I have been blogging for two and half years now, I have seen all the different shortcuts, tricks, tips and cheats of how to increase your following and to boost the growth of your blog.

One of the top methods are threads in facebook groups for instagram, these are groups of blogger and influencers all over the world completing follow and like threads to boost their instagram numbers and engagement. I have actively participated in these groups as do a lot of other bloggers as they believe it is a “support system”. This year I have done a lot of research and reading into instagram and have come to the conclusion that this “support system” does you more damage than it does good.

By completing a single follow thread you can gain up to 300 followers, but these followers actually have no interest in your content, only their own so by completing these threads you gain 300 ghost followers. Ghost followers are those that follow your account but do not actively engage in your content, over the last year or so, thanks to the introduction of tools such as social blade, there has been a lot of shaming within the blogging community over the faking of influence. People buying their likes and followers, but with instagrams current algorithm people are calling out and shaming entirely innocent people.

Engagement has been at an all time low for majority of bloggers, we have all been scrabbling away to create better content, worrying about stats and the best posting times. Someone with 21k followers may only be getting just over 1k likes, but I believe, now this is my own theory and can be 100% wrong, having a mass amount of ghost followers can have a huge effect on the reach of your content impacting our engagement. So essentially all these follow threads bloggers are participating is just killing their own content.

Like threads are the same, a single thread can gain a single post 300 likes, but the time and effort it takes to complete these threads is ridiculous. The admins of these groups hound you relentlessly if you, for whatever reason, are not able to complete on time. I have had many of fallings out with Americans due to their harassment at ridiculous times. Now think about it, would you rather spend 3 hours liking content you genuinelyq have no interest in, or spend three hours creating content your active followers will engage with?

I recently put my theory to the test, I cleared out all of those I have followed over the past year in threads. My engagement rate was around 4% before I started, so far I have unfollowed over 400 ghost followers, and as a result my timeline is showing me content from bloggers and influencers I genuinely want to see, my post reach has doubled and my own engagement rates has gone up to 5%. I know what your thinking, so what? 1% isn’t a lot but it is the first increase ALL YEAR, and I do believe that it is a result of the ghost followers unfollowing me in return. My following is now genuine and my next IG goal is to increase that engagement to 10%.

If you are new to blogging, take my advice, stay away from follow and like threads. Engagement is so much more important than numbers, with engagement, numbers will organically follow. I wish I had someone to tell me this when I was first introduced the threads, but I am working to create better content for my instagram, yes my numbers and likes have dropped, but my engagement rate is going up and the rest will eventually follow.

Want my advice on how to grow organically? Spend time on your posts, even if that means only posting once or twice a week and Engage! Like other’s posts, follow hashtags and comment on content you like.

I could be getting this all wrong but so far, my theory is getting results. Check out my instagram, if you like what you see then hit that follow button! But remember if you want to see my content on your timeline you must like and engage!

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