By chance, I found myself added to an Instagram DM group titled “august 27th non posting event”. What?
I had literally no idea what this so-called event would be. I clicked on the account that had added me. It was named “Boosting Your Gram”. Seriously what?
Anyway I looked into it a little more and found that I had liked a post by this account advertising a “follow loop”. I swear I didn’t mean to do this, I was just scrolling through various hashtags related to my things I’m interested in and liking haphazardly.
I’ve never bothered with a “follow loop” before because they looked like too much effort, plus I don’t like to clog up my feed with accounts I don’t actually like, and while they may gain you some short term followers they probably won’t do much for your engagement.
I went about my daily life, forgetting that I had ever been added and focusing on other things instead (seeing how many cups of tea one person can consume in a day – more on that later). But then August 27th arrived and I was bombarded with reminders from the account running the group that the loop would be live in a few hours.
I’ll admit it, I’ve always been intrigued by some sort of quick fix for Instagram popularity. And I was at a loose end, what with being quarantined and all, so I figured I’d just see what these follow loops were all about.
So I leapt into the snake pit and when the event was live, I went to the account’s latest post and followed the instructions. Before I started my account had a little over 180 followers. I’ve been putting the work in and gaining followers the usual way, with regular posts, a large amount of hashtags and interactions with accounts similar to mine that I genuinely liked.
Buuut I threw that all out the window by following the follow loop’s instructions, which basically consisted of following all of the accounts that the account that started the loop followed, liking their post, commenting and then hopping to an account that they linked, and following the same set of instructions, that took me to another account that told me to do the same thing. So on and so forth, until I ended up at the account that I had first started on.
After the first couple of accounts I noticed that these people were gradually following me back, which was a nice serotonin boost. Then I got incredibly bored of this dull cycle, but I persisted because I may as well finish what I started. By the time I had finished, I was in a massive grump about all the notifications that were slowing my phone down dramatically.
Upon finishing my tasks set by the mysterious accounts that seemed to be running all this, I began to think. What have I done?
Because of several things.
A) I very much doubt that I will be gaining any engagement, let alone blog views (the real aim of this particular account I have).
B) I am now following an insaaaane amount of accounts that I have no interest in. Like, literally hundreds of mummy blogs. I can’t stand mummy blogs (no offence) because I am not a mummy, nor do I intend on becoming one for the foreseeable future.
C) What a big old waste of time.
D) My bets are that most of the accounts that have followed me will unfollow shortly.
E) Now more accounts are asking me to take part in more follow loops and I would very much like to remove myself from this narrative.
Anyway, if none of that bothers you then I’m sure you’re interested in the numbers game.
Like I mentioned earlier, I had about 180 follower before I started this madness. Within a few hours I had around 280, so a gain of about 100.
24 hours later I had 319.
Now I’m fairly certain that most of these will slowly disappear, especially as I am definitely planning on unfollowing the accounts that are of little or no interest to me.
Which apparently might get me blocked from the so-called ‘host’ accounts and banned from future follow loops. Good.
So like every (truthful) post on the internet about quick ways to gain followers, I will end with this:
There is not a quick fix to running a successful and popular Instagram account. Just post what you want, follow who you like and enjoy yourself. Take it from me, I tried it so you don’t have to.