Have you ever felt like unfollowing someone on Instagram is so controversial, there is a lot at stake in this tiny action? It has indeed become taboo in the influencer industry. Not without reason. First, because of the follow/unfollow game that has made every blogger and their m other paranoid. It is a big no-no on Instagram and can also explain why your seem unable to grow on the platform. Second, an Instagram follower has sort of become a social proof of friendship. Following equals forming a friendship. Thus, you already get what unfollowing means. The opposite. Even though, a strong friendship goes way beyond an additional follower. on Instagram. Finally, as someone who has made Instagram her creative space, a hobby and hopefully one day part of her career, it hurts a bit the ego when people unfollow you on Instagram.
I do get that it hurts even more when people unfollow you on Instagram when you and them used to engage all the time, commenting on each other’s photos or even talking at events. But, you know what? It is actually okay when people unfollow you on Instagram. As a matter of fact, it can bring you some benefits indeed.
It may wound the heart and ego when people unfollow you on Instagram. Mostly because you will feel that you did something wrong, that you triggered something that deserved this unfollow. Thus, you want to know why people unfollow you on Instagram. Putting aside the follow/unfollow game, I can 100% guarantee it mostly is not you, it is them. They don’t like your content? They can go. Why would you change yourself for someone else? However, as hurtful as it may be, people unfollowing you on Instagram may help you boost your engagement rate.
4 Reasons Why It Is Okay When People Unfollow You On Instagram
1. You get rid off non genuine followers
Why would someone follow you? The most obvious reason is that they like your content. And that they would unfollow if they no longer do. Easy. However, not everyone will follow you for that reason. Some Instagram users will follow you expecting something in return. A follow back most of the time. If they don’t get it, they will unfollow. Maybe you followed them first and they gave you a follow back just because. Or you took part in an Instagram follow thread and had no choice but to reciprocate. And they eventually unfollowed you.
But in the end, there probably wasn’t a real interest in your work. Not to worry, this is good for you! That they unfollowed I mean! Just because… only people who are truly and genuinely interested in your content will stay, be loyal and engage.
2. You narrow down your niche
The hardest thing when it comes to blogging? Picking your niche. Well, maybe not the hardest, but a tough one. You cannot blog nor Instagram for everyone. I mean, you could but then, people would not engage with each photo you put out there but just the ones that relate to their interest. Which would decrease your engagement rate. When you pick a niche (if you wish to, it’s not compulsory), you post content relating to that particular niche of course.
Let say you decide you want to focus on beauty. Oh no, fifteen people have unfollowed since you switched focus. Here is the silver lining: picking a niche helps weed out followers that aren’t interested. In the end, you filter out people that are not your ideal customers. Meaning, people that you would not influence, that would not convert and that, as a consequence, would not help you bring value to brands. You want to create a community that loves what you create. Short-term it may be painful, but rewarding in the long run. Considering this, it is actually very good that people unfollow you on Instagram.
3. Your engagement increases when people unfollow you on Instagram
This is something I mentioned in my post on how to curate your perfect Instagram feed. Although it was from the perspective of you as a follower and not as someone that is being followed. But the same principles apply in the end! If someone that follows you does it for the wrong reasons and isn’t that much interested in your content, they are less likely to engage with it.
You do not want ghost or inactive followers. Nor followers that, although increasing your following, decrease your engagement rate due to their inactivity. Furthermore, now that engagement rate is a key metrics in influencer marketing, that’s not something you want to happen. Better have a smaller and more engaged audience than thousands of followers that skip over all your photos! You want to be followed by people who care! Let people unfollow you on Instagram then.
4. You it is not, them it is
Excuse the poor attempt at speaking like Yoda. I needed a sentence starting with “you” like the previous headlines!
Back when I was at university, I took a class called Organizational Behavior. Among all the principles we studied, one really caught my attention: fundamental attribution error. It is the tendency people have to overemphasize personal characteristics and ignore situational factors in judging others’ behavior. In other words, if someone has a certain behavior towards me on a certain day, I will think it is because I have done something wrong. However, it might just be because they got bad news earlier, a bad night sleep, are having a bad day, etc.
Thus, it is not you, it is them. Yes. Sometimes it might be you indeed. Like if you have been a dick in real life to someone who was following you. You can’t expect them to stay! However, when people unfollow you on Instagram, the first thing you will tell yourself is “what have I done?”. Nothing actually. You can relax and breathe. It is them and their decision is based on many factors, which are very rarely about you personally.
Since the number of followers you have really often determines your worth in the influencer industry, we are all incline to panic when we lose followers. And to question ourselves as well as our entire work. The thing is, most of the time, it really isn’t you. And whether it actually is (or not), it is actually not a bad thing when people unfollow you on Instagram! It helps you create a community of people who love your content, care about what you do, are engaged, and increase your engagement rate!
What do you think? What is your first reaction when people unfollow you on Instagram? Do you agree with those four statements? Do you often go through your followers to do some cleaning of inactive and ghost users?
Thanks a lot for stopping by. I hope you liked this post.
See you soon,