This week I learned some valuable lessons. One being to try to keep your follower/following ratio to 3:1. This means if you have 1500 followers, you should aim to follow no more than 500 other accounts. Brands review this type of thing if you are being considered for collaborations. This is a red flag if that ratio is off and it looks like ‘follow-for-follow’ behavior. This appears like false engagement and lack of actual influence.
This was especially enlightening to me because I use an old account that I started years ago for Bodybuilding.com challenges. On my account, I would post my progress photos, tag sponsoring fitness brands, and follow other participants and fitness accounts. When I went through the accounts I was following, I kid you not when I say I had hundreds of accounts that were not even active anymore! I deleted a lot. And Instagram both did and did not like that. As soon as I deleted a lot of the dead-weight accounts, I noticed I almost immediately got about 6 new followers. However, this brings me to the second lesson I quickly learned:
Limit your number of Instagram actions per day
I was going along, enjoying my ‘following’ purge when Instagram stopped me and froze my actions. Instagram thought my actions were a bit suspicious so it put me in time-out for 24-48 hours, limiting my ability to do anything on there. It would not even let me ‘like’ posts or ‘follow’ other accounts. So, rather than risk that happening again, I discovered a much safer way to maintain my account health. If you click on your ‘following’ number, Instagram will show you the 50 accounts you least interact with. I think I will make it a habit to review those daily/weekly to remove any inactive accounts or ones I do not engage with anymore. Unfollowing a small number per day or week is safe behavior and does not look suspicious like unfollowing hundreds at one time does.
In conclusion, I was glad to learn about this 3:1 ratio. Not only does it make sense, it showed me a big way I can improve the health of my Instagram account. My goal is to have engaged followers that I am able to connect with. And if you picture your Instagram account like a swimming pool full of fish (both followers and who you are following), and your posts being a fishing rod you cast into the pool, you do not want a bunch of dead fish (inactive accounts) in the way of the live ones (accounts you interact with and who interact with you) seeing that fishing bait (your posts). I am excited to see what type of difference this makes with my account going forward staying mindful of this.
How does your Instagram swimming pool look like? What is your follower-to-following ratio? Is your pool full of dead fish that are getting in the way and stinking up your account like mine had? Leave a comment if this was something you knew or if it was new to you too. xoxox