The follow/unfollow method is one of the most used tactics on Instagram, that’s because it is an easy way to grow your account and everyone can do it. There are many people that do it manually even and spend hours each day following and unfollowing by hand.
The following limits have decreased over time, Instagram imposing stricter and stricter rules. However, it is still a viable method of growing your account if done right. In this tutorial, we’ll go over the main parts of successfully doing the follow-unfollow strategy using Jarvee.
We will not be discussing how each and every feature of the Follow tool works, you can read about that in the knowledge base article here. If you’re not familiar with the settings, I’d suggest you go and read that first and come back for this tutorial after that.
Here’s what we’ll be talking about:
- How many follows per day/month can you do to keep your account safe
- What filters to use
- What sources to use and how to pick them
- What are the expected results
- Constantly improving your settings
1. How many follows per day/month
I know this is everyone’s favorite subject, they all want to know the exact number they can do. So this means you won’t like my answer, but here it goes: There is no exact number! There are so many criteria that are taken into consideration by IG when making its mind on how much it lets you do that no exact number could fit.
It depends on the age of the account, you can do more follows with an older account that you can do with a fresh account; it depends on the proxy you use; on how the account was created; on the details you’ve entered and the usage patterns of the account in question. These are just some of the ones we know about, I am sure there are many more IG keeps for itself.
This being said, there are some general guidelines you can follow.
At the moment there’s a theory that seems to hold true for most accounts, that you’re allowed a maximum of 6000 follows within a period of 30 days. This means you shouldn’t go over 200 follows per day. This is true for older/aged accounts though, you can’t do that many with fresh accounts.
So let’s talk numbers. Keep in mind these are general limits though and each account is different so it will behave differently.
For fresh accounts (only if they were created without any bad footprint):
- First day let it rest
- Second day set it like in the following image:
These settings will take your account to the maximum of 170 follows per day in around a month and a half. They are quite conservative, yes, if you’re feeling brave you can increase them a bit and also set the max follow limit per day to 190-195.
Be advised these are the settings for the Follow tool only if it’s a fresh account you should make it look as human as possible, so also start the follow-back and like tools with minimum settings. Also, do make at least 2 posts per week per account.
For aged accounts that have been previously used on Instagram and have some activity:
- If they were actively used you can go directly to 170-190 max follows per day
- If they have been used very lightly use the setup in the following image:
These should be ok for most accounts if there is no other issue with your account. I am saying this again though, these settings can be influenced by bad proxies, bad account creation and even by extra actions done by you or your client manually on the phone. So take everything into consideration before applying them.
2. What filters to use
Filters help you target the exact accounts you want to follow. If you set them up properly you should avoid most fake and get to the end users, the ones that you need for your business to thrive.
Make sure you don’t set up too many and too strict because that will mean Jarvee might have a hard time finding people to actually follow. There’s a fine line here between being too strict and being too indulgent.
Here are the most common filters that should be used, they will suffice in most cases. Feel free to fine tune them though and use the others as needed.
Let’s talk real quick about each of them and see why they should be used:
- Skip non-English users – use this unless your account is in another language, in which case you’ll need it off
- User has a profile image and a minimum number of characters – if they don’t they are usually spam accounts
- The invalid words are a must if you want to avoid spam/adult/gambling and overall bad accounts. Here’s the full list that I am using. Simply download it, copy paste everything and add it there.
- User has a follow ratio – this will make sure they are regular people that follow more than they have followers.
- User is not following this account is pretty self-explanatory, as for “do not follow private users” – you don’t really know what’s there.
- Do not follow accounts with digits in their name – many fake accounts add random digits at the end of the name, you need to skip those.
Depending on the circumstances, you might also consider the following:
- Skip accounts with a website – usually, people wanting to promote something add their website there, rarely regular people so they might not be your target audience
- Skip business accounts – quite obvious
- User posted within the last X days – might show if a user is active or not, however, some regular users rarely post and use their accounts to browse so this might also exclude some people that it shouldn’t.
Using these filters you should be able to avoid following bots, fake or bad accounts. In the end, it’s a matter of continuous testing and improvement. These are not perfect but they will provide a very good start. Be sure to check everything from time to time and make improvements as necessary!
3. What sources to use and how to pick them
Keep in mind that all the filters that you’ve set up in the previous step will be applied to the sources you set here. In order for Jarvee to find enough people to follow you will need to make sure to add plenty of sources. You can use any combination of sources you like, I’ll just recommend the ones that I think are performing the best.
- If your account is new it’s a good idea to use the “Follow suggested user” source, this show IG that you’re taking their recommendation into consideration. Once the account gets older though their suggested users might not be exactly your target audience.
- Follow followers of target accounts – this is a source that performs very well, find your competitors in your niche and add them here, target whoever is following them so they follow you too. Enter as many competitors or niche related accounts as you can here, the more the better. Big accounts have more and fresher followers to follow.
- Follow users that interacted with posts on target accounts. Use the same accounts as before, add even more if you have them. This makes it so your only follow people that are active on Instagram and you know they like to interact with posts.
With plenty of target accounts, these sources should be enough for most people. There are a lot more sources though, there’s no harm in setting up more. Some are situational, for example, if you need to follow people from a certain area you can do so by using the “follow using geolocation” source.
Play around with them, set up as many as you want and be sure to monitor them at least in the beginning. You will see some will perform better than others, just disable/remove the ones performing poorly. By performing better I mean some will just not produce follows for people that will want to follow back. That means you’re wasting your follows, so removing bad sources is a must since you can’t follow too many people to start with.
4. Expected results
This again is a question with no exact answer. Ideally, you’d have a 100% follow back ratio – meaning that with a perfect targeting everyone that you followed will follow you back. This never happens, of course, there are multiple reasons why someone won’t follow you back, like:
- Bad targeting, not interested in what you have to offer
- Bad targeting, inactive account
- Too many notifications so yours was missed
- Your account isn’t that impressive
- Your niche
- And so on…
All things considered, a follow back ratio of 10% is quite low if you did everything right, a decent one should be around 20-25% and an amazing one around 30-35%. This will depend a lot though, as I said even the niche matters. There are niches with a very low follow back rate and some with huge ones.
The follow back rate is not all that matters though, in some niches, there might be more bot accounts than in others and they usually follow back. So you also have to look at engagement and other factors. However, it is a good estimate of how good your targeting is and it will tell you if you should work some more on improving it or not.
5. Constantly improving your settings
Unfortunately, this is not a set and forget thing. It’s as close as it gets and it beats doing it manually, however, it still requires your attention from time to time. You are the only one that can take the necessary decisions to make the targeting and source better all the tool can do is give you the information that will help with this.
In the Follow sources section, for each source that you add you will see a Follow Back ratio. This will help you determine how each and every source that you added did. Don’t be afraid to delete the ones performing poorly and adding new ones from time to time. Doing this once per week should suffice.
Same with the filters, depending on your niche, some filters will do better than others, check the profiles of some of your target followers, see what they have in common and use the filters to re-create that perfect profile.
Trial and error will be your friend here and perseverance will prevail. Keep testing everything as things change often so you should adapt.