Should You Buy Instagram Followers to Build Brand Growth?

Want more Instagram followers? Let's answer the question once and for all of how to gain Instagram followers the right and wrong way.

Instagram Follower Strategy
Mathew Slavica

Mathew Slavica

Founder, Digital Stand (Sydney), Industry Keynote Speaker. Obsessed with helping our clients grow.

Want more Instagram followers? Let's face it, if you have 1 million you want 2, and if you have 10 you want 20. It is just they way we are wired.

It's tough to know that even though your Instagram content is excellent, you're not building the follower base that you deserve. Everyone knows that something looks more desirable to people if other people like it, too (social proof). It's one of the many reasons that it does make sense to pursue a large Instagram following.

There's no use in buying Instagram followers to push your numbers up. It can be tempting to jump towards that avenue. In most cases, issues arise very quickly. Your genuine audience can almost always spot fake interactions, and that's only one of the problems that'll come up.

Buying Instagram Followers Is Too Easy

People and businesses with less-than-perfect intentions make it easy to fall into the trap of buying followers. You can find places to buy thousands of followers for less than fifty (or even twenty) dollars. It's far easier to buy Instagram followers than to earn them legitimately.

It is also more comfortable to sit on the couch then go for a run. But look at how that turns out.

The problem is that when you buy followers, you're only paying for a number. Fake followers don't usually engage with your content (and when they do, it's always spammy and insincere). Getting your follower count up is only half the battle of seeing success on Instagram. The more fake followers you have, the harder it'll be to gain the trust of a genuine audience.

Why Shouldn't You Buy Instagram Followers?

We could probably list a hundred reasons to avoid purchasing followers for Instagram. Here are some of the primary ones.

Fake followers don't do anything for your brand-- real followers do

Fake followers fit the definition of useless. Nobody cares if somebody has five million followers and only three likes per photo. That would probably never happen-- those numbers are pretty inflated. However it quickly becomes clear that you need good engagement for followers to be worth anything.

Take your time to cultivate a base of real followers who will interact with your business. Purchased followers won't be commenting on your posts this time next year, or next month. Some of the people that you attract to your content because they want to be there will be.

The early engagement you see will taper off.

Buying Instagram followers creates a flurry of initially high engagement. At first, your account will start flowing the way Instagram's algorithm wants when you gain popularity. But as soon as those followers stop flowing, your account will stagnate.

Tapering engagement isn't just going to make you unhappy-- Instagram will pick up on the fact that people don't want to see your content. It may display your content to potential audiences less frequently.

Distorted performance metrics can hurt you in more ways than one.

When you buy Instagram followers, and they don't interact with your content, your performance metrics get distorted. What does that mean?

  • You can't tell whether your target audience is seeing or enjoying your content
  • You can't convert Instagram traffic into sales

Instagram is going to locate and purge your fake followers.

Instagram's terms explicitly allow the platform to remove fake accounts when they're detected. The team is pretty serious about tracking bots and getting rid of them. At some point-- and probably sooner rather than later-- the followers you bought will turn into genuinely wasted money. They'll disappear eventually.

Your Social Media Advertising will not work!

One of the unique capabilities of social media advertising is the ability to target your exact audience. Instagram offers you the ability to build an audience from anyone who engages with your Instagram content.

If your followers are fake, then so will be your audience leading to advertising that will not perform. But should you have an active Instagram audience, then your advertising will drive deeper brand awareness, and sales.

Brand Damage

It does not matter if you are a small business or a large one. If you buy fake Instagram followers, it will soon become evident to others that you have done this. So think about this for a second, once someone discovers you have been dishonest in acquiring your fan base, how likely are they to trust your product?

Every single touchpoint you create from a digital perspective is discoverable from 5 years ago until today. Whilst as brands and businesses we iterate and improve, and what we were once proud of, falls short of today's expectations. Our integrity and purpose should always hold true.

Having an Instagram account set up correctly, satisfied customers, and high-quality content will always work. You are more likely to turn up in the explore page, your content will reach more people. You will be proud of the Instagram page you have built from day 1 to day 100.

So should you buy Instagram followers? The answer to this question is a resounding no. You should create a page you are proud of and leverage every aspect you can whilst maintaining integrity.


Post at the right time

Use discoverable Hashtags

Create Competitions

Create e-mail signatures with your profile

Turn up every day

Build a brand that aligns with your objectives and purpose.

In 2020, transparency means everything! So create an Instagram account you are proud of, and let your competitors pay for followers as it will be there undoing.

Because as they say in business and life, "how you do anything is how you do everything."

Need to know more?

Are you looking to grow your Instagram the right way and take your social media marketing up a notch? Our team can help. Reach out to us today to find out more about how Digital Stand can help your business succeed.

11 Key Social Media Mistakes

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