It has never been easier to grow online, but on the same note, competition has never been more intense. Different social media platforms compete against each other, while brands struggle to be one step ahead of the competition.
With more than a billion active users on a monthly basis, Instagram is one of the top choices out there. Growing on Instagram is a slow process, so more and more brands turn to buy fake followers, at least in an incipient stage.
Is it worth it? Here are our insights on why brands do it, how to do it and what to avoid when doing it.
Why the number of followers matters
Instagram has been around for about a decade and has become one of the most influential social media networks. It is one of the most popular websites for mobile users, as well as one of the most commonly used apps.
Advertising on Instagram or having a huge following is part of normal trends these days. Companies invest in having a solid fanbase to advertise their products. It is one thing to advertise to 500 followers and a different thing to advertise to 50,000 followers.
On the same note, those who advertise on Instagram by establishing partnerships will also find it much easier to find partners when their following is impressive.
A good following will expand the influence of the brand and can make a good starting point in drawing more organic traffic.
More followers, more conversions
Having thousands of followers will bring in more conversions. After all, to most brands, Instagram is not the only way to advertise. In fact, there are more advertising channels out there while Instagram establishes an online presence.
You can use it to showcase work and projects but also to communicate with potential customers.
Imagine someone looking up your service or product and finding your brand. Most potential customers will do a bit of research first.
Whether they need makeup tips, a gardening service, or a car dealer, they are more likely to trust someone with 20,000 followers than someone with 500 followers, simple as that.
Extra visibility in your niche
Like Google or any other search engine, Instagram has an explore feature but also a search one. When searching for something in particular, accounts with thousands of followers will normally show up before accounts with hundreds or dozens of followers.
The number of followers defines your authority in the niche, hence the importance of having as many as possible.
There are no guarantees for the ROI
The ROI depends on more factors. If you take time, such as years, to grow to thousands of followers in an organic manner, chances are many of them can be converted into actual customers. There are no guarantees though, but there is a higher chance.
When buying followers, there are no guarantees either, but at least you have a starting point to grow your business and reputation.
To make an impact, you will need at least a few thousand followers. Buy from a cheap no-name company, and you may get nothing but bots. They will look good on your account, but they are less likely to be converted into customers.
Reputable companies will most likely provide followers based on their location or interests. Many of them basically advertise for you in certain niches and environments in order to give you a more organic approach.
The bottom line, you have to be cautious and quite tactical when buying fake Instagram followers. You want actual people and followers rather than random bots.
To be perfectly honest with you, when you want to maintain a certain image of popularity, the quality of your followers is not always relevant, especially if you also use other advertising channels. However, it pays off taking this aspect into consideration.
Engagement is a completely different kettle of fish
Again, when buying followers, a reputable company will give you actual accounts and people, rather than bots. But it is not a guarantee that they will also engage, like your posts, or comment on them.
At this point, it depends on what you are trying to achieve.
If you are after advertising partnerships on Instagram, you may need to invest in more than just followers. You may also have to invest in engagement.
Basically, when you post something new, you may want to purchase a certain amount of likes and comments as well. Generally speaking, likes and comments for a post should be about 3% to 5% of the total number of followers for the engagement to look authentic.
More is better, of course. Less than 1% could indicate poor engagement, which will not necessarily help with finding partnerships. Most brands will ask for insights before making a decision, so you need to think about this aspect as well.
Can someone tell if you buy fake Instagram followers?
This is one of the main concerns for people not sure whether or not they should buy Instagram followers.
If people figure out that you buy fake followers, your credibility could be affected, but on the same note, people also forget pretty fast, especially if you provide a good service or product.
To prevent such issues, you need to ensure you buy followers from a reputable source, simple as that.
If you buy 10,000 followers and none of them has a profile image or posts, they look dodgy. Indeed, not everyone will look through your following list, but it pays off thinking about it.
Quality providers offer great results with authentic profiles, so your followers look like real people. Make sure you read some reviews as well.
Also, to maintain your credibility, you have to invest in engagement. What is the point of buying 100,000 followers when each post barely gets 10 likes? It would be too obvious, so you have to make it look as natural as possible.
Are there any risks with Instagram?
This is another concern among people who buy fake Instagram followers, although it has nothing to do with Instagram.
At the end of the day, officially, you cannot control who follows your brand, unless your profile is private. Obviously, we do not recommend that if you run a business. You want everyone to be able to find it.
With these thoughts in mind, anyone could ruin a business by purchasing fake Instagram followers for it. Instagram knows that.
The worst that could happen would be getting some followers removed, but then again, buy from a reputable company and they will look like real people, rather than bots.
With these thoughts in mind, the risks to be banned by Instagram are extremely low.
Buying fake Instagram followers is a technique that many businesses and influencers rely on.
It is a handy option for new businesses looking for a good start on Instagram, but it also helps later on, when the following base seems to stagnate.
A slight boost every now and then can put you back into the relevant group of your niche, hence the necessity to keep an eye on your growth.
The ROI may not be impressive straight away, but the reputation boost will definitely help, while extra popularity in your niche will boost organic growth.