounts that don't follow you - I went through my instagram the other day for the first time in about 2 years and unfollowed a bunch of people who don;'t follow me back / aren't posting or interacting OR I'm just not interested in their accounts. I am focusing on just trying to put better content out there and liking and commenting more on other people's pics! x

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  11. I don't understand why some would want to build their followers via the whole unfollow/follow or bot buying concepts, it's not natural, it's fake. I would much rather have the followers I have now knowing they like my account rather than a load of accounts that either aren't real or don't like my account personally x

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  12. Really interesting post! Growth on Instagram is so so hard x

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  13. I just recently got an app that shows me people I follow who don't follow me back--it's very eye opening, I've been liking and commenting accounts for months that don't interact with me back! I've just started doing a similar process as you. I don't like it when accounts unfollow me after I follow them back, but I don't see a problem with unfollowing someone who isn't going to interact with you! :)

    Beauty From Katie

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  14. Follow unfollow is pretty shady and to be honest what you are doing is a little bit of that, obviously on a smaller scale but don't you think it's basically the same thing...? Thanks for being honest though, and there are SO many who are using bots and buying likes and all that which I think is terrible. Isn't it just awful we have to do all of this just to get ahead. I wish Instagram would just go back to how it was!

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  15. This is a great honest post - nobody loves Instagram anymore - their stupid algorithms have taken the fun away! I don't think what you're doing is wrong - it's not the same as follow / unfollow. I check who has followed me every day and if I like the look of their images I follow back - quite a few continue to follow me from this, but any that follow / unfollow get an unfollow right back!

    Gemma x | flutterandsparkle.com

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  16. Instagram is such a pain at the moment. I think the way you are using it is absolutely fine! I need to put a little more effort in and start commenting and following more x

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  17. Instagram is such a pain. The way you are going about it is fine though. I think the following/unfollowing needs to stop because it's so annoying!

    www.upyourvlog.com

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  18. So many have gotten away with bots and it's so unfair! So not fair for those who work so hard for it! Instagram is a tough place right now!

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  19. I've almost given up with trying to gain followers on Instagram as there's no progress and obviously I'm not going to buy followers or use bots x

    www.ofbeautyandnothingness.co.uk

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  20. I totally agree with you! I think what gives me peace of mind is less focus on the numbers. this have me peace of mind before I started blogging and it's helping me now that I have a blog.
    I didn't know the follow/unfollow method was a thing until I read it from another blogger. I think it's absolutely ridiculous and even worse when brands do it. I have a brand who has done This to me consistently and I'm just about ready to block them. Because of this trend, I too downloaded the app to let me know who unfollowed me and realized that truly the Follow to Unfollow method is real. I was shocked! ��.
    I have accounts that I love who I follow and honestly don't expect them to follow back. I would hate for anyone to follow me and expect me to follow back especially if I don't like their content. I like your method and I think that's what I follow for the most part.

    Www.asakemi.com

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  21. I think we've all had it with Instagram lately! I hate the algorithm, I never see anything anymore and end up missing stuff! Growth is little to none too! Annoying isn't a word! Lol

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  22. I really enjoyed reading this, I think Instagram as incredibly difficult right now for all of us.

    Kristy | www.thevioletblonde.com

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  23. I'm over it now - I don't enjoy it at all x

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  24. I never understand how people buy followers. I love it when people engage with my page and I know it's because they chose to.

    www.themakeupaficionado.com

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