How to Manage Your Followers on Instagram

How to Manage Your Followers on Instagram

Do you know how to manage your follower's on Instagram?

It's a vicious cycle. Just when you think you have your followers and following lists balanced, you take a minute to do other things outside of Instagram. Then, when you log back into your account you're scratching your head again thinking “WHAT'S GOING ON!”

The dreaded “follow game” … Does this drive anyone else crazy? It drives me insane! I can tell you that much! If you're a Blogger or any type of Content Creator for that matter, who shares their hard work through various social media platforms, you know EXACTLY what I'm talking about, right?

How to manage your followers on Instagram

I've been Blogging for about 7-months, and I've learned there are roughly 4 types of “followers” (at least in my opinion)

#1: The Follow for Follow Type:

This type of follower will follow you if you follow them. It's an unspoken mutual agreement between two different Bloggers or Content Creators. As long as you follow them, they will follow you. They may even share one of your greatest posts with their huge list of followers every now again. I love these followers. Although they aren't necessarily “fans” they understand your purpose, because they too are working hard to get their name and content out there. I NEVER unfollow these types of followers, so long as they follow me. They help you get your content out there, and so you should return the favor for them. When looking at their account, their follower and following lists are pretty balanced, whether they follow 1,000 or 100,000 they have a similar number following them. Their lists are never spot-on equal, but they are close.

#2: The Follow Thread Follows:

They follow you because they have too, no other reason. There's no sharing your content, and they won't unfollow you if you don't unfollow them. They're really in it for the numbers. If your number counts for them their number will count for you. Their follow lists can be balanced or off balance (when I say off balance I mean they follow a few hundred and have tens of thousands of followers or something similar)

#3: The “True” Follower

This is not another Content Creator or Blogger, this is someone who is following your profile because they truly enjoy the content you create and want to see your posts. This is an average person who more than likely has no idea what the following game is. These are true fans and these follows should always be loved and appreciated!

#4: Follows You to get a Follow Back… Then you get a stealthy unfollow when you least expect it!

More often than not these followers have very unbalanced lists. Not always, but more often than not they follow just a few hundred people and have tens of thousands of followers themselves (or a few thousand compared to tens of thousands). They follow you long enough to get your follow back, then they will unfollow you sometime thereafter. Usually when you least expect it! This is just a numbers game to them and their account. They more than likely don't have any interest in your content or sharing your content. All they want is your follow, and that's it.

So how do you manage your list? I see this happening mostly on Instagram, though it is similar with Twitter also. One minute I'm posting a cool “THANK YOU” post because I hit a new milestone with my number of followers, only to lose a handful of followers the next day! And my “THANK YOU TO MY FIRST 1,000 FOLLOWERS” post makes zero sense because I no longer have that number of followers! I've learned not to take it personally when this happens, because I know I'm not losing “true” fans. But I certainly don't want to give out my precious “follow” to those who feel they need to trick me into following their profiles, right? Why can't we all just be fair to each other?

After scratching my head for the last 7 months or so, I've finally figured out HOW to manage my following list on Instagram (and Twitter) without any negative repercussions from Instagram (or Twitter). I mean, we have to make sure we follow their Terms of Service (AKA: TOS). If you aren't following any social media platforms terms of service you're putting yourself and the account you've worked so hard to build up at risk!

First, a quick look at what a LOT of other accounts do…


Should You Use Follow Apps?

My short answer to this question is NOOOO!

First and foremost these follower apps are against Instagrams Terms of Service. Yes, there are TONS of people who use them. Yes, there are TONS of different Apps out there that you can use. Just because there are tons of options and tons of other, well-established content creators who use them, doesn't mean it's safe. I'll refrain from using the cliche “if your friends jumped off a bridge…” statement that we've heard a million times. But, it's true. Just because a lot of others are doing it, doesn't mean you should!

For me, I don't think the risk of getting my account shadow banned, or possibly even shut down is worth knowing immediately who unfollowed me so I can unfollow them. With my luck, Instagram would let me keep using it until my account had finally been built up to a great, reputable account with a huge and genuine following before it did either! My hard work and diligence are both worth so much more than risking it all with a follower app that risks my Instagram account!

So I would recommend managing your lists yourself, versus using a third party app that can and will risk your posts being shown to your following, and maybe even shut your account down entirely! Whats the point in putting the hard work into building your account if one day it'll get the plug pulled! There is no point.

Okay, So How Do You Manage Your List?

I've got the answer for you! Unfortunately, my answer is a bit time consuming, yes. So usually I pick one day where I can spend an hour here and there throughout the day to “clean up” my account, and get my lists under control! If you are super busy and just can't find time to do this on your own, check with your VA (Virtual Assistant). If you'd like to talk to me more about doing this for you, please contact me. I'd be happy to offer this service to you! You can reach me by visiting my Contact Me page on my website, here's the link: Contact Melissa at Life's Epic Journey

At any rate, I pick one day every so often and work diligently to take back my follow from those who followed me simply to get a follow back. And, I focus on those who genuinely want to see my content or those who support my cause. Or, at the very least, those who have the same unspoken agreement as I do. The best part about the method I'm about to show you is this method IS NOT against Instagrams terms of service! At least that I've been able to find, so there is ZERO risk to your account!

Which means this could quite possibly be exactly how Instagram intended it's users to manage their profiles!

Okay, so here's how to do it

**DISCLAIMER** Any profiles shown in the screenshots below were chosen at random, are shown simply because I follow all profiles shown in my screenshots, as do they follow Life's Epic Journey. They are being shown for informational purposes only.

How to Manage your Followers on Instagram:

#1: You have to do it from your cell phone, I haven't found a way to do this from a desktop. First, go to your profile by clicking the person in the bottom right-hand corner of your cell phone screen (see screenshot below). You'll see your list of FOLLOWERS and the list of those you are FOLLOWING. Tap on the list that you are FOLLOWING

How to manage your followers on Instagram


#2: it brings you to a complete list of the accounts that you are following. You can scroll up or down, to see each and every account you clicked on “FOLLOW” on

How to manage your followers on Instagram


#3: I usually just start at the top and work my way down. This way, I know where I left off when I take a break and go back to it. So tap on the very first profile in your FOLLOWING LIST. See the screenshot below, I've circled where to tap.

How to manage your followers on Instagram


#4: Now you're on the first account in YOUR FOLLOWING list's profile, click on THEIR “FOLLOWING” List. This will bring you to the list of accounts that THEY FOLLOW. See the screenshot, I've circled where to tap. Make sure you tap the number the account you're about to check is following.

How to manage your followers on INstagram


#5: Now that you are in their list of accounts that they follow, click in the “SEARCH FOLLOWING” field at the top of your cell phone screen

How to manage your followers on Instagram


#6: Type in the first few letters of your Instagram username. Because my Instagram username is “lifepicjourney” I type in ‘lifep” this narrows their list down. As you can see in the example below, this particular account DOES FOLLOW my account. Because I popped up in the search results. Had they NOT FOLLOWED ME the search results would say “No User's Found”. In this case, I simply click the back arrow which brings me back to MY FOLLOWING LIST. Where I click on the next account on my list and repeat. I didn't unfollow this account because they were following me.

How to manage your followers on Instagram


#7: Had this account NOT FOLLOWED me, I would have still gone back to my following list. But I would have clicked the “Following” button right next to their profile

How to manage your followers on Instagram


#8: You get the option to “UNFOLLOW” the account right there. In this case, I clicked cancel because I didn't want to unfollow this account. Again, if I wanted to unfollow them I could've from this screen and I wouldn't have lost my spot.

How to manage your followers on Instagram

#9: Continue through your list until there are not any more options.

Again, this can be VERY time-consuming! So, I usually pick a Saturday or Sunday once per month. Then, I take 30 to 60 minutes at a time checking my list and take a short break. When I take a break, I leave my Instagram profile right where it is. When I go back to my Instagram app on my cell phone, it stays right where I left off in my following list. So, I can pick up where I left off. Or, talk to your VA about doing this for you.

I hope this helps answer the repetitive question that I see pop up time and time and time again and that's:


If you've found an easier way to do this that does NOT involve a third party follower app, please share your method! If this post helped you get your following and follower lists under control and balanced please leave a comment below! I love to hear your feedback!

If you want to know how to manage your followers on Twitter, follow this link: How to Manage Your Followers on Twitter to see the post I published that has a step by step guide on how to manage your Twitter followers too. Same concept as Instagram, just slightly different!

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How to manage your followers on Instagram