Instagram is one of the biggest social media platforms in the world and the most popular for those under the age of 35. Across the globe, over one billion active users are engaging with friends, celebrities and brands.
This makes the platform incredibly attractive for marketers and companies looking to advertise their products, with a huge potential audience. It is not just established brands using the platform to grow their business though, Instagram also gave birth to the influencer - someone who can amass a huge following and is paid to promote certain goods and experiences to their followers.
Quality on Instagram
Although quality content is key to long-term success for everyone from influencers to established businesses, in the world of Instagram followers is what counts. The more followers that you have, the higher rate of engagement you will enjoy; which means more website visits and an increased chance to boost your sales. Not only that, but research has shown that when someone visits the profile of an account with a very high number of followers, they are also more likely to begin following that account themselves.
However, the quality of your followers is vital to your success. If you have spent any time on the platform or researching how to enjoy the best engagement, then you would have undoubtedly come across companies offering you the opportunity to buy a few hundred, or even a few thousand, followers for a very low cost. It is a very tempting opportunity and dozens of celebrities, influencers and brands have paid for thousands of followers to make their account look a more powerful figurehead in their niche.
Does buying Instagram followers work?
In short, no. When you buy followers, although you will see your overall number increase, you will not be buying genuine accounts – these will be accounts created specifically to boost follower numbers and will not be actively engaging or interacting with your posts.
Low engagement is a big problem for any social media manager or account owner. Social media is about being just that, social! So you want to ensure that your Instagram account is helping to build a community with valued followers who are interested in your brand; making them far more likely to purchase something from you. Posting for the sake of it, to an audience who are not real or engaged, is a waste of your valuable time and effort. Having 10,000 fake followers is far less beneficial and profitable than it is having 1,000 engaged and interested organic followers.
These paid-for followers will never be visiting your site or purchasing your products, which defies the point of using Instagram as a marketing tool. Having accounts that have no interest in your brand also makes it very hard to track and analyze your performance, meaning you will struggle to understand what posts are working and how our content is performing with potential customers.
Fake accounts are also very bad for your credibility. There are many apps and websites out there which are now able to verify and track the quality of an account’s followers; meaning it is now very easy to tell if someone has bought fake followers. For influencers, this is a guaranteed way to put potential companies from working with you while for businesses it will immediately make customers question your legitimacy and honesty.
Instagram themselves are ramping up their efforts to remove fake accounts, which means that eventually that money you have spent will be for nothing and the accounts will be deleted; seeing your overall follower number suddenly drop.
Above all though, buying fake followers is against the terms and conditions of Instagram. Although you might not think this is too much of a big deal, if they deem that you have breached these terms then your account will be deleted and you will be blocked from using the platform – which means all of that effort, time and money invested will have been for nothing!
Warning signs to look for when buying Instagram followers
Growing your Instagram account organically is the only way to ensure that your brand can reach interested and relevant people; boosting your business and increasing sales. There are many companies out there that can help you to do this, but there are also some that will simply purchase a host of fake accounts – so what are the warning signs to look out for? Here are two of the most important:
Guaranteed growth numbers
This is a big warning sign. If a marketing company is promising to increase your Instagram account by a set number then they are likely selling fake accounts. Organic growth is a slow and natural process, taking its time to reach your target audience. It is also down to individual users to decide whether they want to follow you or not so no one can guarantee you a clear and set number of new followers.
Offering an existing account
Another common trick that some of these unethical marketing companies like to try is to offer you an existing account that comes pre-loaded with thousands of followers. This might sound like a great option to get you ahead of the pack but the reality is that these thousands of followers will be fake – and even if they are not, they will have been built up by another brand and as soon as you start posting your unrelated content they will quickly unfollow.
So how do you grow your followers organically?
Unfortunately, there is no one quick fix to suddenly grow your Instagram followers. It takes a lot of time, effort and research. You want to inspire your followers and show them the content that they want to see and engage with. To do this, you need to understand what posts they are engaging with the most; allowing you to replicate that style and tone across your entire content.
There are some other tips you can incorporate into your content strategy to boost those follower numbers and increase your engagement. Some of the most effective include:
Target your hashtags
You might think that adding the 30 most popular hashtags into your post is a great way to boost your reach, but in reality, it is far more effective to use targeted and carefully chosen hashtags that helps your content to stand out amongst a smaller pool of competition.
Choose your captions carefully
The most popular celebrities in the world can post any caption they like and will receive hundreds of thousands of likes but for normal accounts a carefully worded and crafted Instagram caption can significantly boost your engagement; gaining more comments and likes.
There is no magic formula for caption writing, but longer posts are more likely to make someone scrolling through their social screen stop and read. However, at the same time, you do not want to be writing an essay…
Tell a story about your Instagram brand
When Instagram introduced stories, it was a game-changer and the ability to share a short picture or video for just 24 hours quickly became the go-to move for every influencer, marketer and business on the platform. Around 500 million people watch a story every day so focusing your content to include the use of the story function can significantly boost your engagement.
Following the ability to add a story, Instagram then introduced the chance to let users go live – this is particularly useful for any influencers or personalities that want to connect directly with their audience.
Be consistent with your style and content
Although it might take some trial and error to find the right style when you do you should be consistent with your posting and messaging. This consistency should extend across your entire profile and aligns with your overall brand identity; allowing users to fully embrace your company ethos.
Use professionals to grow followers organically
The best way to ensure that your Instagram account is growing at a steady rate and you can attract genuine, engaged users is to use the help of a professional service. Here at SocialStud.io our personal and experienced team live and breathe all things social so know exactly what it takes to get your Instagram account looking its best.
From the moment you sign up with us, you will have a dedicated Account Manager working for you. They will spend some time discussing your goals and requirements and will then start working to engage with your perfect audience; helping to boost your potential customer base.
Organic Instagram marketing technique
Our unique targeting techniques will ensure that you can get the edge over your competitors and can help to bring in consumers from certain locations or with certain interests. To ensure you can keep track of our work, we also provide you with a clear analysis so you can track your growth.
So don’t waste time on buying fake followers which are not only a waste of money but can also be highly damaging to your brand, get in touch with us today and find out how we can get your brand in front of genuine customers.