When Instagram changed its algorithm, many brands and influencers complained. They use Instagram to make money, but they now make less because it’s harder to gain likes and followers.
When Instagram changed its algorithm, users with a lot at stake — brands and influencers — complained loudly. They said it was much harder to generate revenue because of metrics changes.
You wouldn't believe how much money Instagram influencers beg to get for sponsored posts—as much as $18,000 per post. This is the reason aspiring social media influencers see Instagram as a way to get money. The path to success isn't as simple as it seems: you need to build a large following before brands will even be interested.
But getting a lot of followers is not something only influencers are after. Businesses also see the value in how influential numbers appear to their fans. Big numbers act as proof that more people love a brand than not, which encourages others to get with the program.
Facebook's brief reign as the new king of social media is over.
Instagram changes make it difficult for businesses to reach and service their audiences. While marketers struggle to keep up with the shifting terms of the world's most popular photo-sharing app, some resort to dirty tactics like buying Instagram likes.
Of course, because Instagram keeps tinkering with the rules to reach its audience, some businesses resort to shortcuts to gain access or growth. For example, they purchase likes on posts.
Two quick, temporary (and in no way recommended) ways to build a fake following on Instagram are creating multiple fake profiles to like your brand's content or using a paid service. This isn't the most effective or efficient way of going about building an authentic following. A more sustainable and honest way is to use social media automation tools such as Socialoomph, Hootsuite, Buffer, or Edgar .
Ultimately, Instagram takes into account engagement when they select photos for the Explore page — which can lead to viral results. One trick to success in this situation is to avoid going too far overboard. Multiple fake followers with no interaction of their own is a huge red flag and a clear sign of suspicious activity.
Ultimately, Instagram takes into account engagement when they select photos for the Explore page — which can lead to viral results.
Another way to grow followers on Instagram is based on the rule of reciprocity — or “follow for follow.” Many new followers won’t realize that the bot will soon unfollow them when they least suspect it.
It kills your Engagement
Let’s talk about why it’s bad to buy Instagram likes and followers. First, it makes someone look bad. Generally, engagement rates fall as a business builds up a larger following. Consider a profile with one million followers but only 2,000 likes per photo. It should be easy to tell the difference between this and a profile with 1,000 followers that generates an equal amount of likes here and there.
If you see too many likes-to-followers (7 percent and above), it might be possible that these likes are fake. In these cases, it's easier to buy fake likes than fake followers. An easy way to figure out if the account has fake followers is by comparing the amount of likes to comments. If there are a lot of likes on an account, but a disproportionate amount of comments, then this might be from fake accounts.
- If your followers’ profiles are inactive, you might have bought Instagram likes. Look through their followers. If these followers have minimal activity, then those accounts were created specifically for the purchase of likes. Look for accounts with less than 15 posts, few followers, no photos of themselves, or that haven’t been updated in years.
If you want to attract real people, not bots, to your brand’s Instagram account then follow a formula.
- Have a look at the engagement. If they have few likes and comments for their posts, and their comments are spammy, then they are probably fake.
Now, take a look at their engagement. If they have few likes for their posts and some spammy comments, then they are probably fake.
- Here’s something interesting: Check if that account has any buying services following it. They show up as “Follows” next to the account name in a Twitter profile. These accounts will often heavily advertise the fact that they sell fans.
A “Buying Service” is an account on Twitter that sells a product or service to other businesses.
Instagram Can Shadow-ban your account
You might get a warning the first time if you’re lucky, but the disbanding of Instagram bots like Instagress and Archie seem to reflect a no-nonsense attitude for the social network moving forward. Instagram encourages users to be present and upload posts/engage with other users in real time. Anything not happening in real time, or making use of some type of automation, is not something Instagram looks at in a positive light.
With heightened security measures and complex algorithms in place, the Instagram purge of 2014 was a disaster for celebrities. The followers of major stars like Ariana Grande, Kim Kardashian, and Justin Bieber plummeted after April 2014 because many of their followers were actually fake accounts. Though these stars spent good money to obtain significant numbers of followers, they ultimately lost out. On top of that, they broke Instagram’s Terms of Service by buying followers.
It harms your opportunities to earn money and work with brands
Just because you have a lot of followers, doesn't mean you're going to get all the brands to work with you. We're now in a new era of social media marketing and influencer marketing . As social media changes, brands have access to better tools and knowledge to discern who is real and who isn't.
And for that reason, businesses are smarter now. In addition to follower numbers, they also look at engagement rates. Without real followers, it is hard to establish a good engagement rate when trying to work with brands. And for companies seeking to use fake likes and followers to build social proof, they will find that their efforts fall flat if no one is actually engaging with their content.
If you’re concerned about a small community of followers, don’t worry. Small is beautiful! The lesson here is simple: It’s better to have a small, community-driven group of consumers and online shoppers who are active and engaged than a large number of inactive and fake users.