#Unfollowed: 5 Stages of Grief
We all know our number. No, not our phone number -- who even uses those anymore? I'm talking Instagram follower count.
Rule #1: Keep that follower/following ratio on point. The very way Instagram is designed leads to a hyperawareness of how many followers you've wrangled up -- it's at the very top of your profile. With that focused UX design, it's naturally one of the first elements people glance at... And judge you based on.
You may have been under the false impression that Instagram was all fun and games, but that was before you downloaded InsTrack, an app that tells you exactly who the backstabbing bastards are who who have unfollowed you. Realizing you've been digitally kicked to the curb can trigger a lot of feelings, let's cope together:
Denial: Who the f*** does he/she think he is? Upon finding out who the precise unfollower is, you may experience a range of emotions, depending on who the person is and how tight you guys are. If it was a random chick from high school who loves to hunt, you could probably care less -- be gone, basic! But if it was the homie... That "close" friend who's selfies you've been supporting for years? That one stings. It can't be true!
Anger: This motherf******. You're ashamed to admit it, but after spending way too much time digging thru said mothereffer's following list, you're not on it. How long have I been double-tapping this jerk's #TBT's while they weren't even following me? You debate leaving a slew of rage-faced emojis on their latest photo.... Too obvious. Hit 'em where it hurts: unfollow.
Bargaining: If only my feed were more on fleek. If you don't admit to looking at your own IG grid and wondering how it looks from the eyes of a stranger, you're a liar. Out of the the top social networks right now, Instagram is gunning to be the most visually curated. I personally rotate between 3-4 photo editing apps to tweak the perfect photo with trendy filters, color tones and a little bit of Facetune before I feel it's ready to be posted. When faced with an unfollow, we are quick to blame our content -- "my feed's lame" syndrome. Now, unless you started posting an unreasonable amount of dog filter selfies in the past few days, be confident that your content is rad and what got you a follow in the first place.
Depression: Never forget an unfollower. It's natural to take it personally, especially if you you were close with this Judas. Don't take an unfollow as a reflection of your feed. Chances are, they thought you'd never notice. Little did they know you "have an app for that." There's a word to describe those that serially follow/unfollow people on Instagram: the worst. While following a slew of users only to unfollow them later in the hopes that they don't notice is certainly a strategy that gets your follower count up, it kinda makes you scum. I get asked a lot if following/unfollowing is a sound strategy -- my short answer: no. If you're looking to build an engaged and authentic community, don't start with false friendship and camaraderie that you take back a couple weeks later. Newsflash: people notice and they remember.
Acceptance: If stages 1-4 last more than 24 hours, see a physician. While, the first cut/unfollow is the deepest, you won't be fooled again. With apps like InsTrack, you can run audits of your followers as often as you want. If you're serious about growing your presence on Instagram, keep a critical eye on those your following but aren't following you back. You'll find yourself developing a 6th sense soon enough, so no need to compulsively check it. Most importantly, Instagram is about more than just followers. Delve deeper into InsTrack's other insights like top supporters, likers and commenters for your page, as well as your most popular followers and your top performing posts to really get your 'Gram to the next level.