Have you been wondering, “How many people can you follow on Instagram?”

It’s an excellent question to have.

Knowing your limits on Instagram is one of the easiest ways to reduce your risk of being shadowbanned or caught out by the Insta algorithm. It’s also helpful if you want to make sure that your Instagram account looks professional and credible, rather than just spammy.

In the past, there was no limit on the number of followers you could have or the number of people you could follow in return. However, that isn’t the case today.

All activities on Instagram are limited (to an extent). Instagram is working hard to reduce the number of spam accounts and fakers on their channel. In a world where bots and automated algorithms can generate fake followers and likes by the bucketload, guidelines are how Instagram pinpoints potentially problematic accounts.

Fortunately, we’re here to help you understand the basics of your Instagram limits – particularly when it comes to followers.

The Rules on Instagram Follower Limits

According to Instagram, the number of people that can follow you is potentially infinite, but the number of people you can follow in return is limited. As Instagram puts it:

Instagram error

So, the basic answer to “how many people can you follow on Instagram?” is 7,500. However, there’s more to it than that.

Instagram put a limit on the number of people that an account can follow to reduce the risk of people using the follow/unfollow strategy to grow their channels unscrupulously. We’ll come back to that in a minute.

Before we start looking at things like follower ratios, let’s get some things straight.

The first thing you need to know is that Instagram can be more flexible with older accounts and people who have more than 10,000 followers. Newer, younger accounts will generally face more scrutiny if they start following thousands of people suddenly.

Additionally, Instagram will also consider your follower ratio when determining whether you’re a spam account.

If you have ten followers, but you’re following 3,000 people, Instagram will see that something isn’t right. However, if you’re following 3,000 people but have 300,000 followers, that’s not so bad.

How Many People Can You Follow on Instagram Each Day?

Just as there’s a limit to the number of people you can follow overall, there are also some restrictions on the number of people you can follow every day. For instance, you shouldn’t be trying to follow more than 1,000 accounts per day. If you have a younger account (less than 3 months old), trying to follow more than 500 people at once will raise some red flags with Instagram too.

Here at SocialFollow, we’re not precisely a Follow4Follow platform, but we do use strategic following to improve your chances of growing your account’s presence. However, since we know that asking an account to follow too many people at once can trigger problems with Instagram algorithms, we make sure that we only get users to follow 10 relevant accounts each day.

Knowing your Limits, and the Basics of Follower Ratio

So, why is it so important to know your follower and following limits?

Ultimately, growing your following on Instagram is hard. One of the easiest ways that people have found to gain more followers fast is to simply follow as many other accounts as possible and hope that they return the favor.

This strategy is known as Follow4Follow. The process has gained a bad reputation over the years, often because brands would follow people then immediately unfollow them after they got a follow in return. This was because companies didn’t want to gain a bad follower ratio.

If you follow too many people at once, and you have the same, or a similar number of people following you in return, your ratio suffers, and your reputation falters as a result.

What is Follower Ratio

One of the first things your potential followers will look at when deciding whether you’re a credible brand is your follower ratio. A brand or individual who has virtually no followers but attempts to follow countless companies doesn’t look good. You’re more likely to appear desperate to your potential consumers if your follower ratio is out of whack.

For those who aren’t familiar with follow ratio yet, here’s how you can calculate yours.

Take your number of followers and divide it by your total following. If you have 16,712 followers, and you’re following 2,000 people, your follower ratio will be 8.3. The higher your ratio number, the better. For instance, here’s what your ratio says about you:

  • 5: Spammy person or bot
  • 1: Suspicious or potentially account
  • 2-3: Normal, you might not have the best rate, but it’s not bad either
  • 4-10: Micro-Influencer, you have a lot more followers than people you’re following
  • 10+: Celebrity, major brand, or full influencer

The Problem with Follow4Follow Strategies

Although following people to gain more attention on Instagram isn’t a bad idea, you need to do it properly if you want to avoid being banned or harming your reputation.

Not does a traditional follow4follow campaign increase your chances of getting in Instagram’s bad books, but it also means that your customers may start to notice that you’re engaging in shady practices to grow your presence online. This could cause some severe issues with your social media strategy.

The biggest problems most companies have with using conventional follow4follow systems are:

1.      Following random people

You can only follow a certain number of people a day and a specific number overall. That means that you can’t afford to waste your time on people that aren’t connected to your industry. Following random users just shows people that you’re desperate for attention. Even if you do earn follows in return, they’re unlikely to be from people who will help you brand grow or gain you additional sales.

Instead, you should be using your following abilities strategically, by carefully following a select number of users that are relevant to your space. Here at SocialFollow, we use a pioneering strategy to help businesses develop around 10 people a day for a return of 50 completely committed followers or more. Not only do you gain more attention this way, but you also maintain an average follower ratio of 5, which puts you at micro-influencer level.

2.      Overusing the strategy

Follow4Follow isn’t the ultimate strategy to help your business grow on Instagram. Instead, it’s meant to be used as a sort of launching point. You can use strategic following to get your business off the ground during the initial stages of your Instagram campaign when you’re struggling to attract people to your brand. Following other users and influencers can genuinely give you the boost that you need.

However, once you’ve achieved that initial boost, you’ll need to start using other strategies to help your Instagram campaigns to thrive too. Following people in the hope that the theory of reciprocation will work in your favor will only get you so far. You also need to post regular high-quality content. Making sure you delight your audience with inspiring videos, and interact with influencers develops your online presence too.

People using old Follow4Follow techniques that involved liking thousands of accounts and then unfollowing them within the week rarely had enough time to run an effective Instagram campaign at the same time. That meant that Instagram could easily separate the cheaters on the platform from those gaining attention authentically.

3.      Having the wrong strategy

Finally, just like any social media plan, following people on Instagram is a strategy that only works when you know how to use it correctly. Here at SocialFollow, we don’t encourage our customers to follow people that they immediately remove from their community. We help you to find people you can monitor who will actively support the growth of your business.

That means that you follow only the Instagram users who will continuously deliver value to your campaign. That might include influencers that you can work with later or thought leaders that will give you useful pots to re-gram with their permission.

Success on Instagram isn’t about cheating your way to the top by trying to take as many growth shortcuts as you can. If you want to stand out on social media, then you need to build a genuine connection with the right people. Do this by curating an active and engaging community of followers, and people that you follow in return.

How Many People Should You Follow on Instagram?

So, you know how many people you can follow on Instagram.

Now, you need to figure out how many people you should be following.

At SocialFollow, research into Instagram engagement levels has taught us that as long as you have four to five followers for every one person you follow, you should be able to keep your Instagram follower ratio in check. If you find that you’re struggling to maintain that balance, you might need to go into your follower list and remove a few people.

Don’t just rush in and start deleting as many people as possible to improve your ratio again.This make it look like you’ve been using sketchy Follow4Follow tactics. What’s more you could risk losing the attention of crucial influencers and thought leaders in your community.

Instead, sort through the people that you’re following carefully. Ask yourself how each of them brings value to your social media strategy. Treat your Instagram community like an email marketing list. Get rid of only the contacts who are no longer active, or providing value to your team.

Additionally, make sure that you don’t get rid of too many people too fast. Deciding to unfollow hundreds of people only weeks after you followed them initially raises red flags,

Knowing your Limits On Instagram

Making the most of Instagram as a source of leads is harder than it seems. With more than a billion people using the platform today, you can’t just rush out and use any old strategy to develop your Instagram presence. You’ll need to think carefully about the kind of image you want to create for yourself and your brand.

Part of building the right aesthetic on Instagram is knowing your limits. For instance it may also be worth knowing about other restrictions, like:

  • Likes: You can only like up to 1,000 posts per day. However, you shouldn’t be getting anywhere near this number realistically. if you want to avoid making Instagram’s algorithm think that you’re spamming or using Like4Like automated strategies stick to lower numbers.
  • Comments: You can post up to around 200 comments a day. However, once again, these comments need to be authentic. If Instagram notices that you’re using a bot to repost the same comments on hundreds of different pieces of content, then your chances of being banned go up drastically. Only comment on posts when you have something valuable to say.
  • Direct messages: Up to around 80 per day but be careful about messaging too many people too quickly. This will also be a red flag to Instagram that you’re engaging in spammy behavior.

If you’re a new Instagram user, your total action limit will be around 500 a day – this includes actions like following, unfollowing, liking, and commenting on posts. By knowing your limits, you can improve your chances of being seen as an authentic professional on Instagram.

After all, automating certain parts of your campaign and using growth strategies can be a good idea. However, if you don’t use your Instagram account carefully, you could end up being banned.

Want to find out more about safely growing your Instagram followers, and achieving a better follower ratio? Contact Socialfollow.co today!