The Dangers of Buying Instagram Followers: 10 Reasons to Grow Organically
The allure of a large following on Instagram has led many individuals and businesses to seek shortcuts in their pursuit of popularity and visibility. One such shortcut is the practice of buying Instagram followers.
However, this approach comes with a myriad of risks and consequences that can have long-lasting negative effects on your account and reputation.
In this article, we will explore ten reasons why you should avoid buying Instagram followers and instead focus on organic growth strategies.
Violation of Instagram’s Terms of Service
Buying Instagram followers violates the platform’s terms of service and community guidelines (1). Instagram explicitly states that users should not engage in inauthentic behavior, including the creation of fake accounts, buying or selling followers, or using apps that offer these services.
Engaging in these practices can result in your account being flagged, suspended, or even permanently banned (2).
Low Engagement Rates
Purchased followers are often fake accounts or bots, which do not engage with your content (3). A study by Markerly found that accounts with fewer than 1,000 followers had an average engagement rate of 8%, while accounts with over 10 million followers had an engagement rate of only 1.6% (4).
This stark contrast in engagement rates highlights the negative impact of having a high number of fake followers.
When others discover that you have bought followers, it can damage your credibility and make you appear inauthentic (5). This may deter genuine users from engaging with your content, following you, or even considering your products or services.
Maintaining a positive reputation is crucial for building trust and growing your audience organically.
No Real Audience Growth
Buying followers does not result in a genuine, engaged audience who is interested in your content (6). Organic growth through posting high-quality content and engaging with your audience is a more sustainable approach to building your online presence.
Purchasing followers can be expensive, with prices ranging from a few dollars to several hundred dollars, depending on the number of followers you wish to buy (7).
Instead of spending money on fake followers, consider investing your resources in creating quality content, promoting your account, or engaging with your audience to grow organically.
Instagram frequently purges fake accounts and bots to maintain platform integrity (8). As a result, your follower count can drop suddenly if you have purchased followers, making your account appear unstable or untrustworthy.
Negative Impact on Algorithms
Instagram’s algorithm prioritizes content with higher engagement rates (9). Having a high number of fake followers with low engagement can result in your posts being shown to fewer users, limiting your organic growth potential.
Ineffective for Business
If you’re using Instagram for business purposes, fake followers won’t convert into customers, as they have no genuine interest in your products or services (10). A study by Hootsuite found that 71% of users are more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals (11).
Focusing on attracting real, engaged followers who are more likely to become customers is essential for business success on Instagram.
Legal and Ethical Concerns
Buying followers can be considered a deceptive practice, raising ethical concerns about transparency and authenticity in social media marketing (12).
Additionally, some countries have started to crack down on such practices, potentially resulting in legal issues (13).
Buying followers is a short-term, superficial fix that doesn’t address the root cause of slow growth or low engagement (14).
Focusing on creating quality content, engaging with your audience, and utilizing effective marketing strategies is a more sustainable approach to growing your Instagram presence.
Instagram Follower Summary
In conclusion, buying Instagram followers is a risky and ineffective approach to growing your online presence. It violates Instagram’s terms of service, results in low engagement rates, damages your reputation, wastes valuable resources, and offers no real audience growth. Furthermore, it negatively impacts the platform’s algorithm, is ineffective for business, raises legal and ethical concerns, and only provides a short-term solution.