Are you tempted? Find out what happens when you buy Instagram followers.
Is Instagram one of your preferred social networks? Why wouldn’t it be?
The photo-sharing platform had 107.2 million monthly active users in the U.S. in 2019. You can expect this figure to reach 120.3 million by 2023. Who wouldn’t want to get an audience that large?
Celebrities, politicians, and other public figures have huge followings on social media. But there’s more to it than meets the eye.
According to a report, many prominent American politicians have fake Twitter followers.
When they can fake it and buy real Instagram followers, why can’t you?
Especially when you already know how challenging it is to earn followers organically on an ultra-competitive platform like Instagram.
A shortcut can be hard to resist.
But is buying Instagram followers worthwhile?
In this post, let’s take a closer look at why people buy Instagram followers and what happens when they do.
Shall we begin?
Why Do People Buy Instagram Followers?
Everybody wants to be popular on social media.
Your content may be useful, but won’t it look better if 10K likes it?
Whether you’re an influencer who wants more eyeballs on your content or an up-and-coming brand who wants more leads, vanity metrics like the number of followers are essential.
There are 150 million fake profiles on Instagram.
Some are inactive accounts that many third-party apps sell, and some are AI-powered bots.
Influencers are especially susceptible to this problem. Since many brands weigh influencers based on their follower count, influencers resort to shady tactics like buying Instagram followers and using engagement pods.
Fifty-six influencers I interviewed for my blog claimed that buying followers is one of the biggest mistakes they made in their careers.
And, it is tarnishing the image of the influencer industry and costing brands dearly. A cybersecurity firm, Cheq, estimates that brands lost nearly $1.3 billion in 2019 by investing in influencers who had fake fans.
Businesses that leverage Instagram marketing as a tool to fool people into paying to inject ads in Instagram Stories of “famous” people (who don’t have real followers). Buyers get the impression that vendors are trustworthy since they have numerous followers and story views.
The vicious circle goes on.
What Happens When You Buy Instagram Followers?
If you’re still curious to know what happens when you buy Instagram followers, here goes:
You can buy fake Instagram followers from many sources, from third-party apps to interactive installations, for amounts as low as $0.99 for 1,000 followers!
Not many people know that they have to pay separately for engagement. Essentially, these 1,000 followers are going to be dummies who won’t like, reshare, or comment on your posts.
Besides, you can hire services to follow relevant accounts on your behalf strategically. Ideally, these people will follow you back. Since there is no guarantee that this will happen, buying fake Instagram followers this way is a risky proposition.
For risk-free investment, people are hiring Instagram growth services to inflate their follower count. They claim to deliver “real” followers who would get incentives in return for their engagement.
Social media marketing agencies claim to deliver new followers per day with a “mass story viewing” technique. These followers are sponsored to follow you and have no interest in your content.
Even if you manage to receive engagement initially, it will not benefit you in the long run.
If you have 10K fake Instagram followers but just four or five likes per post, it won’t take long for people to realize that something is not right.
Moreover, bot-generated comments are sometimes out of context, which can look fishy and dent your credibility. Having tons of followers can attract people who get swayed by vanity metrics, but you can’t expect quality engagement from shallow relationships.
There is one more downside if you buy fake Instagram followers.
You won’t gauge how well your content is performing since fake numbers will distort your engagement metrics.
You won’t understand what kind of content your real audience wants to see. It means that once you’ve drained your funds, you won’t be able to get organic reach through content alone. That’s why buying fake Instagram followers is not a long-term solution.
Lastly, if you try to play Instagram’s algorithm with paid followers, you’re setting yourself for disappointment.
After their 2016 algorithm update, engagement has become critical in deciding if your post will show in your followers’ Explore pages or news feeds. The number of likes and comments on your posts has no bearing on your account’s rank order or positions.
How Is Instagram Penalizing Those Who Buy Instagram Followers?
In November 2018, Instagram announced that it would be cracking down on inauthentic activity to maintain the forum’s sanctity and credibility.
They started removing likes, follows, and comments suspected of inauthentic accounts, such as those purchased from third-party apps.
Employing machine learning-enabled tools, Instagram identifies accounts that fall within this category and sends them an in-app alert notifying that their fake engagement has got spotted.
On their blog, the folks at Instagram said that many users with high follower counts or engagement rates are being “watched” by bots.
Also Read: How To Use Instagram To Make Money?
These targets can unknowingly reveal their login credentials to bots who hijack their accounts. That’s why Instagram advises such users to change their passwords.
Purging malpractices from the platform has been an ongoing effort by Instagram. In 2019, they deleted story views from inauthentic accounts (for example, accounts with zero followers/posts).
Instagram started removing views after users reported getting ideas and following requests from famous people who are unknown or unrelated to them.
To safeguard your account from growth hackers, Instagram recommends that users should keep their profiles private or hide their stories when they appear in the viewers’ section.
Users are welcoming the algorithm update since it favors genuine content and protects their profiles from miscreants.
How Can You Get Real Followers on Instagram?
By now, hopefully, you understand that buying fake Instagram followers is a bad idea. But the bottom line is that businesses and influencers need followers to grow their networks and make sales.
So how can you crack the numbers game?
Here are five proven strategies you can follow:
Use Hashtags Smartly
Hashtags are proven to help you increase your reach. That’s why we recommend using a powerful tool like HashTagsForLikes to help grow your Instagram presence. It can help you attract real, targeted followers relevant to your profile.
Using relevant hashtags in your Instagram content, you can reach people interested in your content and inclined to engage with it.
This tool helps you identify the best hashtags to use and even labels hashtags with a difficulty score of “easy,” “medium,” or “hard” to rank them. Better yet, you can integrate your Instagram account and track your performance directly from their dashboard.
Also Read: How to Promote Your Business on Instagram?
You can also see analytics and insights about the hashtags you’ve picked for your posts.
If you’re not satisfied with the results, you can pick alternatives suggested by the tool. What one hashtag can do, two can do better. You can select more hashtags from the list of trending hashtags and improve the chances of gaining more genuine followers.
Create a Compelling Instagram Bio and Profile
Your bio and profile are the first things that a prospective follower checks when they land on your page. It would help if you optimized your profile picture, use a memorable username, add your social handles and website, and write an interesting description.
By fine-tuning these details, you can make a great first impression on prospects and win over followers.
Post and Interact Consistently
As Instagram gets more crowded, you need to be proactive to notice. Post quality content consistently and interact with your followers as well as other users.
You can create a content calendar to maintain posting frequency. Posting at optimal times is another great way of reaching more people.
Attract Traffic From Other Channels
If you’re active on other social platforms, you can redirect traffic from there to Instagram and earn followers in the process.
You need to cross-promote your Instagram content on your other accounts. And add your Instagram handle to your website, emails, and social bios.
Also Read: How to Post On Instagram From PC?
Since your existing followers on other accounts trust you already, earning followers this way is more straightforward than winning the trust of unknown people.
Ready to Get Started?
Instagram offers many opportunities to its users, ranging from increased brand awareness to improved lead generation.
Unfortunately, stiff competition has resulted in some people using shoddy practices like buying fake Instagram followers. It is an unreliable and risky growth-hacking tactic. There are many fairways to beat the competition on social platforms. Post unique content consistently, build a community, use hashtags, and cross-promote your content, to name a few.
Q: Can Instagram pay you?
A: You can earn money on Instagram in many ways.
- You can create sponsored posts for brands that want to get in front of your audience.
- Become an affiliate, and you can make a commission selling other brands’ products.
Q: Will Instagram ban my account if I buy followers?
A: No, Instagram won’t ban your account for buying real followers.
Q: Will other people know that I buy Instagram followers?
A: Other Instagram users may not necessarily know if you’re buying followers. However, you should maintain high-quality content to make people believe that you haven’t paid to purchase followers.
Q: Are Instagram bots dangerous?
A: Yes, Instagram bots are an unethical way of increasing engagement rates. It can get your account blocked once the Instagram algorithm picks on it.
Q: Do fake followers unfollow?
A: Yes, fake followers are mostly bot followers, and once the Instagram algorithm finds that out, it will either block your account or delete these bot accounts.