Why You Should Never Buy Fake Followers On Instagram
Instagram has quickly become the marketplace for ideas, brands, and new trends. A quick scroll through your explore page can reveal the many companies and creators who enjoy incredible success on the platform with follower counts hitting millions.
With the explosion of influencer marketing and the feeling that all eyes are on Instagram, you may feel like getting popular on the platform - fast - is the best way to get ahead in your career. But being an influencer isn’t easy - and organic growth takes time, effort, and passion.
So, maybe you’ve considered buying followers on Instagram. After all, it’s a convenient and cheap way to inflate your personal brand without spending too much time. As you might have guessed with the title of this article, this is a bad idea. Here’s why you should NEVER buy fake followers on Instagram.
Does it work?
In a superficial sense - yes, but in much more real and important ways - no, it doesn’t.
First off - buying followers is cheap: around 15 dollars for a thousand followers. There are plenty of options if you’re looking to get traction fast such as Famoid, Mr Insta, and Kicksta. However, a brief look at any of these websites will show you how sketchy this whole process can be. Sharing your credit card information with these shady websites is not recommended.
So, if you hand over those details, it’s possible that you will get the promised followers. Beware of the many phishing scams that run rampant in the black market for followers. But even if you manage not to get scammed, here’s why the arbitrary increase in your follower count is harmful to your journey as a creator.
The primary problem is that anyone can instantly tell that you’ve bought these followers. Your fake followers will drive away real followers, and your fake followers will repel brands. Here’s a more detailed breakdown of the problems with bought followers...
Your engagement rate will get messed up
Your engagement rate, or the ratio of your followers to your likes and comments, is the most important aspect of your account. It tells people how much your audience actually pays attention to the work you’re putting out.
Having thousands of followers is virtually meaningless without real likes and comments going with it. This is the easiest way people will figure out that your followers are fake. Organic growth is easy to see, and randomly high follower counts without corresponding engagement is the biggest red flag for brands, real audiences, and Instagram.
2. You’re inviting spam to your profile
Fake followers bring with them bots, spam, and a whole host of unpredictable interventions to your profile. From inappropriate comments to undecipherable DMs in languages other than the one you use, there’s no telling what you open the door to.
Buying followers puts your account on the radar for unsafe and strange interactions on Instagram. These inexplicable comments and follows which are not related to your content in any way are difficult to rationalise. They take away your legitimacy and leave you vulnerable to a flood of spam.
3. Instagram can spot fakes
Buying followers is a violation of Instagram’s user agreement. The app has worked hard to weed out services that sell followers, spam accounts, and bots. Your account can also get flagged, at which point you lose more than your reputation. You could lose your whole account and the ability to post on Instagram at all.
Remember that the algorithm is smarter than the sketchy services that are trying to game it.
4. You will lose all credibility
In a sea of fake news, photoshop-heavy influencers, and scammy creators, audiences care about one thing more than anything else - trust. They want to follow authentic creators who are more concerned with the quality of their content than the follower count they have.
Watching and investing in an influencer is a personal choice audiences are only likely to make if they feel the creator is genuinely passionate about what they do and here for the right reasons rather than a cash grab or clout chasing.
5. Brands won’t collaborate with you
As we’ve stated repeatedly, it’s very easy to spot accounts with bought followers. Brands will see the criminally low engagement rate and know that their return on investment will be very low if they collaborate with your account.
When brands blacklist you, your reputation and credibility are irreparably destroyed.
6. Trust your journey as a creator…
Getting famous on Instagram overnight is not likely. But the process of cultivating a following is a rewarding process where you connect with individuals and brands who care about you and your work. Over time, putting in consistent and meaningful work will take you places buying followers never will.
It’s okay to be dissatisfied by slow growth, but in the end, your integrity and authenticity will give you the platform and growth that you want. And it’ll mean so much more to you, your audience, and potential collaborators - because you will have earned it. So good luck, and keep at it!