We understand that it can be a little challenging to increase your Instagram following organically.
Perhaps this is the reason why you, along with many other Instagrammers, may turn towards quick hacks to increase your follower count overnight. And one of those hacks may involve buying Instagram followers online.
Now, for the price of, say, a small Starbucks cappuccino, some 1000 followers sound like a fantastic deal. But, if it was that inexpensive and straightforward, everyone on Instagram would be doing it, right? Then, what is the catch? Is it safe and legal to buy followers for your brand? Is purchasing online followers even worth an investment?
Read this article until the very end to find out.
Why Do People Create An Instagram Account?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to buy real Instagram followers (or whether that’s even possible) let’s get started with categorizing Instagrammers and how relevant their follower count is to them.
Given below are three prominent reasons why people choose to create an Instagram account:
1. For personal use
You might wish to connect with friends and family and share details about your everyday life with them. If this is indeed what you’d want, why would you buy followers for expanding your network? You wouldn’t personally know your followers, and they are unlikely to be uninterested in the content about your private life.
2. For increasing brand awareness
You might want to display your business offerings to a wider network of Instagram users. If you’re a company or brand, purchased followers are useless since they’re not going to buy any of your products or services. Moreover, any mismatch that they cause between your engagement rates and follower count will irreparably tarnish your brand’s reputation.
3. To become an influencer
You might want to influence your followers and even earn big partnerships from businesses to highlight their offers.
If you’re really an influencer, what is the point of having phony followers if you can’t influence them to be invested in your content? Most purchased followers either unfollow or stop engaging with an account’s posts after some time (merely a few days after the purchase.) They will end up skewing your account’s follower: engagement ratio to such an extent so as to make your account appear untrustworthy and dishonest.
In each of the scenarios above, we learned that buying Instagram followers, in other words, is a #Failure.
Why Do People Buy Instagram Followers?
Since Instagram’s inception, an account’s follower count is purportedly recognized as one of the most important metrics of success on the site (albeit some experts now deem it as a “vanity” metric).
It’s no wonder then that ambitious influencers in the making, and certain brands, are always seeking the best technique to quickly and easily obtain more Instagram followers for getting their accounts noticed by as many people as possible.
Listed below are some of the reasons why Instagrammers resort to buying followers:
1. A lack of time
One of the most prominent reasons for individuals to purchase Instagram followers is that they don’t have enough time to interact with other Instagrammers on the network to organically increase follower count.
It is fantastic indeed to spend hours in a day connecting with individuals in their target demographic while attempting to increase the exposure of their profile. But with an extremely large time commitment, it’s no wonder that individuals choose to buy followers to quickly inflate their follower count.
2. To cement their presence on the platform
This is another reason why some Instagram users who are just getting started on the platform buy followers. They wish to build a solid foundation of followers from which to expand further.
It’s far more difficult to gain additional followers when you just have ten, to begin with, as compared to, say, 1000 or 10,000.
3. To get better reach
The ultimate reason why people purchase Instagram followers is to bust their plateaued follower count and begin getting their content noticed by a newer, wider audience. New followers- even if they are purchased- apparently help to improve their overall brand perception and account’s success.
Let’s say, if you are an influencer, you might be inclined to purchase followers to stimulate the process of attracting a larger organic following. This will yield your sponsors or business partners greater outcomes, validating the reason why they’d signed up with you in the first place.
Buying Instagram followers got popular shortly after Instagram had exploded as a powerful social media site, but it quickly faded and became somewhat scandalous.
Brands and companies have been constantly fine-tuning their growth parameters to gauge who can be objectively called “successful” on Instagram for the purposes of marketing via collaboration.
How To Buy Instagram Followers?
To buy Instagram followers online for your Instagram account is a cakewalk. All you’d need to do is perform a simple Google search to end up with countless vendors promising the moon with their service of Instagram followers.
Then, upon selecting a seller of your choice and as per your discretion, you’d need to hand over your Instagram business account’s username and your credit card information.
You will have your own set of followers for a certain duration, subject to the conditions set by different buying options.
For instance, check out the different packages for buying followers with their respective rates offered by an online vendor called Upleap.
Is It Safe To Buy Instagram Followers?
Buying Instagram followers is not “safe,” in the strictest sense of the term, but it sure does have a caveat.
Yes, you will be endangering your account by violating Instagram’s terms of service by gaming the system. And yes, the majority of your new followers will be bots or shell accounts that will abandon you in a matter of weeks.
However, there is a silver lining to purchasing Instagram followers.
It jump-starts the growth of your follower count visibly. If you’re new on Instagram, it might be difficult for you to establish credibility if you don’t have any followers. By purchasing followers, even if they are bots, you boost your clout among similar accounts, increasing the likelihood that genuine people will discover and follow you.
The idea is to limit buying an excessive number of followers. For instance, if your account sports only a few posts but an astronomical follower count, Instagram, and other potential followers will get suspicious. Your account will run the risk of getting blacklisted by the platform.
On the other hand, if you purchase Instagram followers in smaller amounts repeatedly, your follower count’s increment might appear organic, although you will still not be completely off the hook as far as Instagram’s monitoring is concerned!
How Do Paid Instagram Followers Hurt Your Brand?
Indeed, Instagram today is rife with faux followers; particularly those bot accounts or shell profiles sporting fake profile pictures that leave random comments here and there. We all know that they exist, and they’re probably going to pop up under some username or another.
But are there any advantages in their existence to warrant their use?
The short answer is no. Brands gain virtually nothing by investing their Instagram ad budget on fake followers. They only end up shooting themselves in the foot instead.
Given below are some of the reasons why buying Instagram followers may hurt your brand.
You won’t get any meaningful engagement
Purchased Instagram followers add little long-term impact to your overall brand perception. The followers you buy may provide you likes, views, and comments when you first acquire them, but their initial attention will slowly start petering out afterward – especially when it will be time for you to evaluate your account’s performance.
And how valuable are those followers who don’t interact with your brand online? Instagram’s algorithm prioritizes engagement when displaying posts to users in the feed or “Explore” page. Without any likes or comments, your post will most likely not appear in your target audience’s feeds, nor will it appear on any of the Explore Pages.
Instagram won’t go easy on you
When it comes to punishing accounts with fake followers, Instagram makes no concessions.
In November 2018, Instagram labeled all attempts at artificially growing an audience as “inauthentic activity,” and a violation of its Terms of Service and Community Guidelines.
The platform revised its Terms of Service to detect and eliminate bogus accounts. Instagram has reportedly cracked down on accounts with many followers, likes, or comments generated by third-party services designed to artificially boost their audience.
If you purchase Instagram followers, you will also be violating their community standards, which may result in a response from moderators.
Fake accounts routinely get deleted, so your followers might vanish any time. Due to your involvement in unethical actions, there is also a chance that Instagram could permanently suspend your account.
No Returns on Investment
Brands today are becoming more astute. They look at an account’s engagement rates in addition to its follower count. It will be difficult to establish a high engagement rate when attempting to collaborate with other companies in your niche if you do not have actual followers. Companies that buy fake followers to establish authority discover that their efforts look futile in the face of absent engagement.
You’ll end up losing money since Instagram continuously deletes accounts of fake followers while you continuously purchase more of those to keep up appearances. In any case, several social media organizations have conducted various research studies that indicate deploying bots does not help sell things on Instagram.
The message here is completely obvious: having a small, dedicated, and engaged group is preferable to having a large number of false followers who will never connect with you or buy from you.
You will tarnish your brand’s reputation
You may assume that having a large follower count may persuade individuals to instinctively follow your account, although that’s not a guarantee.
Be mindful of the risks discussed previously: purchased followers are unlikely to engage with all your posts, at least for the long term. And if you’re detected with a large number of such fake followers, you risk losing trust with your genuine audience.
Organic users may see that you don’t attract a lot of engagement on your posts, which may discourage them from following you at all. Say, for instance, if your account boasts 10,000 followers but merely a pitiable 4-5 likes per post, you will attract derision from business rivals and contempt from your account’s visitors.
Don’t Buy Customers; Earn Them.
Fake followers may increase your account’s engagement levels soon after purchase, but they offer no long-term value — both in terms of reputation and sales.
The honest and the most viable approach to gain more followers and engagement is to create outstanding content, have an effective Instagram marketing plan, and make a genuine effort to meaningfully engage with your audience.
Creating a strategy to raise your follower count may appear intimidating. But with efficient planning in place, you will witness your follower count rise much more rapidly for the long term as compared to a bot-enabled, temporary boost.
CTA: It is important to plan and manage your engagement with clients to ensure the success of your marketing plans. Visit SocialPilot to learn more about client management and social media scheduling.