Instagram, which started as a photo-sharing app, has grown to become a huge community and integral part of our lives. Businesses use Instagram to showcase their brands, kick start their new businesses, and achieve their targets and goals. Instagram has around one billion monthly active users, and people have started using this app on a persistent basis. People tend to get attracted to the visuals, follow the brand or the page, and purchase the products. Instagram has allowed the brands to grow manifold and reach out to people they otherwise would never have known.
The followers are highly influenced by the posts and can relate to the videos and reels posted. The main aim for any brand that posts on Instagram is to get a huge follower base to connect to a large group of the target audience. This is because it increases your brand’s presence in the market, boosts sales, and helps drive traffic to the website. Generally, brands resort to buying Instagram followers, Instagram likes, and Instagram views to gain initial success. It would help if you did not get tempted by seeing the ads that sell genuine Instagram followers. They provide little long term benefits but harm the account’s standing in the following ways:
Fake followers don’t engage with the account –
Purchasing Instagram followers will not provide genuine engagement for your account. Mostly they are fake bot accounts and not real people. Generally, even the comments are automated, or they will like the posts. If any brand wants to associate with you, they check the genuineness of the account. If it is a brand’s account, these followers will never engage with the posts. Bot followers do not even share the posts, and typically, their profiles are blank and lack a profile picture. Fake accounts generally follow a lot of people and then later unfollow them.
It makes your account questionable –
At times these fake followers increase your engagement statistics to such an extent that the account starts to look fake and questionable. This false engagement results in lowering your brand value. The likes and comments on the series of posts are way too suspicious and create ambiguity for the account.
Inappropriate bot comments –
At times the comments you get from these fake accounts are in a completely different language. Otherwise, they post just generic comments, which might be totally inappropriate and not related to the content posted.
Risk of spam –
Many a time, these bot followers open the account to risk spam posts. These accounts send spam emails to the email account provided while purchasing these followers. They may also deliver spam mailers to your genuine followers who, on seeing this, may un-follow your account.
Instagram recognizes fake followers –
Instagram puts in a lot of effort to find and block the account of fake followers. It keeps searching for such fake accounts regularly. If such a fake account follows your account, Instagram may even block your account temporarily.
Buying fake followers can suspend your account –
Instagram discourages buying followers. Not only do they find fake followers, but they also have the right to suspend your account. This lowers down the credibility of your account, and you may even lose genuine followers.
Lowers your credibility –
Buying fake followers depict that you are not a genuine influencer. Growing the followers organically is what everyone must desire. Taking shortcuts can destroy credibility, and the brands don’t want to associate with accounts that do not have genuine engagement. They make an opinion that you follow dishonest practices and shortcuts for success. It would help if you focused on sharing quality content that is relatable to the audience. This helps build a genuine follower base. Instead of buying followers, you may go in for some Instagram ads, which help expand your reach to the target audience.
No revenue generation –
The main aim of any brand is revenue generation. The fake followers will never engage in any purchase from your brand. They will never refer your brand to others. If you are an influencer, brands will not associate with you because you do not have genuine engagement, and you will never increase the revenue for these brands. Brands do not just see the number of followers an influencer has but also look for the engagement statistics involved.
No long term value addition to the profile –
The followers you buy would like, view, or comment on the posts initially, but if you talk about long-term engagement, then it is a big no. Only organic followers will keep sharing or commenting on your posts in the long run. These fake followers will surely not help in increasing the engagement of your account.
Dishonest performance metrics –
With a lot of fake followers, the brand can never measure the genuine connection with the audience. The bot or inactive accounts always skew the ratio, and you are never able to convert these followers into real clients. The amount spent on purchasing such followers is of no use. If your content is genuine and engaging, your loyal followers will engage with the brand and show a correct picture of the performance metrics.
Alternatives available to increase the followers
Instagram offers many marketing practices that you can follow to build your brand and reach out to a large number of audiences. This helps you grow organically and has a long-lasting effect:
Make the account public –
First and foremost, to gain huge followers, the account needs to be public so that people can view your profile and content regularly. You need to post regular content that the audience can go through while exploring pages, and this way, a genuine follower, can like and follow your page.
The quality of content –
This is by far the most important part. Your feed, videos, boomerangs, reels, or stories need to be engaging and relevant. Quality content builds trust, and people wait for your posts daily. The content should be witty and as per the recent trends. You may use many hashtags relevant to the post, which is again a great way to reach the target audience.
Use all the features to the fullest –
Instagram is growing day by day. It has upgraded its features to benefit the audience. You have options of going live on Instagram, using IGTV, Instagram stories, or even set up a shop on Instagram. All these help you connect to a vast group of people and engage with them regularly. This helps increase the engagement organically and with full authenticity.
Aesthetics to be followed while posting content –
The Instagram grid needs to look aesthetic, and the consistent visual posting must tell a story. The posts showcase your brand to the viewers who find it relatable to their problems. Putting up posts consistently helps build trust and gain genuine followers.
Share your account in other communications –
You must share your Instagram handle on your website; put it in your email signature and other places. This increases your reach and lets people know about your handle. Offline marketing materials like business cards, packing slips, posters, etc., must also carry your Instagram account name.
Follow relevant accounts –
You must also start following accounts that are relevant to your business. When you follow someone, they will also check out your posts, stories, and reels, and if the content is relevant enough, they will start following you in return.
The Bottom Line
You must not buy followers or likes to fool the audience. You need to build a genuine relationship with your audience to benefit you in the long term. Though purchasing followers and likes can be tempting, it is of no good. It will only harm your credibility. Growing the account organically is what is needed. There is no shortcut to success, and when you gain followers through relevant and authentic content, you gain their trust for life.