The Facts on Fake Followers ❌
As Instagram has become prime marketing and advertising real estate, more brands have been tempted to buy Instagram likes (and Views, Follows, Comments) to compete with rivals who have large followings.
But artificially inflating your engagement numbers is not only a waste of time and money, it can also harm your business! Gaming the system can actually decrease your engagement and destroy your reputation by creating a spammy presence that makes a bad impression of would-be followers and potential customers.
Organic growth is the only way to go, and here's why.
❌ Why You Should Never Buy Fake Instagram Engagement
If you plan to buy Instagram likes to fool your audience as part of your Instagram strategy, it’s time to rethink that approach.
- Your Competitors (and Instagram) Can Tell
If your likes-to-follower or likes-to-comments ratios are too high, it can be a sign that you buy Instagram likes, since buying likes is cheaper than buying followers or comments. The rate of engagement drops off steeply as accounts gain more followers, but even at their highest engagement rates are usually under 11%.
- Instagram Will Punish You
Following in the footsteps of similar crackdowns on Facebook and Twitter that purged tens of millions of fake accounts, in 2018 Instagram started removing “inauthentic” likes, fake followers, and comments.
- Fake Likes Do Not Equal Real Business
No matter how many likes your posts show, paid engagement never results in real business. Unlike real people, likes from fake followers (bots or lines of programming code) can never lead to purchases or create brand loyalty. At best, they do little more than making your brand appear to be more popular than it actually is.
📈 How To Grow An Authentic Following
The negatives of buying Instagram likes far outweigh the positives. Your best bet is to grow your engagement organically, and we have a few tips you can follow to get more Instagram likes—the right way.
- Create Content with a Purpose
If you want people to stop scrolling through their Instagram feed and like your post, you need to create content they care about. Users need to quickly see what they’re going to get out of your posts if they’re going to take the time to read it. Make the value of your post clear by tying it to a specific purpose.
- Tag People and Places
When you use the @ mentions feature to tag another user, they get a notification, which draws their attention to your post. If they engage with the post, suddenly you’ve expanded your reach (and potential for likes) to all of their followers as well as your own! This tactic is especially effective if you can tag an influencer, since they tend to have a larger following and more engagement than other types of users.
- Strategically Use Hashtags
Hashtags are among the best tools for organically increasing visibility and driving engagement of your Instagram posts. Use them liberally but wisely.
Rather than using general hashtags with high competition (like #travel or #MondayMotivation), it’s better to opt for more specific hashtags (think #NYCtravels or #YogaQuotesoftheDay).
Narrower hashtags have fewer posts to compete with, which means your post is more likely to be seen. Narrower hashtags are also going to reach users specifically interested in your post (they’re searching for similar content, after all).
- Engage Users Daily
Remember, one of the basic rules of social media is that engagement fuels engagement. Translation: The more you interact with other Instagram users, the more you increase your exposure and visibility.
That means you should take some time every day to engage with users. Start by responding to every comment left on your posts.
- Include a Call-To-Action (CTA) with Every Post
Your goal in buying likes is to increase your engagement metrics and get your post seen by more people. Invite engagement by asking or promoting your followers and target audience to take action and interact with you.
While it may sound tempting on the surface, the truth is that if you buy fake Instagram followers and engagement, you can cost yourself valuable business and partnerships.
Doing things the organic way requires more effort and doesn’t provide instant gratification. But the payoff is worth it, as not only will you be growing a legitimate following, but you will also build trust in the process.
Brittany | Account Manager