A popular trend I’ve noticed mainly in the realm of Facebook groups are Instagram follow threads. The posts will look something like this:
Hey does anyone wanna join an Instagram follow thread?
Let’s support each other comment below your Instagram handle (btw here’s mine at the top, front and centre where it can’t get lost in a sea of comments - smart)
Wouldn’t be fun to all help each other succeed? Drop your links below and let’s pour love into one another.
The idea being that everyone follows each other and becomes this big, happy dysfunctional family. Sounds perfect right? But unfortunately that’s just not how it plays out.
Why don’t follow threads work?
The truth is nobody in those feeds *actually* cares about supporting other #bossbabes and helping them get to the top. Now before you all come after me with flaming pitchforks hear me out. I’m not saying that makes anyone a bad person, on the contrary, it’s just business. But no one’s main priority on these feeds is anyone but themselves. If you're still not convinced why don’t you go search through for someone who decided not to leave their own link and only follow others.
Now in the second turn of events say people don’t just drop their links and run but they actually do follow you ask yourself some questions.
Who are these people?
Are they aligned with your business?
Are they your ideal client or are they various, age groups, hobbies and professions?
Are they your competitors or people to close to you in the industry?
Will they just follow you with the hopes of getting their own numbers up and then drop you if you don’t follow them back, or even if you do?
The people searching for other followers are not likely to be your ideal clients - in fact they’re most likely to be in the same position as you. All searching for leads and grappling for followers.
Can Facebook groups add any value?
All in I believe follow threads just have too many question marks surrounding them to actually bring value to your business.
That being said something I have found to be effective on Facebook groups in general is answering questions then letting people know they can find even more value on my Instagram page.
For example - Hey sorry to hear you’re struggling to come up with content ideas. One thing that’s really helped me is X and I’ve actually recently done a content creation series on my Instagram feed that you might find helpful. Let me know if you have any more questions!
As an added bonus other people who are also struggling with that issue may then see that comment and realise that they need to be part of your Instagram crew too.
How do you really grow on Instagram?
The best way to get real Instagram followers that are *actually* interested in what you do is by being a friend. I don’t mean inviting them over to your house and cooking them dinner. I mean provide value to them. Answer their questions and anticipate their struggles. Seek them out and engage with them. Find people similar to you and interact with their audiences too.
Don’t focus on numbers focus on being a kind human by repeatedly showing up and letting yourself be seen, even the parts that are a little bit messy. You never know what someone might relate to. And always remember short term solutions tend not to yield long term results.
Instagram followers are not a quick fix and more followers doesn’t necessarily = more sales. But what does drive sales is adding value, building authority, getting in front of the right audience and increasing clicks to your site.