Increasing your Instagram followers and engagement takes a lot of time and effort on your part. Many time-strapped business owners have opted to buy Instagram followers in an attempt to remove some of that stress.
If you’ve considered the same, you’ve probably received mixed feedback on the subject. Some swear that they couldn’t have reached 10,000 followers in less than a month without the help of purchased Instagram followers. Others say that it challenged the authenticity of their brand. Who is right?
In reality, both are. Like most quick-lead marketing strategies, there are pros and cons to consider. If you want to know if buying Instagram followers is the right step for you, consider this list that explores the positives and negatives.
Pro: You can see quick engagement.
Lack of engagement is one challenge many marketers face with their Instagram marketing. Without engagement, you’ll have a hard time gaining more followers and eventually reaching influencer status.
Purchased followers can help with this. If you pre-determine engagement as your goal, real Instagram followers will comment on posts, like posts, and follow your followers. They’ll endorse your products and help generate more interaction with your target audience.
Con: It’s against Instagram’s terms of service agreement.
Technically, this is true. If you’re caught buying Instagram followers, you risk being suspended or shadow banned according to their terms of service. However, Instagram will never know that you purchased followers if you buy real ones and mix in your own personal engagement to keep your account authentic and current.
"There's very little downside to buying followers," Evan Asano of the marketing agency Mediakix told Refinery29. "It's very hard to get flagged if you generally follow Instagram best practices. That is, you post on a regular basis and have engagement."
Pro: Your account looks popular and enticing to your target audience.
Popularity is very good for Instagram. It entices potential followers according to the rules of social acceptance. Even if you buy Instagram likes, for example, it’ll boost your “street cred.”
“For many brands, influencers, and celebrities, everything’s about perception. Having a large number of followers on Instagram may give other users the impression that your account is popular, powerful and successful,” says an article from RiotlySocialMedia. “For that reason, a lot of users start following an account after looking at the number of followers it already has.”
This is one reason that those who purchase Instagram followers see such a rapid increase of followers.
Con: There are scammers out there who hawk a low-quality service.
Most of the horror stories you’ve heard about purchased followers came from low-quality companies. Some organizations sell bots rather than real followers, which can create awkward situations.
Some also try to sell you followers for far more than they’re worth. You can easily overpay for a low return on investment if you don’t do your homework first.
Pro: You save a lot of time without sacrificing your Instagram goals.
The time-saving element is perhaps one of the most compelling arguments in favor of using purchased Instagram followers. When you’re running a successful business, you don’t always have the time to dedicate to Instagram marketing, even if it could mean exponential growth for your business.
Setting up this campaign is as simple as purchasing the followers and then setting some specifications for them to follow. You can easily increase your follower account and engagement according to your goals, even though you’re not pouring all of your time and effort into your campaign.
Con: It can lead to some awkward situations.
Anytime you purchase engagement, you’ll likely run into some awkward situations. It’s hard to set up everything just right so that your followers engage in the right way for your brand.
Oftentimes, followers or bots used to boost your numbers will comment or like posts on your behalf. If they say the wrong thing without understanding the context of the post, it can be embarrassing.
It can also be embarrassing to have, say, 25,000 followers but only receive a dozen or so likes on each post. It doesn’t look good for your reputation.
Pro: You can rise to influencer status in virtually no time at all.
Many Instagrammers ultimately want influencer status. It’s a sign that you’ve “made it” in the realm of Instagram. Plus, you now have the option of doing paid endorsed posts, which can mean excellent money to put back into your business.
When choosing an influencer to run a campaign, Instagrammers primarily look at follower count. Increasing follower count is the greatest benefit of this strategy, so it’s a huge step in the right direction to become an influencer.
Con: There’s no guarantee your followers will last.
“If you’re paying for Instagram followers, you’re paying for quantity, not quality,” writes blogger and social media guru Jonathan Spire. “Because Instagram’s metrics are tied directly to your page’s level of engagement, buying followers may be a short-term answer.”
“Users could very easily notice that your posts are lacking in the engagement department, putting them off your account overall,” he continues. “Without real Instagram followers to keep up a continuous engagement of your posts, your account is going to be literally invisible to anyone you’ve yet to find on Instagram.”
This stresses the importance of buying real Instagram followers if that’s what you choose to do. This increases the quality of your account without decreasing the much-needed quantity.
Pro: The investment is affordable with excellent return rates.
Most marketers agree that the investment for Instagram followers is reasonable, and the return rates make up for the investment. This is particularly true if you’re able to become an influencer as a result of this campaign. You’ll be able to make additional money to pay for your purchased followers and then some.
When weighing the pros and cons, consider how each would personally affect your business. Many find that purchasing followers is the key to their success while others believe it simply won’t pay off in the long run. It’s completely up to you to make the right choice for your company.