To those getting into the ultra-competitive world of E-commerce marketing, Instagram is a free social media network application to consider using. This very popular resource has a user base of more than 400 million users who are able to post images and videos through hashtags that connect these posts to the online world. A multitude of the users use this application professionally to grow their e-commerce businesses by connecting with target audiences to increase both brand awareness and profit.

Currently, many users are finding it increasingly difficult to utilize Instagram for e-commerce because the application has a new algorithm where it only features posts that gain high engagement to subscribers’ feeds. Posts that do not receive high engagement are typically rendered invisible and publishers must get creative by utilizing the Follow for Follow method in potentially attracting more subscribers to engage with their posts. For those who are considering using this for e-commerce, here is how to do it and its advantages and disadvantages.

The Follow for Follow Method

For those new to the Follow for Follow strategy on Instagram, this is the method of randomly following as many subscribers as possible and liking and commenting on their posts on an hourly or daily basis. Performing this activity is extremely time-consuming but the return on time invested is worth it because the more subscribers you follow and engage, the more likely they will return the favor of following your IG page and engaging with your content. The goal of the Follow for Follow method is to generate more traffic to your Instagram page to promote your products and services. It is a technique that works to spread awareness about who you are and what you have to offer on a worldwide scale. Many even use this strategy to become “Insta-famous”, which is to simply have as many subscribers liking and engaging with their posts as possible.

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Follow for Follow Method

Like any other social media promoting/marketing strategy, utilizing the controversial Instagram Follow for Follow Method has its advantages and disadvantages. These are:

Advantages

Your Instagram page will gain more followers.

The Follow for Follow Method is very time-consuming as you must follow many subscribers as possible on an hourly or daily basis. You must also take the time to like and comment on numerous posts as this interaction will dramatically increase the chances that these subscribers return the favor of following and even engaging with your posts. The method is a quantity game, which will be advantageous if you are growing your brand or simply looking to become more famous on the application.

If you are promoting an E-commerce business, your profits will most likely increase.

The Follow for Follow Method is a means to spread awareness about your products and services on a larger scale. The more people that are able to view your content, the greater the likelihood that some of these subscribers will be looking for what you have to offer. In addition, some of these subscribers may even share your IG page with their friends, family, and associates.

Your Instagram page will rank higher on hashtag ranking.

With more subscribers following and engaging your IG page, the content that you regularly post will definitely get placed higher on Instagram’s hashtag ranking. What this means is the hashtags that you include on your posts will appear on the feeds of people who type in the same keywords. This means more opportunity to gain new followers and to spread awareness about your products or services.

Disadvantages

The Follow for Follow method is a quantity game, not a quality game.

The Follow for Follow Method is a numbers game that entails randomly following and engaging as many accounts and posts of total strangers as possible. Because of the time it takes to perform these activities, you are unable able to carefully select who to follow. This will result in two things: followers who have no interest in your brand and subscribers who will most likely unfollow you as they have nothing to gain from your content.

Instagram is paying close attention to those who utilize the Follow for Follow method.

Instagram has made some changes to its algorithm this year. The new changes are geared to provide more security to subscribers. Those who use the Follow for Follow method will be closely monitored by the application. Those who abuse the strategy will be possibly “Shadowbanned” by the application. For those new to this concept, Shadowbanning is a punishment where your posts will not be suggested to your other subscribers. Your posts will only appear on the feeds of 5 % to 10% of your current followers. Another punishment for abusing the strategy is your Instagram page will be temporarily blocked from being able to follow other subscribers for a time period of 24 hours.

Your news feed will be cluttered with all sorts of content.

Due to the amount of people that you follow when using the method, it will be increasingly difficult to manage your IG page. Your news feed will be cluttered with content that you may not be interested in. This will make it more difficult to view relevant content that may be useful to building your brand and keeping up with the changes in your industry.

You put your Instagram account at risk.

As you follow subscriber after subscriber, you are unable to determine who you are really following. Many Instagram accounts are fake or inactive. There are also those who use this platform to hack into the accounts of subscribers, steal sensitive information, and use it for personal gain.

To those who still plan on utilizing the Instagram Follow for Follow method or even the online acquisition of Instagram followers via vendors, it is expert-recommended to do more research to determine whether this strategy suits your needs. While this method definitely works in gaining more followers, it also comes with some cons that may not be beneficial to your brand.Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.

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