These days all it takes to amass a healthy following on Instagram is a valid credit card. But where you can buy Instagram followers – and more importantly, should you do it – are still questions that remain unanswered. It’s definitely tempting to want the biggest following as quickly as possible. It makes sense that someone with the means would be willing to pay to get them.
But buying Instagram followers can have dangerous consequences for your account. In this article we’ll discuss everything about buying Instagram followers, from where and how to buy them and what might happen if you do. Let’s jump right in!
Why You’d Want To Buy Instagram Followers
We all know that having a lot of followers on Instagram can be very profitable to your career. I mean, if you have any doubts, all you have to do is take a look at Kylie Jenner’s page. But short of being born a celebrity, amassing all those followers takes a lot of hard work and effort. If you think your profile is the next big thing but you’re not patient enough to get there, it’s not inconceivable you’d buy Instagram followers.
But one thing is for sure: Buying Instagram followers is almost always a bad idea. Here’s why:
Instagram Knows About Its Fake Followers Problem
Instagram is the world’s largest marketing platform, and with the support of Facebook behind them, they’ve pinpointed almost every way people have tried to cheat the system. All those algorithm changes aren’t just meant to torture you: they’re also Instagram’s answer to their fake follower problem.
Instagram doesn’t want to pay out and advertise to people who don’t have real followers, and they’ve taken definite steps to crack down on bots and fake followers. Instagram prioritizes posts that show up in hashtag searches not only by amount of likes but also engagement rate.
Let’s take a look at a popular hashtag – I’m going with #instagood for this one. As of this article, this is our top post by Youtuber and Instagram influencer @franellee:
As you can see, the picture was posted only 27 minutes ago, and it already has close to 2,000 likes and 19 comments. If there were fake followers on this user’s account, although she has almost 100k followers, the number likes would not reflect that.
The higher your engagement is, the likelier it is that you’ll show up on the explore page or first in a hashtag search, and bots just don’t achieve the same kind of engagement. Even if you buy Instagram followers, that’s no guarantee that they’ll actually like and engage with your content. It’s a very real possibility that bought Instagram followers don’t actually care about your niche, and have no incentive to do anything on your profile other than follow you – and then forget about you.
2. Bad Instagram Followers Can Drive Down Your Engagement Rate
If you’re serious about your career as an influencer, you should also be serious about your engagement rate. For accounts with a lot of followers, a good engagement rate is around 2% – anything higher is exceptional, and anything lower sets off alarm bells.
Brands are very suspicious of influencers that have a high follower count but very low engagement rate. In other words, they can see right through followers you may have bought – and it won’t work out well for you. After all, brands want to work with someone who will translate to actual financial gain for their company. In short, they won’t get starry eyes about a high follower number unless you also have high engagement. In fact, Instagram users with less followers but higher engagement can often negotiate even better deals with brands. It just goes to show that hard work pays off.
Is Buying Followers Always Bad?
While buying Instagram followers isn’t your best bet when it comes to account growth, that doesn’t mean there’s no way to beef up your Instagram account with a little financial incentive. Before you consider buying Instagram followers, consider these alternatives:
- Use Instagram Ads
If your goal is fast expansion, consider sponsoring your post and getting it out there. Although Instagram punishes for fake followers, it’s very rewarding when people use is its in-app promotional services. Sponsoring posts is affordable, and Instagram won’t punish you for it!
- Use Your Target Audience
It’s always worth looking at your insights, whether you’re aiming for more followers or not. But you may find you have an untapped goldmine in the form of business insights. Not only can they tell you what your current followers are into, they can also help you target an audience. Use that knowledge to create content that will appeal to the kind of followers you are trying to attract.
- Use an Instagram Manager
An Instagram manager is a very low-stress, high-profit way of gaining Instagram followers. You also have the benefit of knowing each account an Instagram manager targets is a real account that won’t drive down your engagement. Whether it’s a bot like Kenji or a person like Upleap, an Instagram manager is an all-around safer strategy.
But…I Still Want to Buy Followers
If you really, REALLY want to buy Instagram followers, there are still a few sites that can help you out. Before you buy Instagram followers, make sure you tick these very important boxes:
- The site isn’t ridiculously cheap.
As the saying goes, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. If you’re spending $3 on the promise of 8,000 new followers, chances are most of those accounts aren’t real, and they won’t be very active followers.
- Do your research.
When working with anyone who promises they’ll get you followers, don’t be afraid to ask them plenty of questions. The industry isn’t always the safest, so ask about the seller’s strategy and experience. Talk to past clients if you can. If the seller can’t give you a straight answer, they’re trying to sell you bots.
Don’t buy followers. Buy something else.
If you are dead set on spending money on Instagram, I can’t in good conscious suggest that you buy followers. A much better investment would be into sites that can help you “game” the Instagram algorithm. In other words – what can help you take advantage of the trending Instagram hashtags and algorithm?
Hashtags for likes is a good example of an affordable site that helps users target trending hashtags. It’s affordable, but not so cheap as to be laughable.It helps users get their content on the trending page, and it doesn’t drive down engagement as it does so!
Instagram Is An Investment
Ultimately, whether or not you want to buy Instagram followers is up to you. If Instagram is your business goal, then the steps you take to get there are perfectly justifiable. As long as you do your research and take special care of your engagement rate, buying Instagram followers might actually be helpful to you.
You should never trust a sketchy site and always do your research if you want to buy Instagram followers. However, there are lots of other less sketchy ways to invest in Instagram growth, like targeted hashtag searches or using an Instagram manager. These methods don’t risk your engagement rate, and they can be surprisingly affordable.
Buying Instagram followers is a serious decision that can affect your career in unprecedented ways. Whatever you choose, do it with care.