Raise your hand if you have ever been unfollowed on Instagram.
Now, if you could take a look around at everyone who’s read this, you’d see a whole lot of hands!
So, what’s the deal?
Someone saw your post or your profile and thought you were awesome and worth following but then suddenly decided that you suck and hit unfollow. Surely, this must be it. Was it that photo you posted yesterday of you with your dog that did it? Maybe it was the caption you wrote on your new artwork that threw them off? What made them decide that they don’t want to see you or your brand show up in their feed anymore?
You know what? You don’t know the real reason. None of us do and probably never will. 9 out of 10 times, they didn’t put any thought into it at all. And I promise you 100% of the time, it is never because you suck. So don’t ever let that thought get in there.
Every unfollow should not determine your likability or make you second guess your mission or brand. Seeing that drop in follows should be anything but an identity crisis. (Even though we’ve all been there!) Instead, there are plenty of reasons why those unfollowers are actually doing you a huge service for your business. Yup, most of the time you actually want those people to leave, you just didn’t realize it at first.
Believe it or not, there are actually a few reasons why you should be thanking some of those unfollowers.
Social Media is not a popularity contest, even if it feels like it is sometimes.
You take the time to choose the photos to share and pair them with just the right captions and hit that post button…and then you wait.
What exactly are you waiting for? Likes, comments, shares? Signals that what you are posting is worthy of praise or at least interest of the people who follow you? Remember, while the amount of likes you get on a photo might be a nice ego booster it really means nothing if none of those people are buying your products or tuning into your Instastory to hear about new offerings or showing up to your next market.
Social media provides us with a direct way to get in front of a much larger audience than we could ever see in-person on a given day. For a business owner there is so much more to get out of Instagram than just the popularity factor. End of the day we are building a brand to help promote our business and that my friend is with the end goal of getting money in those pockets! Just like your mama told you growing up- it’s not about how many friends you have, it’s the quality of the friends that matter. Surround yourself with people who want what you are offering and let the rest go.
Quality over quantity all the time.
If you’ve spent anytime on Instagram you may have noticed how many accounts like to play the follow & unfollow game. I’m telling you the world of Instagram just loves to play this game and it can be a challenge to see exactly who’s playing or not sometimes. If you are unfamiliar with it, this is when a brand follows a large amount of smaller accounts hoping to to gain followers themselves and within a few days, unfollows them. This helps them gain their own amount of followers while keeping their number of follows down.
Yup, totally a thing.
Personally, I am not a fan of this method of gaining followers and if anything I think the unfollowing part gives it a very bad rep. Can it work? Of course. Is it going to help you in the long run build an authentic and engaged audience? Not a chance. People can smell fake authenticity a mile away nowadays. Does this mean you should never follow an account that follows you in fear of the dreaded “follow/unfollow” game? Of course not! If you see an account that matches your interests and you enjoy the content they are posting, go ahead and follow them back. Just don’t take it personally if you notice your count going down as some of those accounts unfollow you after the fact.
Having an account filled with followers who are just there for the sake of adding to their own numbers gives you a superficial fan base online. And really, this does nothing for you in return but add to your numbers. I will tell you right now that having followers on Instagram that regularly interact with me and have conversations through comments and messaging is so much more valuable than those who aren’t interested in creating community and just sit in the background, counting their follows.
Invest in those worth investing in.
300 engaged and devoted followers are better than 25k who are just there for the “pretty”. Focus on engaging with your already awesome followers as much as you do on growing your audience.This is so important and yet so many people forget to put their efforts here. This goes for all social media, but again Instagram is built around engagement. It’s all about connecting and getting conversations to thrive.
When we think of unfollowers as quieting the noise to get through to the people who need our message, it’s amazing how that changes the game.
The more refined of an audience you have the more you know what you are saying is reaching the people who matter. You want to be sharing your product, services or events with people who are going to be receptive to those things. The ones who are a part of your audience BECAUSE of those things.
It’s also so important to keep in mind that your business and brand will evolve and change over time. When this happens the content you are sharing will evolve and change too. You may experience unfollowers during these transitions too but again, this should be welcomed! You want the right people following you who are as excited about your direction as you are!
Who doesn’t like to be liked?
We all want to be liked, it’s a natural part of being human I think, especially when we put ourselves and our work out there into the world. You just have to remember the reason you’re doing what you’re doing in the first place and focus on growing community and engagement with the kind of people you want to work with. So when they click that unfollow button, it really is a good thing. Just remember that it’s helping you quiet all the noise and get you in front of the audience that matters. The one that scrolls their feed hoping to see your post each day.
The next time you see that follower number go down, I want you to say, “peace out girl scout” and remember that you aren’t there for those people in the first place.
If you are looking for ways to increase your following on my favorite platform, check out my FREE Instagram Profile Cheat Sheet to help you get noticed by your ideal customer. There are 10 must have tips inside to help give your Instagram profile a quick makeover worthy of a rock star small biz owner like you. When you get your download, you’ll also get access to the One Crafty Miss Resource Library that houses tons of other awesome resources you might find helpful.
I’d love to know if you struggle with getting unfollows? How have you felt about them in the past? Leave a comment to share your experience on Instagram. I’d really like to know!