So a digital marketing expert told you that having tons of followers on social media can help grow your brand’s online presence? Well, great. You can always ask your family, friends, and friends of friends to follow you. You can send automatic messages to strangers, asking them to “like your page” on Instagram and hope at least 50% would do so. You can also take shortcuts and “buy” followers.
You can, but that doesn’t mean you should. And we’re not only talking about making you look pathetic for having bogus accounts as your fan base. Doing so can actually damage your reputation and work against your goal.
Don’t give in. Whether you’re a social media personality who wants to grow your popularity quickly or you’re a business or brand looking to boost your online presence, we uncover 7 reasons why buying fake followers on Instagram isn’t a good idea.
1. Fake followers don’t engage with your account
It’s not about the numbers — genuine, high-quality customer engagement is what you’re looking for. You need likes and legitimate comments from real people, who might be converted into a consumer. You can’t get these kinds of engagement from purchased followers which are merely fake bot accounts.
2. They provide no value to your profile’s content
Not all fake followers are robots. Some of them are inactive accounts bought by companies for the sole purpose of being fake followers. A typical sign of a fake follower includes blank profiles lacking a profile picture, with no images shared. They might show early engagement but they’ll eventually become a drain on your IG account’s performance metrics when their profiles go dormant.
But likewise, they provide no long-term value to your profile’s content. They don’t provide any value at all. The least they can do is comment “nice post” or “good one” and that’s it. You’re lucky if you get these generic comments on a post that’s quite relevant. But if you post something sad, like the death of a celebrity or a natural disaster, these robotic comments won’t do you any favor.
3. Fake followers can hurt the algorithm
Engagement is key to how Instagram’s algorithm shows posts to users. Without the likes or comments, your posts won’t probably show up on your target audience’s news feeds. It may also not show up on any “Explore Pages.”
When you purchase fake followers, you’re not paying for quality. You’re paying for a blank number — a mere facade. Since the algorithm is largely based on engagement and not the number of followers you have, buying followers is just a waste of money. You should’ve put your budget to hiring a digital marketing agency for their strategies designed to build genuine relationships and boost your customer engagement.
4. They can be spammy too
A majority of fake followers bring spam with them. By purchasing fake followers, you’re opening your account to tons of spam posts, not just on Instagram but also on your email address (if it’s written on your bio). These spam posts may also reach your genuine followers.
5. Fake followers can damage your reputation
The general idea behind purchasing fake followers is that your brand might look like it’s ahead of the curve. People may assume that you’re an established brand that has gained hundreds or thousands of satisfied customers. It may convince them to follow you too.
But it’s not guaranteed. You’ll know there’s something off when a page has 10,000 followers but only has around four to five likes per post. If you’re caught with a ton of fake followers, it may backfire, ruining your credibility with your real, organic audience.
6. It backfires on your metrics
It’s impossible to measure how well your audience is connecting with you if the majority of that audience isn’t real people and these bots skew the ratio.
If you’re not sure how well your posts are doing and what your real followers think of them, you’ll have a hard time converting your genuine audience into real customers…which is basically the main point of having followers, right?
7. Instagram can purge fake followers …and you might go down with them
If you buy fake followers, you’re not only triggering a reaction from Instagram moderators. You’re also putting your brand’s credibility on the line.
Instead of taking shortcuts, divert your time, money, and energy to posting quality, engaging content and utilizing the platform to its maximum potential.
The best followers are the genuine ones — the ones who’d like your posts, speak their minds through the comments, and message you for inquiries, sometimes for a random message of appreciation. These quality followers can’t be bought nor they can be gained overnight. But if your brand can establish a strong relationship with them and build their trust and loyalty, they can stick with you in the long run.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is a web content writer during the day and a foodie, musician, coffee connoisseur, and plant mom when her day shift is over. She enjoys sharing her insights about blogging, web design, SEO, and other forms of digital marketing. To know more about digital marketing, check out the blogs of SPRINT DIGITAL Agency Dublin.