The highly successful social media network known as Instagram houses the profiles of over one billion active users from across the globe. Being one of the top online platforms, it is one of the best social media services to grow your online presence as a personal brand or business. With that said, building a successful Instagram profile is no easy task. It takes time, effort, and consistency. Growing on Instagram can often take extended amounts of time, so some people purchase followers through third-party services. But is buying Instagram followers a good idea?
Why Buy Instagram Followers?
Instagram account owners sometimes purchase Instagram followers to create the illusion that their account is more successful than it really is. Sometimes buying followers is a way they make themselves seem more credible or trustworthy to clients and customers. Social media influencers often feel the need to purchase followers to keep up their image and online persona. Regardless of the reason, purchasing Instagram followers does the exact opposite of what the buyer hopes it will do.
What’s the Catch?
The catch is, bought Instagram followers can often cause more problems than they solve. This is due to a number of reasons. One being, bought Instagram followers are easily detectable by Instagram’s software. It can easily detect which accounts are buying followers, especially if they are buying hundreds or thousands of followers in bulk. Buying followers is spam by Instagram’s policy, so it reserves the right to temporarily block your account from certain functions or even delete your account altogether.
As stated earlier, many buy followers to be considered more credible or popular on Instagram. However, that is simply not the case. This is because credible Instagram accounts usually demonstrate a high engagement rate. Engagement rate is calculated by taking the sum of the number of likes, comments, saves, and shares that your account has. Why does engagement rate matter? It matters for many reasons but in relation to the topic at hand, higher accounts with engagement rates that are proportional to their follower count are legit. For example, an account with 10k followers that receives less than 100 likes on a photo looks incredibly suspicious, not only to Instagram but to users who are on the platform. So, having a ton of followers with a disproportionate set of likes will do more harm than good.
Now, some reason that if they buy followers, likes, and comments that this problem should be evaded because then they can fabricate engagement. However, that approach doesn’t work either. This is because if you buy followers, likes, or comments you would be receiving engagement. Ghost accounts are accounts that are made by a third party to look active. These act as a “live” account or from spam accounts that are essentially “bot” accounts. These kinds of accounts are specifically made for fake engagement or followers. Because these accounts aren’t real people, their engagement is random and spam-like. Therefore, the engagement your account will receive isn’t authentic and instead is automated since it is fabricated by a software. It is very easy to spot a comment from a “bot” account in comparison to a real one. The reality is that your fake followers or false engagement is painfully obvious.
How Do I Buy Instagram Followers?
Despite the risks, you may still feel inclined to purchase followers, likes, and comments. If this is the route you chose, there are multiple platforms that offer such services. A quick search on the App Store leads you to hundreds of results. This includes Moon Followers for Instagram, Followers+, and Gain. Most of these services are free upon first download, but you often need to make in-app purchases to have a meaningful experience out of the app. Oftentimes the more followers you desire, the higher the price you will pay. Some apps offer package deals which can help you get a discount. Be wary that you do not make large in-app purchases on apps such as these. Some apps may deliver your followers in exchange for your ad watch time instead of money. However, if you were hoping to buy followers in bulk, most apps require in-app purchases.
What Are the Risks?
When buying Instagram followers, there are a few risks involved, starting with the purchase and or download of Instagram follower apps. Make sure to thoroughly and carefully read reviews to avoid scams. Some apps will make you purchase followers, but they are only temporary and they end up unfollowing after 24 or 48 hours. The developers of these services are often looking to make a quick buck, and those who are desperate for a larger following are vulnerable to making rookie mistakes. You surely do not want to be one of them!
A trick that many app developers use is creating fake reviews for their apps to deceive you into purchasing. To find reviews that are trustworthy, spend a solid amount of time skimming through the first fifty or so. Pay attention to the language used and the length. Short and choppy reviews are usually false. In addition, if an app has a suspiciously high number of five star ratings in conjunction with suspicious looking reviews, it is most likely fake. These apps are not well maintained. Their software is sometimes defective and riddled with digital “bugs” and “viruses” which disrupt your account and even your phone as a whole.
These apps are also prone to glitches, ads, and in some cases can log you out of your Instagram account or even delete it with your permission. To prevent this, try not to open the app too many times in one sitting and keep your phone on airplane mode to avoid ads. As far as logging you out or deleting your Instagram account, reading through reviews before downloading can be a great preventive measure.
Buying Instagram followers creates negative effects on your instagram account’s reputation and even your personal reputation. Bought Instagram followers are usually bot or ghost accounts that are specifically made for manipulation to act as active followers. However, it is often obvious that these accounts are fake, as they will often be followers of thousands of accounts with no followers of their own. They often do not even have profile pictures and are devoid of content. If they do have photos, they may be stock images with barely any likes. These fake accounts will get your account deleted because they are against Instagram’s guidelines. They also look unappealing to your potential followers which can hurt the success of your account and brand.
How Do I Gain Real Instagram Followers?
So if you have considered the risks and have decided that you want to stay clear of Instagram follower services, it is time to create an organic following! There are multiple ways to do so. SEO Design Chicago can surely help you with this process, but some simple tips are great help as well.
First, stay clear of Instagram followers and or engagement services. Show Instagram that your account is trustworthy! Second, consistently post high quality content. If your follower count is lower than you’d like or you are just starting out, quality content is what brings followers to you. Instagram rewards consistency by pushing your content into the algorithm more often. Third, keep things authentic by creating meaningful connections with your current followers. Your community may be small at the moment, but that does not mean it is a weak one. Keep the connection between you and your followers strong through:
- being a present and active user.
- interacting with content your followers create.
- asking them questions on stories.
- getting personal.
- responding to comments.
The more authentic you are to the small group that currently follows you, the more likely you will continue to cultivate this online culture as your following grows.
Hard Work Pays Off
While purchasing Instagram followers may be tempting, it poses more harm than good. The potential of your account getting temporarily banned or deleted altogether, the inauthentic and disproportionate engagement, the potential of getting scammed from a Instagram follower service, and the risk of getting viruses or bugs on your computer due to the download of these app services are not worth a temporary and tacky boost in followers. If you really want to grow on Instagram, stick to the organic methods and hard will pay off in the end.
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- Are there risks when buying Instagram followers?