It’s understandable why people do it. The high follower count looks great, it makes you stand out and your account look flashy, right? Unfortunately though, buying followers will actually harm your account in the long run. While it might feel great to say you have 10k followers, if you haven’t earned them, you’re not going to benefit from it.
Why do people buy Instagram followers?
When you first start your Instagram account, it can be frustrating. You start to think you’re never going to gain followers and your account will stay small forever. It can be incredibly degrading because while you think your content is great, and you’re putting a lot of time and effort into what you produce, you’re not seeing anything from it. Yes, it might be true but being told it takes time can be annoying. You don’t want to wait, right? Instead, you just want to hit the ground running.
People often think they won’t gain customers or interest in their work unless they have a high following. They tend to believe that potential clients will be put off by the small number of people choosing to interact with them. This is where it gets tempting to boost this number quickly. That way, people will see your page on 10k followers and instantly trust you’re a great service, right? Not only that but people believe if they want to be featured on explore pages and be discovered by more people, they’ll need huge amounts of followers.
Instagram users want to be better than their competitors and that’s why it’s so appealing to perform a quick fix. You don’t need to follow my rivals because I have way more followers… This mentality is often why people almost get greedy and want more numbers by their name. After all, no one successful has a couple of hundred followers. Everyone you aspire to be like has thousands, if not millions. But, what you need to remember is, they haven’t got their overnight. Even if their Instagram shot up in followers easily, they’ll have put the hard work in beforehand to get their company name well known.
Why is buying Instagram followers damaging?
Followers can help in many ways, but buying them won’t help you. Only your organic followers can benefit you. People often think that more followers means more likes, more comments and more shares. This then acts as a snowball effect and continues to roll over. You’ll grow more followers because your current ones are sharing your page and talking about you. While this works if your followers are genuine, it doesn’t work if your followers have been paid for. This is simply because the followers you are buying are not real people. You aren’t paying $5 here and there for real people to follow your account and start engaging.
Instead, you’re paying for bots. Not the good kind either. It isn’t that these bots are necessarily going to take over your account, change all your details and then steal your information. However, they’re just going to lie dormant. They won’t interact with your content, and therefore you’re not going to perform well within Instagram’s algorithm. Followers don’t mean you’ve made it. They don’t make your account likeable. In fact, if you have thousands of followers by only a couple of people comment or interact with your page, it doesn’t look great.
Quality over quantity
It makes your content look poor and people will be less likely to trust you. Think about it, if you’re a small business trying to grow customers and only 2 out of your thousands of followers take the time to review your products, then it doesn’t make them look great, does it? It suggests to potential customers that your products are either bad or just not worth talking about. Consider small businesses you’ve bought from. Typically, their customer loyalty is very high. People will take the time to comment and speak highly about their products because they appreciate the work that’s gone into it.
So, surely, the more followers, the more comments. If you’re sat there with lots of followers but no comments, you’re not looking your best to potential clients. Instagram’s algorithm is known for being difficult to master. In fact, many have given up trying because it can seem impossible. But, it’s not impossible if you work at it. Instagram takes into consideration things like your follower count, how much interaction you receive and whether users seem to like your page. All of this adds up and if you’re proving to be popular you will find yourself on their explore pages being suggested to other accounts.
How can you grow without buying followers on Instagram?
We say it all the time, but you need to be yourself on social media. People are getting clever online. They can spot fakeness a mile away. You need to be true to yourself, and you’ll gain followers that are interested in you. Allow yourself the time to set your own tone of voice. Don’t try and copy someone else’s just because it sounds great. It might, but it works for them. What’s important to know is, just because something works for one person, doesn’t mean it will work for another. For example, if you’re a shoe brand you might be able to get away with making light-hearted jokes or turning posts into comical. Whereas being a law firm you probably need to keep things on a professional level.
Locate your niche
Think about your niche. You’ve probably heard the term over and over, but it’s true. What is it that makes you different to your competition? How can you stand out over them? Why should people follow you? All of these things aren’t something you should consider just once. But, you should be thinking about them all the time. If you can appeal to a certain market and focus on that one market, you’ll be able to grow your followers. Over time, you can expand, but to begin with, try to keep it as streamlined as possible. Do some research into your target audience before finding your tone of voice. You might like the chatty, laid back approach. However, if your target audience is of the older generation, perhaps they would prefer more factual information.
Keep going. Don’t expect things to happen quickly. However, don’t be put off when it seems impossible. Make sure you’re appealing to your audience and creating great content for them. The better the content, the more likely they are to share it. This will also come down to how relatable you are when posting. People like the friendly, approachable type. If they’re intimidated by connecting with you then they’re definitely not going to comment and start interacting with your work. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Let people share your work, encourage that. You never know who might end up seeing it. Remember to use your hashtags. They’re a complete game changer. Overall, just trust the process.