Should You Buy Instagram Followers? The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
The first thing some people do when they notice engaging content on Instagram is to head straight to their Instagram account and make a subconscious comparison.
Some compare the numbers to the quality of content. One would feel that a said brand, creator, etc. should have at least ‘X’ many followers.
On the contrary, you might feel they don’t deserve that many followers.
Hence, this is the magic of numbers!
These numbers give a casual scroller an idea of a said profile’s presence.
Online presence and popularity are often (fairly or unfairly) decided by the numbers.
This is the top and foremost reason why people succumb to the idea of having fake followers for their profiles. ￼
The charisma of fake followers for Instagram
You must have been familiar with an incident whereby many famous Instagram profiles lost many of their Instagram followers overnight.
It caused a global panic amongst celebrities, politicians, influencers, and corporations who were affected by this move.
However, what exactly happened?
Many celebrities have been exposed to acquiring fake Instagram profiles to increase their numbers.
These numbers give these celebrities some validation and credential. More so, it softens people’s criticism towards the profile no matter how mediocre the content might be.
If a person has thousands of subscribers, there must be something worth following, right?
This is the exact sentiment that these Instagrammers are looking to gain. Simply put — Fake followers add charisma to a given Instagram profile.
The face behind fake Instagram profiles
Many companies offer fake followers. Some hire people to create multiple accounts to follow their clients while some hijack old and inactive accounts.
These purchased accounts are nothing but impersonators of a ghost profile.
These profiles are used to like, follow or comment on other profiles. Nevertheless, this is the “success” story of some influencers you see in the market.
Basically, certain influencers or brands invest in the purchase of Instagram followers without knowing the consequences of doing such.
Nevertheless, in this blog post, we will be covering what we think you should know regarding buying Instagram followers.
Now, the main question is — should you buy followers on Instagram? It depends on who you are and what is your main aim.
Below, we would discuss extensively whether buying followers on Instagram will be ideal for your brand or not.
Your identity on Instagram
Are you a brand looking forward to creating a buzz?
Are you an aspiring Instagram influencer looking for some impressive numbers to “influence” other people?
Perhaps, you are a local rockstar just wanting to seek fun with numbers hoping to make good use of the account later?
Now, it is quite a little harmless to buy followers on Instagram if you are not a brand or seeking to be a public figure.
However, if you are a brand or a public personality, then you might want to have a second thought about buying followers on Instagram.
First, you can get these followers for a pretty low price.
From $5 for 100 followers to $500 for 1000, the costs may vary a little.
Getting likes on a post is much cheaper than getting followers on your profile.
So, for a hundred or two hundred likes, you could be paying a dollar, which might sound like a good deal.
Shopping for likes and followers is loosely termed Instagram automation.
Here, you link your account to a service that increases your followers or likes on certain posts of your choice.
So, what’s the catch?
Buying followers don’t get you instant, genuine followers.
It doesn’t even get you the necessary likes or comments that you might be expecting to come your way.
Hence, this is one of the reasons why people say that numbers can be deceiving.
Let’s start with the good parts.
Let’s be honest — seeing a healthy number of followers builds up confidence and trust.
But soon Instagram might remove the follower counters altogether from user’s profiles so that might not be a good reason to do so.
Hitting that 10K mark faster
So if you are fancy about getting a swipe-up option on your Instagram stories and growing organically followers to this magic 10K number feels like forever, it might be tempting to just hit that number with a bunch of purchased followers.
Now that you know the economics, what’s the risk?
The Bad: The problems with fake Instagram followers
OK, time for the bad parts.
Because your newly purchased followers take up the numbers, they will be always taken into consideration with various Instagram analytics tools.
This will cause further confusion as you won’t be able to give an accurate number about your engagement rate.
If one has to calculate the engagement percentage, here is the formula:
Number of likes on posts + number of comments on posts / number of followers x 100 = engagement rate.
Lack of engagement
You might be overwhelmed with your promised number of followers increasing per minute.
However, if you click on those profiles, you’d know that many of those ‘supposed’ followers might be inactive on Instagram.
They either might have two or perhaps no post. Hence, they tend to look suspicious.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that since they are fake, they won’t engage in any way with your content — they won’t like and comment on your posts, or watch your videos and Instagram stories.
But most importantly…
Fake followers don’t buy things
If you are a brand, you would be looking forward to monetizing your account and boosting your sales and.
However, these fake Instagram profiles are not going to buy anything from you.
They are virtually dead — literally.
They might go away
There is no promise that the followers you’ve just acquired won’t disappear.
This might be due to an Instagram slowly finding and axing those fake profiles or simply the service you are using, will slowly, over time, deduct them from your account.
The Ugly: Dangers of buying Instagram followers
Suppose you are an artist/brand/influencer on Instagram.
If a fan or a section of the target audience stumbles upon your profile, they might be impressed with your follower’s count.
But as soon as they click on your post and see a disparity between the number of likes on a post and the number of comments versus the number of followers, they will call out your bluff.
Your integrity will be questioned. People will notice and will negatively react to it. So, it is actually a really temporary and backfiring strategy.
Let’s make it a little simple for you to understand:
Most of the genuine profiles have follower’s engagement of 7–8% at least. The fake follower’s accounts will have an engagement rate of 1.5% to 4%, which is a huge dip.
Brands won’t work with you
If you are an influencer on Instagram or want to become one, then this will look bad on your profile.
The companies or sponsors who would want to associate with you will thoroughly check your profile.
If they do the math, they will be able to tell if your followers are genuine or are fake.
Nowadays, it is easier to detect if an account bought its followers.
Hence, if potential sponsors find out that your followers are fake, you will be prone to getting a bad reputation from all over the place.
Everyone will question your integrity and genuineness.
Many have been rumored to be peddling soft porn in these inactive profiles.
Those kinds of profiles would be following your profile.
Someday, you might even be shocked to find one of those profiles comment something inappropriate on one of your posts — which is definitely not ideal.
Instagram will ultimately axe your fake followers
Also, if you decide to go ahead and buy followers on Instagram, it is essential to know that you would be the one doing all the spending with no greater results.
It is also crucial to note that Instagram actively hunts for such fake profiles who are dedicated to this purpose.
It could result in a risk of your account getting deleted by Instagram along with the loyal followers you have on your profile.
You are risking your account getting suspended
If you will be notoriously purchasing fake followers, you are putting your account in jeopardy and risking it being suspended.
So, is it worth it by now?
Alternatives to buying Instagram followers
If you do not have genuine followers, sponsors will not like to associate with you. This will not result in the ROI that you dream of having.
Also, people do figure out what is genuine and what is fake. Losing integrity would mean losing followers and business.
It doesn’t matter if you have a few hundred genuine people following you on Instagram.
If you use the right methods like using the right hashtags (at least 11 per post) and you use the right social media tools, it would help you increase the reach of your profile, which could lead to an influx of loyal followers.
Thus, it is important to note that when you are looking to grow your influence, it is essential that you don’t go for shortcut methods.
Instead, you should invest time in building an excellent social media marketing strategy.
Invest in Instagram video ads, story ads, post ads, and whatnot!
These will definitely help you gain the visibility and reach you need without looking too desperate or flaky.
Here, you can think about how your content will make a difference, what makes your content different and better from the rest.
By identifying this, you can easily come up with a USP and sell your brand anywhere you go.
Buying Instagram Followers: Final note
If you believe that fake numbers will get you up there, they will not.
It is going to hurt your marketing strategy in the long run.
It will also affect your brand image, and people will criticize it as well. It will be hard starting from scratch again.
Also, don’t forget that potential customers or brand associates would look at the ratio between followers, likes, and comments.
This will tell them if it is good to associate with you or not.
If you get a bad reputation in the social media circle, you will not be getting the ROI that you would be expecting.
Hence, you’d realize that you end up spending more on buying fake followers.
If you are a business or someone who is looking for buyers, these fake followers will do nothing for you.
They will only sit pretty on your followers count.
However, it is okay to grow slow than to buy Instagram followers.
The rate of engagement will be genuine, and you can gain more prominence slowly. If you want better engagement, try better tactics.
So, this means that you should invest in making better content and using the right social media tools to get you there.
Also, if you don’t know how Instagram’s algorithm works, you can always take the help of a genuine instagram growth service like Hypegrowth to help you with it.
Hypegrowth helps you grow your Instagram account organically; hence, this is much better than spending your money on fake followers.
We hope that you have found the answer to the hot topic of the day. In the end, it is your decision on what you want to portray to the world.
Nevertheless, we believe that you would want to choose a better audience engagement than zombie profiles.
Karen is a senior technical writer and copywriter here at GrowFollowing. Her area of expertize are social media apps and new media.