Whether you’re a business looking to grow your digital presence or an influencer hoping to stand out, having an established number of followers can be the key to success. That’s why it can be tempting to take shortcuts. Is buying Instagram followers safe for your business? Is it a worthwhile investment? Sorry to burst your bubble… but no. You can ruin your reputation, alienate your real followers, and even lose your account.
Within its terms of service, Instagram actively discourages people from buying fake followers. It is against the rules! As with the bot crackdown of 2018, Instagram is constantly working to keep the platform secure and authentic. That means they regularly purge fake accounts, and crack down on users who purchase them. They could suspend your account or even delete it if they notice suspicious account activity.
Fake followers are no secret, and brands want to ensure they’re not partnering with companies or influencers who use them. They know that a good engagement rate is typically between 1% and 8% per post. The more fake followers you have, the more those engagement rates are diluted. Free tools like HypeAuditor make it easy to determine who artificially inflates their follower count.
If you were to buy a bunch of fake followers on Instagram, you’d quickly start to see their lack of positive impact on your page. Whilst your account may look established at first glance, your posts will completely lack genuine user engagement. Have you ever seen an Instagram post with only comments from obvious spam accounts? It ruins the vibe.
If your followers notice that your account looks unusual in some different ways, they’ll naturally start questioning your authenticity and worth. If your social media accounts become questionable, people may become suspicious of other areas of your business. They may even ponder if you are dishonest in other business practices, ruining your chances of influencing or converting these users to consumers.
Unlike genuine followers who purchase products or actively promote your brand, fake followers will do nothing. Instead, you’ll spend money on dormant accounts that won’t provide any ROI. Buy ads, not followers! If you want to amplify your reach, advertising on Instagram is an effective way. Paid advertising on Instagram reaches up to 1.5 billion people, so you’ll pick up some new followers.
Displaying a high number of followers looks tempting but it can harm your account in the long run.
Since genuine Instagram accounts tend to follow relatively similar engagement patterns, here’s a guide by Markerly who analyzed the accounts of 2 million influencers and discovered the following stats:
- <1,000 followers average about 8% engagement
- 1,000 – 10,000 followers average 4% engagement
- 10,000 – 100,000 followers average 2.4% engagement
- 100,000 – 1 million followers average 1.8% engagement
- >1 million followers average 1.7% engagement
OANA CORINA JELEA
The Big Cheese know-it-all
Find her on LinkedIn, Instagram and oanacorina.com