Social Media Tips

Everything You Need to Know About Why You’re Being Unfollowed On Instagram

May 15, 2017
how to gain followers on instagram

Whether you’re a marketer selling a product, a photographer looking to showcase your work or simply an Instagram enthusiast, chances are you notice the “little things” on this visual platform more than the average person.

These little things like spammy comments and a drop in followers, negatively impact you in more ways that it should. In fact, it seems almost trivial to admit that the “struggle is real”.

Ever come across someone who likes your photo then follows you only to unfollow you a day later then follow you back a week later?

Sounds pretty irrational, right?

Fun Fact : I used to work in an office with someone who would troll me this way . Awkward much 😑 🙈

If Instagram is your platform of choice to bring your A-game in, you need to understand the method behind this madness.

instagram bots

First things first, let’s talk bots.

A bot is an automated tool (aka robot for hire) that a lot of bloggers/business’ use.

It saves them the manual work of having to scroll through targeted hashtag groups liking, commenting and following other people’s accounts.

Put it simply : it does the thumb work for you.

While it does amp up your free time, it rears its ugly head in a few ways, including :

A) Filtering process isn’t on point

B) Doesn’t comply with Instagram’s terms

C) Above all : lack of human connection. Whether we like to admit it or not, genuine comments goes a long way. Human Touch FTW

instagram unfollowers

As much as bots seem to be taking over, leaving generic comments like “cool! ” or “😍”, they aren’t the only ones to blame for your sudden drop in followers.

Sometimes, there’s an actual person behind the brand doing the honors.

Now, let’s solve that unfollower dilemma.

Ever notice how on a certain day you tend to lose more followers than normally? There’s a reason for that.

Or better yet, after posting an aesthetically pleasing pic, you get unfollowed?

Here’s the thing : your new post serves as a “reminder” for an account to unfollow you.

First off, you need to find out the “who” to understand the “why”.

instagram unfollowers

WHO’S Unfollowing You?

Track your list of unfollowers by downloading the Unfollower app (IOS) and Instafollow for Android.

Afterwards, you’ll get a list of unfollowers. To preserve anonymity, I blurred out their faces and usernames.

Here’s my list of my unfollowers :

instagram unfollowers

As you can see, a majority of them are mainly from business’ or popular figures. Chances are, they found me by scrolling through a specific hashtag I used in my post.

For example : The local based photographer probably found me by searching through hashtags #montrealjetaime, #igersmtl or even #mtlphotographs

These groups of people aren’t interested in my account but rather, hope I return the follow.

WHY You’re Being Unfollowed

If you notice that you’re being unfollowed from personal accounts with low to moderate followings, chances are they are :

a ) only following you in hopes of you following them to grow their account

b) your content isn’t resonating with them.

No biggie, canโ€™t please everyone.


The more narrow your niche is, the more likely you are to retain your followers.

After all, not everyone enjoys food pics, lush greenery and cute dogs pics all at once ๐Ÿ˜‰

Either shift your content strategy or use different hashtags to draw in the right target audience.

On the other hand, if you’re noticing that you’re being unfollowed by business’/bloggers/brands chances are, it’s a growth tactic.

They’re unfollowing you because you aren’t their target audience.

Generally speaking, about 10 to 30 percent of accounts you follow will follow you back.

Example : A brand follows 500 accounts, they’ll get about 150 who will follow back.

A good rule of thumb : If there’s a huge difference in ratio between their following to their followers, chances are they probably don’t intend on following you in the long run.

For example:

unfollowed on instagram

The Follow/Unfollow Method :

As a social media consultant, I’ve done my fair share of research to learn about this Instagram method.

The method : If you donโ€™t follow an account back after a certain period of time (roughly 24-72 hours), itโ€™s safe to assume you arenโ€™t their ideal target audience and arenโ€™t interested in their product/service/blog.

Some accounts will wait until the end of the week to clean up their following list.

Hence the “unfollow”.

unfollowed on instagram

For accounts who follow/ unfollow THEN follow again, they’re basically scrolling through their popular hashtag of choices and following people who recently posted within that hashtag.

They probably don’t even realize who you are. Don’t take it personally.

Chances are they fell way too deep down the Instagram rabbit hole to even realize that they already unfollowed you in the first place.

If you find yourself getting annoyed by this type of oblivious spamming, you can always block the account.

instagram unfollowed

Takeaways :

  • Bots are risky to use and aren’t solely to blame for your drop in followers


  • Find out WHO is following you by downloading the Unfollower app (IOS) and Instafollow for Android.


  • Find out the WHY by looking at your list of unfollowers. If they’re business’/blogs with big followings, it’s a growth tactic.


  • An account will wait anywhere from 24 hours till the end of the week to unfollow you. If you’re being unfollowed= not their target audience


  • About 10 to 30 percent of accounts will follow back


After the positive reception from my previous Instagram post about getting featured in popular posts, I’d like to know if you’d be interested in learning more about desktop apps you can use to bring your A-game to Instagram.

Comment below with a “YES” to let me know if it’s a go!

instagram unfollowed


You Might Also Like


  • Reply Heather May 15, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    Oh those people make me so angry!!! The worst ones are those with Bible verses in their profiles and then they are playing those mean games! I always want to write back to them when I see they unfollow me and say “God doesn’t like ugly”!

    • Reply Andrea May 15, 2017 at 10:39 pm

      Haha i know the feeling all too well! No matter what social platform you’re on, there’s always people out there looking to troll you. Luckily you can block them or report them as spam ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Richmond Nash May 15, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    $500 worth of content in this post and you shared it for free, thank you.

    • Reply Andrea May 15, 2017 at 10:50 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it ! I’m thinking of creating more Instagram related blog posts and possibly a cheat sheet in the near future ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Reply Casey May 16, 2017 at 12:37 am

    Thanks for sharing this info regarding the follow/unfollow Instagram matters. I’ve been wondering this myself all the while. Great post

    • Reply Andrea May 16, 2017 at 9:24 pm

      No problem! I was in the same boat as you, so i know the feeling ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Mira May 16, 2017 at 1:19 am

    Hi Heather, could you please help me? I am using some good hashtags but my pictures are not seen for some reasons I’m getting only 25-35 likes? Please help me?

    • Reply Andrea May 18, 2017 at 6:29 pm

      Hi Mira,

      Do you mind sharing your IG username with me? I’d like to see what’s going on ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Katherine May 16, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    I find myself getting annoyed by the follow/unfollow all the time! Nice to have some context as to some reasons why! Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply Andrea May 16, 2017 at 9:25 pm

      haha tell me about it! Glad I solved the unfollower mystery ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Leave a Reply