I Am Struggling To Grow My Instagram Account Organically. Is It Bad To Buy Instagram Followers?
Yes. Yes, it is.
It is not hard to see why buying Instagram followers is an attractive idea. When comparing your account to other accounts, it can be disheartening to see that your follower count is barely a fraction of your competitors.
On the surface, it seems like having more Instagram followers will make your account look more legit and will allow you to compete with other Instagram accounts in your niche. It also seems that it would solve the problem of shouting out to an empty audience.
In reality, any service that allows you to buy instant Instagram followers should be avoided. Instagram strategy is a long game and if you try to cut corners by buying followers, you will be penalized in ways that damage the growth of your account in the long term.
As for the feeling of shouting out to an empty audience, when you buy followers, you end up shouting out to a large audience of people who couldn't care less about the content you post. In my opinion, this is even more disheartening.
Here are some of the key reasons you really turn your head next time you see an ad that promises "instant followers Instagram: +10,000 followers for $10".
If you are serious about growing your following, don't buy fake Instagram followers.
Fake Followers Don't Engage With Your Instagram Account (Or Care What You Post)
Fake Instagram followers will not engage with the content that you post. They are not active followers of your brand and they are not authentic supporters of your posts.
Real followers have usually followed you because they are involved in your niche or genuinely gain value from the content you post. This means they are more likely to leave comments on your posts and interact with your content.
You can also gain genuine insights from the engagement you get from Instagram followers. If you notice that photos with your face in it tend to get higher engagement than text posts, you can use this information to craft more effective posts in the future.
If your audience is composed of fake Instagram followers who don't engage, you won't be able to tell what content is working and what content is not worth the time.
Fake Instagram Followers Bring Spam With Them. And That Means They Bring Spam To Your Real Followers Too
When you buy fake followers from a third party app, you open yourself up to spam bots. Spam bots and fake accounts disguise themselves as genuine accounts and leave spam comments on your posts and your followers posts.
If your account is filled with spam comments, your real followers are more likely to unfollow you. Buying fake followers almost always results in spam and if you are trying to build your credibility as a brand, it can be really damaging.
Fake followers also often leave inappropriate comments on posts. They might automate comments like "nice one" or thumbs up emojis. This is all very well if you are sharing your hot new track, but if you have shared a serious post or piece of sad news, inappropriate comments like this can be jarring for you and your followers.
Buying Fake Instagram Followers Breaks Instagram's Terms of Service
It's OK to bend the rules a little from time to time but Instagram is strict with its user policies. They want users to have a good experience and if they suspect you are buying followers, you will suspect that you are breaking Instagram's terms of service.
Usually, Instagram will give you a warning first but if they suspect you are using dishonest practices to increase your follower count, you risk not only losing all your new followers but losing your entire account altogether.
Numbers Aren't Everything. Engagement Rate Is What Matters
Seriously, numbers aren't everything. Most people know that having a high follower count just requires a credit card and a Fiverr account. Accounts that have a lot of followers but post mediocre content aren't impressive. People can usually see straight through it.
What's more, when investing in influencer marketing, brands often go by engagement rather than follower count. This means that with just 1,000 followers on your social media channels, you can be influencer if your engagement is high enough.
Brands understand that authentic engagement among a dedicated following is far more valuable than 10,000 disengaged followers.
If you are considering buying Instagram followers to boost credibility, you should instead focus on getting Instagram likes and comments from real people rather than from random Instagram users and bots.
Numbers aren't everything and for productive growth, you should be more concerned with your engagement rate.