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Buying Instagram Likes and Followers: Why You Should Never Do It

We here at VisionFriendly.com like to think we’re pretty good judges of character. We don’t think you would pay a stranger to go out for dinner with you and pretend to be your friend. You’re better than that. At least we’re about 80 percent sure.

If it sounds a little awkward to do it in real life, chances are you don’t want to do it digitally either. Yet there are plenty of services out there for people looking into buying Instagram likes and followers. Will it inflate your numbers? You bet it will. But it’s the wrong numbers. It will appear to an outsider that more people are following your account, but it won’t do anything for what really counts - increasing your conversions.

What You’re Really Getting When You Purchase An Instagram Audience

Buying Instagram likes or followers may provide you with a thin veneer of looking established. But it doesn’t take much to pierce that. Your likes would come from bots or mostly inactive accounts. Same with the followers and they would not interact with your page. You won’t show up on their Explore pages. You won’t be a fixture on their newsfeeds. They’ll show up as a number on a stat sheet, and that’s about it. There’s no guarantee that the platform won’t crack down on them either, but more on that later.

When you take a genuine approach and interact with your audience you are much more likely to find people who want to do business with you. But when you purchase likes and followers this is not an option.

Fake Followers Ding Your Credibility With Potential Customers

Let’s lay out a few hypotheticals so that you can see what it might look like from the outside when potential customers discover that your brand audience isn’t truly real. If you have tens of thousands of Instagram followers and average less than five likes per post, it won’t take long for people to notice that something is up. Either your content needs to be revamped or the quality of your followers will quickly be called into question. Or both.

When someone authentic is making the decision whether to follow your page, if they see thousands of followers and very little interaction, they may not be inclined to follow. They may assume that you’re not putting content out there that is worth engaging with. In other words, it could cost you general interactions you may have otherwise had.

If none of your Instagram interactions move beyond likes, the same credibility issues can hold true.


Purchasing Likes or Followers Can Negatively Impact Metrics

One of the key best practices with social media is to always measure your metrics so that you understand what’s working and what isn’t. The true point of being on Instagram in the first place is to convert followers into customers. A fake audience does nothing to help with that goal. If you took the resources you’d dedicated to purchasing followers and put them toward building genuine relationships, you’d be better off.

Genuine and authentic content will help you develop your business and your brand far past the number of followers.

If Instagram Catches On…

Instagram is now ridding its platform of bots and other fake accounts. It’s cracking down on the apps and platforms built around artificially growing your account. In other words, you run the risk of losing the very “audience” you’re paying for. But past that, buying likes or followers is against their terms of service. They may suspend your account for engaging in the practice.

If you’re looking to maintain a presence on the platform for the long term, an authentic approach might likely prove a better way to go.

What You Should Do Instead

We’ve mentioned taking an authentic approach to your Instagram presence, but what does that even mean?

  • First off, it’s important to make sure that your account is public so that your audience can see your content when it’s published.
  • Next, it’s important to publish valuable content that resonates with your audience. Original pictures that give people insight into your business can help. So will engaging content surrounding them. It’s important to write this content in your own distinct brand voice and make your presence more recognizable.
  • The proper use of hashtags can also help expand the number of people who have a chance to see your content. 
  • It’s also a good idea to engage with other users by liking, sharing, or commenting on their posts. When you can do all of this in a genuine fashion, it’s possible to grow your Instagram audience without ever needing to pay for likes or followers.

Hire a Digital Marketing Agency to Leverage Your Social Media

If you’re using Instagram or any other social media platforms for your business, it’s important to consider your long-term business goals. Purchasing likes or followers doesn’t provide you with any true long-term benefit, as these followers are not real, and won’t convert into customers. A genuine and authentic approach to content and interactions might help you achieve more. Just like you wouldn’t pay that stranger to be your friend in real life, you shouldn’t do it on Instagram, either.

Hiring a digital marketing agency to manage an Instagram ads campaign may also help you monetize your presence in a more authentic way. You’ll get further with this type of approach than you ever will by buying Instagram likes or followers. If you have any questions or would like to find out more about what VisionFriendly.com can do for you, contact us today!

About the Author:



VisionFriendly.com is a Chicago digital marketing agency with over 25 years of experience helping clients nationwide. We have an in-house team of marketers and creatives ready to improve your business’s marketing operations.

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