When you open your Instagram profile, the first thing you’ll see is the total number of followers vs following on Instagram. These numbers aren’t just for show. They can greatly impact your success as a content creator.
Followers are people who follow you to see your posts and engage with your content. Following means the accounts you choose to see their updated content in your feed.
While it’s natural to focus on your followers’ number, having the right following is also important for growing your account. It’s called the Instagram followers to following ratio. Why is it important?
That’s what we’ll explain in this post. We’ll learn what followers and following on Instagram are and how they differ. We’ll also give you tips on how to maintain balance in your followers and following ratio. Let’s get started!
Followers vs Following on Instagram: Definition
Let’s start from the basic by understanding the definition of those terms before jumping into the differences between followers vs following on Instagram.
What Do Followers Mean on Instagram?
Followers are people who like your Instagram account and want to see what you post. Once they hit the “Follow” button, they’ll get updates from your account in their feed, and get notifications when you’re live.
Followers matter on Instagram. That’s why people care about growing their followers, especially content creators and social media influencers.
If you have more followers, you’ll reach more like-minded people in your niche. Let’s say you like to post about going on trips, you’ll connect with people who also love traveling and can share your experience with them.
But that’s not all when it comes to followers vs following on Instagram. When many people follow your account, it can also be a sign that you have good credibility. At the end of the day, it can help you attract more sponsors, advertisers, or partners who want to work with you.
Do more followers always mean better? Not always, depending on what types of followers you have.
Followers on Instagram can be different types:
- Active followers — These are true followers who like, comment, and share your posts. They’re interested in what you say and are likely to become loyal followers.
- Passive followers — They follow you but don’t engage much. They might be interested in your content but hesitate to interact directly.
- Fake followers — These are Instagram accounts created by bots or for spamming.
- Brand followers — They follow brands to learn about their products or services.
- Community followers — They follow people in their community. For example, they follow cosplayers because they have a keen interest in cosplaying.
As a content creator, you should aim to attract active followers, especially those who are organic followers. How to view followers on Instagram? You can either go to your profile page or use Instagram follower trackers to get more detailed data.
What Does Following Mean on Instagram?
Following are the accounts you follow on Instagram. You follow them either because you know them, like friends and family, or because they’re famous, like athletes, gamers, and streamers.
For content creators, the following deals with finding inspiration, information, and entertainment. That’s the reason many following is all about top influencers on Instagram.
For example, you can follow @Ninja and @xQc to get inspired about gaming. Or, if you’re into cosplaying, you might follow @alysontabbitha and @myrtlegail.
But, it doesn’t stop there dealing with followers vs following on instagram. You can also follow accounts to build networking and collaborate with others. That’s why it is important to clearly define who you are on your Instagram bio.
There are four types of following on Instagram:
- One-way — you follow someone, but they don’t follow you back.
- Mutual — you follow someone and they follow you back.
- Selective — you only follow a few accounts, even if you have many followers.
- Mass following — you follow many accounts quickly, based on interests or trends.
Read More: How to Collab Post on Instagram
The Ideal Instagram Followers vs Following Ratio
Is it better to have more followers than following on Instagram? The short answer is yes. But you have to consider the followers vs following ratio on Instagram, too.
What is a Follower-to-Following Ratio?
Your follower-to-following ratio shows how many followers you have compared to the accounts you follow. For example, if you have 10,000 followers and follow 1,000 accounts, your ratio is 10. As simple as that.
Having more followers vs following on Instagram results in a high ratio. If people keep following you on Instagram because your content is valuable, that could mean you have good credibility. It also means you might have more influence on your audience.
On the flip side, if you follow more accounts than you have followers, your Instagram followers vs following ratio will be low. This could mean that your content isn’t interesting to your audience, so they may not want to follow you. Or, you’re just following accounts too fast and too often.
So what’s the recommended Instagram followers vs following ratio?
- For personal — 5
- For business — 10
- For content creator or small influencers — 10 to 30
- For mega influencers or celebrity — 30 or more
Bear in mind, that the followers vs following on Instagram ratio isn’t a set rule. It’s more like a suggestion than a reliable metric even if a research stated that higher ratio means higher conversion rate.
Some accounts might appear to have good followers vs. following on Instagram ratio, but this can be deceiving. Why? They have many fake followers or bots.
With that in mind, don’t forget to also look at your engagement rate, reach, and impressions to see how well your account is doing.
Final Thoughts on Instagram Followers vs Following
Content creators on Instagram must be aware of two important metrics: followers vs following on Instagram. Here’s a table that outlines the differences between the two:
|Users who follow your account to see your posts in their feed
|You follow other Instagram users to see posts in your feed
|Your posts can reach a wider audience
|Discover new content from your favorite users
|They can help your Instagram account grow, especially active ones.
|They can help you get inspired with awesome and trending content
|The more followers, the better opportunity for making money through sponsorships, affiliates, and merch sales
|It opens the door to connect with others and collaborate in the future
Keep in mind to have a good balance of Instagram followers vs. following ratio. Doing this will prevent your account from being spammy and show that it’s growing over time. That will help you to build credibility as a content creator.
And the best part? You’ll find it easier to make money on Instagram or with the help of platforms like Gank where you can receive donations from fans, sell merchandise, and more with 0% platform fees!
FAQ about Followers vs Following on Instagram
What is the difference between followers and following?
Followers are Instagram users who follow your account while following refers to Instagram users whom you follow. You can see both of these statistics on your Instagram profile page.
How does Instagram order followers and following?
The algorithm arranges your Instagram followers vs following list using activity, relevance, and more. If you interact often with a new account, they may move higher on the list. And if an account you follow gets inactive, it may move lower on the list.
Why is it important to have more followers than following?
Having more followers vs following on Instagram means your content is interesting to many people in your niche. This can help you have more influence on them and attract even more followers. Dealing with followers vs following on Instagram, this is also a sign of good quality, which can attract brands to collaborate with you to promote their products.
Should I follow back all my followers?
No, you shouldn’t. Only follow accounts that are relevant and active, not fake ones or bots. That way, it can help you build a relationship with them, show your appreciation, and get more interaction.
Does following people increase your followers?
Yes, it does. But only if you do it right. When it comes to followers vs following on instagram, follow people who are in the same niche, have similar interests, or can benefit from your content. Interact with them by liking and commenting on their posts. They may follow you back if you can get their attention and show your worth. That’s when you get a new follower and attract more followers from them.