Ever wondered what a user considers before they click that follow button? A few things that come to mind is the quality of the content, is the quality of the post consistent with all the other posts in their feed, the average number of likes and comments, and surprisingly, the number of followers and followings you have.
The comparison between the number of follower and following is called the follower/following ratio. The follower/following ratio is a metric some users use to judge the quality of your account. Those with low follower/following ratio are typically low-quality accounts that depend only on the follow/unfollow method to gain followers, whereas accounts with high follower/following ratio are influencers and celebrities.
But don’t be quick to judge, the follower/following ratio only matters if you have between a certain number of followers.
When Does The Follower/Following Ratio Matter?
The amount of followings you can have is finite, but the number of followers is infinite. Instagram only allows you to follow at most 7,500 people. Therefore, your follower/following ratio can only grow. That’s why your follower/following ratio will only matter between 1,000 to 15,000 followers.
The reasoning behind the lower and upper bound is simple. The average number of followers for a personal Instagram account is 150. The purpose of having a personal account is to connect with friends and family. Therefore, if you have a personal account, users are following you because they know you, not because of your follower/following ratio.
At above 1,000 followers, that’s when we see more business and micro influencers. We capped the upper bound at 15,000 followers because users already perceive you as an influencer. Once recognized as an influencer, quality of your content is the key determinate if a user will follow you.
The reason being is if you’re above 15,000 followers, you have already proven to the user that you have a solid followers base and have proven some success. The fundamental question before a user follows you is if the content you are sharing align with their interests.
The Ratio Indicator
For those with followers between 1,000 and 15,000, here’s what your follower/following ratio tell users about you.
<0.5 Spammer: Users that are inexperienced with Instagram automation tools and are spamming followers in hope for follows back.
0.5-1 Suspicious: Users that are likely to be using Instagram automation tools, but are following the wrong people or has poor quality content leading to poor follow back rates.
1-2 Normal: Users that have some success with Instagram automation, but need to focus on other strategies to drive more engagement.
2-10 Micro Influencer: Users that are either master of Instagram automation or has incredible content to grow their account.
10+ Influencer: Likely to be micro-celebrities or rising stars that are popular on other social media channels.
To calculate your Follower/Following Ratio, take your number of followers, then divide it by your total following. For example, an account with 13,152 followers, and 1571 following will have a follower/following ratio of 8.3. That’s simply calculated by 13,152/1,571 = 8.3. Therefore, this account is considered to be a micro-influencer.
Beyond the Ratio
The Follower/Following Ratio is a great quick check to see what others perceive your account. But as an influencer, the next immediate question is how much is your account worth.
An incredible tool that we’ve stumble upon is this Instagram Sponsored Post Money Calculator by Influencer Marketing Hub. As described on the website, “The Instagram Money Calculator allows you to calculate your estimated earnings from your Instagram account if you believe you are an influencer, based on your engagement and number of followers.”
For those interested in finding out their Instagram worth, check out the calculator here. If you’re struggling on improving your ratio, here’s an article that can help you sky rocket your Instagram growth.