Should You Buy Instagram Followers?
Have you been trying to buy organic Instagram followers to try to grow your reach on the platform? If you have, then you probably know what we’re about to say. The idea of buying Instagram followers sounds better than it really is. This is one of those things where you’ll get the instant gratification and rush from seeing a big jump in your numbers, but over time it can actually make things worse.
You can buy plenty of things to help you grow your following on Instagram. You can purchase graphics templates, enroll in a hashtag planning society, join a course that teaches you strategies for posting on Instagram, and you can find places on the internet to buy organic Instagram followers. The problem is, though, the companies that are selling those can’t actually provide real, genuine followers who are excited to learn from you and perhaps buy from you. Oftentimes you’ll get fake accounts or bots that don’t engage with your posts (or that leave meaningless comments) and hurt your engagement rates.
The purpose of having a large following on social media isn’t to have a vanity number to be able to talk about – at least it shouldn’t be. By growing your Instagram following, you’re finding new people who are interested in your product or service and want to hear more from you. Fake accounts can’t do that, and it’s almost impossible to truly buy organic Instagram followers. If you still aren’t sure, let’s dive into some specifics before you decide to buy Instagram followers. We’ll also show you the best alternatives to gaining followers instead – real followers who want to hear from you.
Can You Buy Instagram Followers?
Yes, you can. That’s the short answer, and the one that businesses selling followers will let you believe. But there’s more to the story. Instead of asking “can you buy Instagram followers,” you should be asking “should you buy Instagram followers?” And the answer to that is probably “no.”
That said, you can find plenty of options if you’re looking to buy Instagram followers. You can buy in bulk and receive your followers all at once, or you can sign up for a subscription and get a certain amount of followers each day.
Pricing per follower depends on the company you buy from and the amount of followers you’re buying. For example, you can purchase 60 followers a day for $80/month. Some companies don’t necessarily promise a set number of followers, but their prices can range from $39 to $99/month. Others claim to sell 5,000 followers for $85.
The processes and guarantees for these follower counts will vary based on the company you choose. Some have spammy practices like following and unfollowing accounts, others are less clear in describing their process of how they find the followers they’ll give you, but they assure you that magically you’ll have your chosen amount of followers on your account. Some replenish when those new followers begin to leave, others don’t. Read through the information they provide carefully, and check for reviews to see if their customers are satisfied or not.
Why Do People Buy Instagram Followers?
There are a number of reasons people might buy followers. Influencers, for instance, can often get paid more for collaborations when they have a higher number of followers. Brands, businesses, and thought leaders might want to seem more reputable by having a bigger following. They also might be trying to hit the 10,000 follower count to access the swipe up feature.
However, before you think this is a good idea, know that savvy users know how to see if an account has fake followers. Brands will certainly check before working with influencers, and some Instagram users may do so to see if a brand truly is legitimate. In fact, there are many different ways to see if an account has fake followers or not.
First of all, check what their engagement rate is. If someone has 100,000 followers but only averages about 60 likes per picture, it’s likely that they’ve paid for followers at some point. This is what we talked about earlier where having bots following you can hurt your engagement rate.
Once you’ve looked at their average engagement, scroll through their photos and take a look at the comments. Are most of the comments irrelevant? Do they not make sense? If so, that’s another indication that their followers may be bought. Of course, you can always check the quality of the followers themselves. Click through to a few of their followers and see if they look like real accounts.
Pro Tip: if they don’t have a profile picture, have gibberish for a username and only have a few, if any, posts, chances are they’re a fake account.
Finally, you can use an app or website that can check for Instagram fake followers.
Risks of Buying “Organic” Followers
Check out our video on what you should know about ghost followers on Instagram:
Along with ghost followers, there are plenty of reasons that it isn’t a good idea to try to buy “organic” Instagram followers, but we’ll take a look at seven major reasons here.
1. Low Engagement
If you’re looking to build up your Instagram following, chances are it’s because you’re looking to form a community. You’re probably hoping to serve your followers, give them value and then offer them the chance to purchase something from you.
Creating that trust and community involves engagement from your audience. If your followers just scroll past your posts, what good is it having them? We’re not in the business of having vanity numbers, and we hope you aren’t either.
“Buying friends (or followers) makes no sense in real life, and it’s really unwise on social media too. Bought followers are there for one reason only and it’s not because you impressed them or engaged them with your content. They’re unlikely to engage in future, let alone buy anything you’re selling.
It makes more sense to gather more followers by engaging with the right people yourself. That doesn’t mean there’s not room for automation, but taking the easy route of paying for 'vanity numbers' should be avoided.” -- Ben Taylor, Homeworking Club
2. Lack Of Social Credibility If You Buy Instagram Followers
This very much plays into our first reason. If potential real followers are coming to your Instagram profile to check you out, they’ll likely look at your follower count.
Then they’ll probably compare it to your engagement on your past few posts. If there’s a big discrepancy between the two, which there probably will be with fake followers, you can lose social credibility.
The same thing can happen if your potential followers try to look through your current follower list and just see a list of bots and fake accounts.
3. Follower Drop Off
Fake followers are also much more likely to drop off and unfollow you than people who actually choose to follow your account.
Sure, not everyone who finds you organically will follow you forever, but fake accounts are much more likely to unfollow you shortly after they follow you.
While it’s better to get rid of those followers anyway, now you’ve just wasted your money trying to acquire followers who leave immediately.
4. Compromised Analytics
Your performance metrics will likely be skewed if you have fake followers, bots or spam accounts on your page. You won’t be able to tell how well your posts are performing if most of your followers are fake.
You also want to be creating content that resonates with your ideal customers (those organic Instagram followers), but having an audience of bots won’t tell you how well you’re doing.
5. No Sales Or Website Traffic
If you’re promoting your business or brand on Instagram, at some point you’re going to be trying to sell something.
Fake followers will never buy your products, and they won’t go to your website. They’re not real, and they won’t want to actually buy from you.
Instagram is a marketing tool – why would you want people following you who won’t want to make a purchase?
6. You Won’t Be Able To Create Partnerships
If a brand or business knows that you have fake followers, they won’t partner or collaborate with you. They all know the ways to check for fake followers, so you won’t be able to trick them into thinking your purchased followers are real. They want to make sure you have a real audience, so the content you create will reach real people who will want to learn about their product or service. Even if you aren’t an influencer, if your brand wants to partner with another to do Instagram Story takeover swaps or something like that, they likely won’t want to if they find out your audience isn’t real.
Not having real Instagram followers can also hurt your business, too, because it means you won’t be able to turn followers into potential customers. Your Instagram account serves as a place to warm up your audience to make them ready to purchase from you. If you’re warming up fake accounts, there’s no one there to want to purchase your product or service.
7. It’s Against Instagram’s Terms Of Service
Yep. You’re actually not allowed to straight-up buy Instagram followers. If you do, you could be banned from the platform. At the very least, Instagram will likely delete the fake followers from your account, which again makes buying these followers a waste of money.
The platform wants to ensure that your real, organic Instagram followers are having a good experience, so they’ll remove fake followers that are getting in the way of that.
"In addition to the fact that Instagram might shut down your account, fake followers will never do anything more than boost your ego for a couple of days. Then you'll feel defeated again after you see your engagement rate plummet." -- Jerry Potter, Five Minute Social Media
Types of Services to Avoid
Please, please avoid any Instagram growth platform that guarantees you a particular number of followers. This is an absolute giveaway that they are selling fake profiles that won’t engage with you. Real, organic Instagram followers have to be able to choose to follow you on their own - so it’s impossible to guarantee.
If a platform wants you to buy organic Instagram followers in order to perform their marketing strategies, please run away. That’s another red flag for all of the reasons we discussed here. Don’t get your account banned, and don’t make your engagement suffer. Just try to get real followers for Instagram.
It’s also a really good idea to avoid buying an existing Instagram account that comes preloaded with followers. Most likely these are all fake followers and bots, so you’ll have all of the same problems we’ve been talking about in this blog.
If they do happen to be organic Instagram followers, how do you know they’ll be interested in your brand? They’ll most likely fall off, decreasing your engagement and follower count, and you'll be back to where you began.
"Taking these short-cuts to grow your Instagram followers is only going to do you harm. There are plenty of organic ways to increase the followers but yes, that definitely includes some strategy, tools, hard work and your time.
- You need to identify your target audience and post content that provides value.
- You can make use of Instagram scheduling tools to maintain consistency.
- Find which hashtags are most suitable for your brand and start using them.
- Make good use of Stories and Reels to capture the audience's attention.
- Constantly engage with your audience and communicate with people on daily basis.
These are some basic tips that will help you gain followers slowly and gradually. Just remember be consistent and engage!" -- Manvi Argarwal, Social Pilot
Types Of Growth Services To Look For
Not all Instagram growth services are bad, though! In fact, there are plenty that can actually help your brand, if you know how to evaluate them. Look for a platform that emphasizes organic growth and doesn’t guarantee you a particular number of followers.
You also want to look for a platform that talks about real followers and that offers you plenty of transparency. Avoid any platform that says you can buy organic Instagram followers. And anyone can write “real” or “organic” on their website, but they can’t fake it when they explain their methods.
Alternative Solutions To Getting More Instagram Followers
Okay, so now you understand why buying organic Instagram followers is a bad idea that can actually hurt you in the long run. But no matter your reason, you still want to grow your following. Don’t worry - there are still plenty of ways for you to expand your reach and talk to more people on Instagram without needing to put your account at risk. Let’s take a look.
1. Use A Reputable Organic Instagram Growth Service
Yes, there actually is a way to buy followers that won’t trigger spam filters or give Instagram any red flags. The best way to grow your following is through engagement marketing. It’s a great strategy where you visit the profiles of people you want to have following you, and like a few of their posts to let them know you exist, encouraging them to come check out your page. The problem is, this type of engagement marketing can take a LONG time. Many business owners and social media managers don’t have that kind of time to invest in liking potential followers’ posts.
That’s where a quality growth service like Kicksta can come into play and help you gain REAL followers on Instagram. See, unlike the more risky buying followers solutions we mentioned earlier, Kicksta can’t promise you a specific number of followers. That’s because we don’t know how many people will actually follow you. We just do the engaging for you, and then it’s up to your potential followers to visit your profile and decide for themselves whether or not they want to follow you. This is the closest thing to being able to effectively buy organic Instagram followers, even though you’re buying the service rather than a specific amount of followers.
This also means that you have to be doing your fair share of the work. You need to be creating high-quality, consistent content that people want to see and engage with on a regular basis. If potential followers visit your page but you haven’t posted in two months (or even two weeks), they might click away before they even give you a chance.
Investing in this solution is much better than deciding to buy Instagram followers, because it does more than just bring you organic followers. It also increases your social credibility, saves you time to work on other important tasks, and increases sales and your engagement rate. Since your new followers will have chosen to follow you, that means they’re interested in seeing what you share, so they’re likely eager to engage with your posts. This engagement is key to your success on Instagram, whether that’s for landing partnerships or building relationships with your followers.
Here's a video with some tips on how to find the best Instagram growth service:
"When getting new Instagram followers, the most important element is to focus on getting targeted followers. That's because this is the main objective of social media marketing: reaching a targeted audience so that they are ready to engage with you, click on your bio links, watch your Stories and ultimately, buy from you.
By getting more new targeted followers, you'll not only increase your follower count but also your engagement rates, your traffic and even your sales and conversions from social media." -- Lilach Bullock, Business Success Coach & Consultant
2. Create A Powerful Hashtag Strategy
Hashtags are still an important part of your overall Instagram marketing strategy, but they often require a strategy of their own. When you’re creating your strategy, you want to make sure that you’re using as many as possible up to Instagram’s limit of 30. Within those 30 hashtags, you want to use a mixture of hashtags of various sizes. Use a few big hashtags and a few small hashtags, but most of them should be fairly mid-sized. With big hashtags, your posts might get lost, and small hashtags likely don’t attract enough notice.
To quickly find hashtags with the right number of posts, you can do a few things. To begin, go to the search bar in Instagram and type in your first hashtag idea. In this example, we’ll use #entrepreneur. #Entrepreneur has over 69.6 million posts. You can see in this image some suggested hashtags, like #entrepreneurmindset which has about 3.5 million posts. While that’s certainly a lot fewer than #entrepreneur, it’s still too many to be effective.
Instead, if you scroll down that suggested list, eventually you’ll find some other suggestions. You’ll see that hashtags like #entrepreneurmind, which has 510,491 posts, and #entrepreneurcoach that has 256,926 posts. These are still very big, but they’re more manageable if this is your industry. You can repeat this process with smaller and smaller hashtags until you find some that are in the 10,000-300,000 post range. Remember: you don’t want to go too small either.
If you don’t want to search through each of your hashtags individually, you can use a free hashtag generator like Kicksta’s to help you save time. The generator that creates hashtags lists you can save, and you can search for them based on top, random, and best match hashtags based on the initial keyword you choose at the beginning.
Having a great hashtag strategy can help you gain followers because it’ll help put your posts in front of your potential followers. When you’re creating your strategy and choosing your hashtags, you want to think about what your ideal followers would be searching for, and also what matches your post. Choose a mixture of hashtags that are based on your photo, your caption, your industry, your location (if applicable), and any current timely events, like a holiday, or major awards show that everyone’s talking about online. This is a great way to insert yourself into the conversation - if it makes sense with your post.
"Users follow and stick around accounts that have high-performing content that they find helpful and valuable. What's more, the latest Instagram algorithm considers users' interactions and engagements when ranking content on their feed. It means that building a solid relationship with your users through compelling content can be a handy way to help your post rank higher on their feeds.
So, one thing is clear here: Creating valuable posts (including thought-provoking video content like product demos or explainer videos and interactive images) that generate buzz is more important than ever. In this case, it's always better to also utilize all the Instagram features such as Instagram Feeds, Instagram Story, IGTV, and Instagram Live. That way, you can continuously start a conversation with your followers and engage them quickly." -- Andre Oenturo, CEO at Breadnbeyond
3. Use Instagram Ads
Another way to gain followers is by using Instagram ads. There are many different types of ads, from Story ads to carousel ads to photo ads and more. You’ll want to do your research to find the type of ad that will work best for you and your goals. When you go to actually create your ads, you’ll do so within your Facebook Ads Manager (since Facebook owns Instagram). You’ll be able to create your campaigns, and then organize the various ads you create by ad set to keep everything aligned.
In order to gain followers with Instagram ads, you need to know who your target audience is. You can create a very specific targeted audience to see your ads, but you need to have information in order to tell Instagram who to show your ads. You’ll need demographic information, but you can also target by connections, behaviors, languages, interests and location.
Once you have your ads set up and running, consider doing some A/B testing so you know which type of ad content performs better with your audience. Some people love videos, others prefer a captivating image and a compelling caption. You’ll just have to test and see who reacts to and engages with your ad - and who comes and follows you because of it! This works better than trying to buy organic Instagram followers because you’re able to target the exact kinds of people you want to have see your ads
"Buying Instagram followers is never a good idea. If you’re an influencer or personal brand looking for brand collaborations, most reputable companies now know to look beyond follower count, so your fake numbers won’t impress them much. If you’re a business looking to make sales, fake followers definitely aren’t buying from you!
And in fact, having a large amount of 'ghost followers', or fake followers that don’t engage with your content, can actually deter customers and fans from wanting to follow you at all. If you’re looking for a little boost, one alternative is running Instagram ads. You can get in front of your target audience the right way, by providing them an opt-in like a free worksheet or download, for example." -- Latasha James, Marketing Strategist & Coach
4. Cross Promotion
Cross promotion is a great way to make sure that everyone who knows about your brand is following you on Instagram. Chances are you already have website visitors, email subscribers, and followers on other social media platforms. Do they follow you on Instagram? If not, it’s time for them to do so!
Buying Instagram followers can effectively increase your chances of success on the global social media market if it’s done in a smart way. However, while buying Instagram followers will indeed boost your numbers at face value, engagement is not guaranteed. Raising raw follower numbers alone won’t bring actual customers to your doors as easily as it might seem. If done incorrectly, it can bring about the opposite effect and lead customers away from your brand.
Once a user starts following your Instagram page due to the initial impression of high engagement, they may soon be dissuaded from doing so. You should pay close attention to hand-crafted content, your company’s bio, as well as on-page calls to action. Match your newly-acquired follower numbers with quality writing and visuals, in addition to discount coupons, giveaways and call to actions for your real-world audience.
Instagram content types are dime-a-dozen, and you can create animations, images, GIFs, videos and other types of content paired with trending hashtags. Stories, live streaming, and on-page sales of items can also be used to signal that your brand is “alive” and ready to accept new customers. Don’t rely solely on buying Instagram followers and instead, treat it as an additional way to raise awareness of your brand and product portfolio. Such an approach will allow you to avoid coming off as a “spam” page created for the sole purpose of artificial bot follower farming. -- Diana Adjadj, Social Media Manager and Content Writer at Best Essays Education.
You can promote your Instagram through your emails, on all of your other social media channels, as well as on your website. Since you already have followers on those other social channels, email subscribers, website visitors, and more, they have more reason to follow you on Instagram. They already like what you create and the products and services you offer, so chances are they’ll want to see your Instagram posts, too. Just make sure you’re putting out different content on your other platforms so they don’t see the same thing over and over each day.
5. Partner With Influencers
Instagram is a platform built around social interactions. As a result, it’s impossible to properly leverage it if you’re not putting yourself out there and making real connections with other people.
Influencer marketing is the epitome of truly social marketing. In a nutshell, influencer marketing is when a brand reaches out to an Instagrammer with a sizable or targetted following (the influencer) and asks them to make a post about their product. Usually, the brand compensates the influencer for the post just like they would any other advertiser, but occasionally it’s done for free if the influencer truly loves the product.
Marketing through influencers can be particularly effective because their followers are more likely to view their posts as recommendations from a friend than as a sponsored ad. That means that they’ll take it more to heart, pay more attention to it, and they’ll be more likely to actually act on the post.
One of the toughest parts about influencer marketing is figuring out how to get in touch with an influencer. However, it’s not always as hard as it may initially seem.
Of course, if you want to reach A-list celebrity influencers with hundreds of millions of followers, you’re going to have a hard time. But there are many influencers who are quite easy to reach via DM or through their management contact email, which is often displayed in their bios.
Another option is partnering with micro-influencers. These influencers have smaller but more targeted followings. Despite having fewer followers, conversion rates can sometimes be even better because their followings are so targeted.
Once you get in touch with an influencer, there are lots of directions you can go in. Hosting giveaways is always a popular idea, or you can always go with the standard of showing the influencer using the product. How-to videos using your product or simple reviews and testimonials are also effective.
6. Use Search And Explore
On the whole, there are two ways you can browse through Instagram: either by scrolling through your feed, or looking through Search and Explore.
When you scroll through your feed, all the content you see is from accounts and hashtags you follow. But when you look through the Search and Explore section, you will see content that’s similar to posts you’ve already liked regardless of whether you’ve actually followed the poster. Essentially, it’s a way to discover new content you wouldn’t have seen otherwise.
Although there isn’t a specific formula that will get your content featured in Search and Explore, there are some things that will help you get there.
First of all, having good content is a given. Generally, the better your content is, the more engagement it will get, which boosts its ranking in the Instagram algorithm. The better it ranks, the more likely it is that people will see it.
Secondly, you can leverage hashtags to get your posts in front of a bigger audience. Hashtags are Instagram’s way of dividing content into categories. For example, if you posted a music video, you might want to include #music in the caption. If you post a workout video, #fitness would be a better way to go.
Instagrammers follow these hashtags, and they use them when browsing through Search and Explore. So, if you use a popular hashtag, you’ll reach more accounts.
Generally, you’ll want to use more than one hashtag. Instagram allows you to include up to 30 hashtags, but most people recommend using about 11 of them. Ideally, you’ll want to combine hashtags that have a variety of different follower counts, ranging from millions of followers to just a few thousand. This way, you won’t get lost in the hubbub of the most popular hashtags, and you won’t solely commit yourself to low volume ones.
7. User-Generated Content (UGC)
User-generated content (UGC) is exactly what it sounds like: content that’s generated by users of your product or service.
UGC is particularly effective because it serves as social proof. When Instagrammers see other people using and enjoying your product, they’re more likely to take notice. As more people post UGC, you not only expand your reach organically, but you also essentially get more and more “good reviews,” so to speak.
Another reason UGC is popular among brands is because it often turns your marketing campaigns into fun activities that your followers can engage in. For example, if you run a hashtag challenge on TikTok, you’re inviting people to make a video based around your product. That’s a very deep form of engagement that’s likely to instill fond memories and lead to a lasting impression on the partakers.
Plus, UGC can easily go viral. In the case of a hashtag challenge, for example, if the activity you’re promoting is fun, you can be sure that lots of people will want to join in and have a good time with your challenge.
Here’s an example of a UGC campaign. The brand over made this post:
And here’s what followed:
As you can tell, this user clearly put a lot of time and effort into their submission, which means they formed a deep connection with the brand. The same goes for other people who submitted, to varying degrees.
8. Take On Video
That means that you’re losing out on a big piece of the Instagram pie if you’re not using video.
There are many reasons that video is important, but one of the most obvious is that video content is simply more noticeable. Humans have evolved to pay attention to motion (that sudden movement could be a tiger, after all). When you scroll through your feed and see something start to move, you’re more likely to pay attention to it than you are to a static photo.
Plus, add sound to the mix, and you’re attacking multiple senses. Even if your video itself doesn’t catch someone’s attention, maybe the sound or music will. Essentially, you have more ways to draw users in.
Videos can also help foster longer and more significant engagements. For the most part, you can only look at a picture for a minute or two tops, and most people will simply take a look at the picture, give it a like, and then scroll past. With video, you can keep Instagrammers tuned to your content for much longer periods of time. For example, if you post a 10 minute makeup tutorial video to IGTV, you have a good chance of getting people to spend a more significant amount of time with you.
Instagram Live ups the ante by allowing users to interact with you in real time. This can help foster deeper connections, and it also keeps your audience more engaged since they know that they can become a real part of the show through asking questions, making comments, and talking with other audience members.
Lately, Instagram Reels have risen to popularity. Reels takes the TikTok formula of short, loopable videos, and brings it to the Instagram platform. These videos can be highly addicting, and the medium is trending right now, so it’s a good way to bring some extra attention to your brand.
9. Contests And Giveaways
Giveaways are a crowd favorite on Instagram for one simple reason: everyone loves free stuff!
When you run a contest or a giveaway, you’re almost guaranteed to get some attention. Even if someone has never heard of your brand before, if you have a great product to give away, people will pay attention.
Most giveaways and contests operate in the same way: the poster asks the audience to engage with the post somehow, usually by tagging friends, commenting, or sharing. Then, after a set period of time, the poster will select a winner.
This strategy is a great way to get some fresh eyes on your brand. Once people come for your giveaway, there’s a good chance they’ll stay for your content and give you a follow.
Here are some examples of Instagram contests and giveaways:
10. Instagram Shopping
In recent years, Instagram has evolved beyond a social media platform and into a full-service ecommerce experience. Now, Instagrammers can buy items with just a few clicks and without even leaving the Instagram app or website.
Running a store on Instagram and making use of Instagram Shopping can help increase your following by appealing to people who use Instagram specifically to find new products. Fashion products tend to perform particularly well in this regard.
To get started with Instagram Shopping, you’ll need to make sure you have a business account. Instagram Shopping only works with physical goods, and services are not eligible.
Once you have an Instagram business account setup, you’ll need to either create a new catalog or link an existing one on Facebook Catalog Manager. Alternatively, you can also link to a catalog you have on another platform like Shopify or BigCommerce.
When that’s all ready to go, all you need to do is start tagging your products in your posts and configure your Instagram storefront.
Buying Instagram Followers
No matter what your reason is for wanting to grow your Instagram following, it’s a good idea to do so. But, it’s not always a good idea to buy Instagram followers. Hopefully some of the ideas we’ve shared here will encourage you to take action and begin growing your following in more creative ways. Which one will you try first?
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