Does it make sense to buy Instagram followers?
Your Instagram content is of course state of the art. But how nice would it be if many more people saw this content? Whether you’re trying to become a social media celebrity or just looking for brand awareness on Instagram, it can be tempting to pay for your first few thousand followers.
Buy hundreds of followers for the price of a cup of coffee
There are plenty of services available that allow you to buy from 50 to 100,000 followers for a small fee. The question is of course what this will yield, if it were really that cheap and easy, everyone would do it! So what’s the downside? Is buying Instagram followers legal and safe for your account?
As tempting as it may be to buy followers on Instagram, there are of course some drawbacks. Of course, also advantages. I will discuss these pros and cons below. You can then decide for yourself whether you want to purchase followers.
What exactly do I pay for when buying Instagram followers?
A quick Google search “buy Instagram followers” already yields many results. There are even companies that put advertisements on it. Although the formatting and texts of these ads already raise some questions for me, these companies will undoubtedly deliver followers. The prices vary from €1 for 50 followers to almost €100 for 10,000 followers.
You pay for followers, not engagement
In addition to buying followers directly, some companies follow other accounts on your behalf. This is done based on preferences (location, hashtag usage, account type, and gender). Ideally, those followed accounts will then follow you back.
If you choose this variant, your followers are likely to be real people, but Engagement is still unlikely. It is a method that is also widely used on Twitter, following and unfollowing. A few years ago this worked fine on Twitter, usually between 20 and 40% followed you back, nowadays this percentage is a lot lower. Also on Instagram, most accounts won’t follow you, and even if they do, they probably won’t be long-lasting, loyal, or active followers.
Quantity vs. Quality
If you want to prioritize having a lot of followers, then these services can help you! When the number of organic followers decreases, these services can keep the number up or increase it. But ask yourself or whether your content fits with your target audience!?
Also remember the risks: these followers will probably never like or comment on a post, and if you get caught with a bunch of fake followers, the real followers may get bored of you, and worse, Instagram may decide to delete your account. Incidentally, this does not happen so quickly if you buy a small number of followers, but tens of thousands of followers without engagement (likes/comments) will stand out!
Think of it this way: Would you keep following an account if you saw that most of their “loyal audience” are inactive accounts and bots?
Another downside of buying followers is that they don’t respond to your posts. This prevents posts from appearing in search results. This is due to the low engagement. In addition, it is of course difficult to do good analyses, because a large part of the followers will rarely respond to anything.
No turning back after buying followers
Realize that buying followers cannot be undone so easily. If you bought a lot of followers at the beginning of your Instagram career, these will continue to influence the statistics. So if you have built up your account after a lot of pain and effort, the fake followers will continue to influence your statistics. This could even result in poorer visibility.
There are of course a few short-term benefits
Humans are herd animals, so if an account already has a few thousand followers, there is a greater chance that they will also follow the account. If you have a website, it is often also taken a look at the social channels, if only a handful are present, it can harm your brand and the willingness of consumers to buy.
Just buying followers is in many cases not enough, make sure that your posts also have enough likes and comments.
An alternative solution for buying followers and likes
If you’re serious about Instagram as a channel, even in the long run, buying followers is probably not the best option. Fortunately, there are more options to grow your account.
- Have you ever thought about advertising on Instagram? Although the costs are higher than buying followers directly, you can be sure that the people who like and follow are interested in your service or product.
- Get in touch with influencers, there are probably a few big Instagram accounts in your market. The owners are often looking for opportunities to monetize their accounts. Be sure to check if they have real followers!
- Follow people from competing brands/persons, so you can easily reach the right target group. Keep an eye on whether you are also being followed back. An account that follows 10,000 people but has only 1,000 followers does not come across as very convincing.