In today’s world, social media has become a crucial platform for businesses, influencers, and individuals to showcase their brands, products, or talent. With over one billion active users, Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world.
It’s no surprise that many people, especially businesses, are looking for ways to grow their Instagram following to reach a wider audience. One tempting method is buying Instagram followers.
However, as we will explore in this blog post, the dark side of buying Instagram followers is not worth the risk.
Is buying Instagram followers illegal?
Buying Instagram followers is not illegal, but it is against Instagram’s terms of service. Instagram prohibits the use of fake accounts, bots, or any other artificial means to inflate one’s following or engagement.
If you are caught buying followers, your account may be suspended, or you may face other consequences, such as a decrease in your organic reach or damage to your reputation.
Additionally, some countries have specific laws or regulations that prohibit the use of fake accounts or bots to artificially increase social media metrics. Therefore, it’s important to check your local laws and Instagram’s terms of service before considering buying Instagram followers.
It’s also important to remember that buying Instagram followers is not a sustainable or ethical way to grow your Instagram account, and it’s always better to focus on building an authentic audience that engages with your content.
How much do Instagram followers cost?
The price range for Instagram followers can vary greatly, ranging from a few dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on the quantity you intend to acquire.
Nevertheless, it’s important to bear in mind that procuring followers is a violation of Instagram’s terms of service. Therefore, the price you pay for buying followers could cost you more than just monetary value.
At its worst, purchasing followers could lead to the suspension of your Instagram account, and at its best, it may result in a decline in engagement and reach.
On top of all that, some of the services selling Instagram followers use dodgy payment gateways, which may result in your bank details being stolen and used without your authorization.
So, the money spent on buying Instagram followers cheap can lead to more unauthorized transactions and the threat of money, which may be hard to retrieve.
The dark side of buying Instagram followers
First and foremost, it’s important to note that buying Instagram followers is against Instagram’s terms of service. If you are caught, your account can be banned or suspended, and all the money and effort you put into your account will be lost.
But beyond the risk of losing your account, there are many other reasons why buying Instagram followers is not worth it.
- Fake followers don’t engage
One of the primary reasons for buying Instagram followers is to boost engagement and increase visibility. However, buying fake followers will not help with this goal.
Fake followers are often bots or inactive accounts that will not engage with your content, and this will have a negative impact on your engagement rate. Instagram’s algorithm prioritizes engagement, so if you have a high number of fake followers who do not engage with your content, your posts will not be shown to your real followers.
- Damage to reputation
Buying Instagram followers can damage your reputation in the long run. It’s easy for people to spot fake followers, and it will create a lack of trust between you and your audience.
This will have a significant impact on your credibility and will make it difficult for you to establish a loyal following that believes in your brand or message.
- Decrease in organic reach
Buying Instagram followers can lead to a decrease in your organic reach. Instagram’s algorithm prioritizes content that is engaging and relevant to your followers. If you have a high number of fake followers who don’t engage with your content, Instagram will recognize this and will reduce the reach of your posts.
This will make it difficult for you to reach your target audience and will result in a lack of growth in the long term.
- Wasted resources
Buying Instagram followers is a waste of resources. You will be spending money on something that will not bring you any return on investment. Instead, you should focus on building a genuine audience that will engage with your content, share it with others, and ultimately lead to conversions.
Instagram has been removing fake accounts. Since most of the bought followers are fake accounts, you’ll see them being removed at some point. In the end, you’ll see your followers count dropping, resulting in you wishing to buy more. Yet again, the new fake accounts will be removed from Instagram.
It means you’ll be wasting your money on something that’ll give no value and will eventually be removed from Instagram.
Alternatively, you can check out our latest experiment in which Hootsuite attempted to purchase the priciest followers available.
Alternatives to buying Instagram followers
Getting real Instagram followers takes time and effort, but it is the most effective and sustainable way to grow your following. Instagram’s new algorithms don’t take follower count into consideration; instead, they pay much more attention to engagement rates.
Here are some tips to help you get real Instagram followers:
Make Your Account Public: To begin with, ensure that your Instagram account is set to “public” mode, allowing other users to access and view your profile and content. This will enable you to organically expand your audience as your content appears on the explore pages of interested users, thereby attracting and delighting your target viewership. To switch to public mode, you can easily uncheck the “Private Account” option in your Privacy and Security settings.
Post High-Quality Content: The key to growing your following is to create high-quality and engaging content that resonates with your target audience. Focus on creating content that is visually appealing, informative, and relevant to your audience’s interests.
Use Hashtags: Hashtags are an excellent way to reach a wider audience on Instagram. Use relevant hashtags that are popular in your niche to increase your visibility and attract new followers.
Engage with Other Users: Engage with your followers and other users by responding to comments, liking and commenting on their posts, and sharing their content. This will help build relationships and increase engagement with your audience.
Collaborate with Others: Collaborate with other Instagram users in your niche to reach a wider audience and gain new followers. This can include guest posting, shoutouts, or collaborations on Instagram Live or Stories.
Utilize Instagram’s Features: Use Instagram’s features, such as Instagram Stories, and Reels, to diversify your content and increase your visibility on the platform. These features can also help you connect with new followers and build engagement.
Remember, building a genuine following takes time, effort, and patience. By consistently creating high-quality content, engaging with your audience, and using legitimate strategies to grow your following, you will attract real Instagram followers who are genuinely interested in your brand or message.
Final thoughts on buying Instagram followers
Buying Instagram followers might seem like a quick fix for growing your Instagram account, but the risks and consequences far outweigh the benefits.
Not only is it against Instagram’s terms of service, but it can also damage your reputation, decrease your organic reach, and waste your resources. If you want to grow your Instagram following, focus on creating high-quality content, engaging with your audience, and using legitimate strategies to reach your target audience.
Remember, authentic growth takes time, effort, and patience, but it’s worth it in the long run.