Hey there my lovelies,
Welcome back to my Blog!
There has been something bothering me lately and I need to get it off my chest! It relates to something that I noticed happening more often lately than a few years back. Following a a few influencers/bloggers have me questioning myself ALL THE TIME. I’ve been blogging for over 8 years now and suddenly and my count is what it is however, they have more followers than me on every. single. platform. In under a year. Don’t get me wrong, some bloggers do tend to explode, especially on Instagram. But still, the growth tends to be slower. So how did they seemingly get tens of thousands of followers? I have to admit that the thought of them being bought well it went through my mind but that’s actually a terrible thought…. But is it? And did they? You tell me!
Many of you are probably nodding your head (hopefully) in agreement with me. It’s downright aggravating that people buy followers and inflate their numbers. But the thing is, brands and clients are getting smarter. They are starting to use tools to weed out fakers. Yes, there are tools that can show real page views, percentage of followers that actually engage, and actually show if there are “bots.” But truth be told I doubt that the proper due diligence is being done or that even these tools are beig used, meaning aare brands/clients getting their ROI? I have been preaching for years now that the best way to increase the number is engagement and consistency.
In an era where Instagram is one of the most popular mobile apps, people love visuals and Instagram is all about capturing the right moment at the right time and at the right angle. But I still would love to believe that is not all! Many if its active users, Instagram has evolved over the years, making it a platform where you can earn money besides followers and Instagram has been helping too in that aspect. Users can start, manage and grow their own businesses or become part of the group of small and big influencers and earn some extra cash with legit sponsored deals and giveaways.
Having said that, I have seen an insanely increase in Instagram profiles that make these huge giveaways with certain users where in you pay a fee and you host these giveaways which are nice f course for the average user who is in it to win it but that it makes it hard for a small influencer/blogger to even compete with that, especially if one is not aware of these deals and has no idea what to do in order to get ahead.
One big competitive factor is the number of your followers which are are never enough. Everyone wants more followers, no matter how much they currently have. More followers open doors for more exposure, customers, and better sponsorships. There is no denying that followers are important but the way you get them is just as essential. Growing your account can be a long process but eventually, it gets much easier once you have a solid foundation of followers (a couple of thousands).
God only knows how hard it is to grow and when I say it takes time to grow your Instagram, IT TAKES TIME and not just a matter of few months! If you don’t have the budget to speed up the process (which the majority of us don’t), this growth can happen organically after years of being consistently on the app. It takes so much effort to be able to get noticed on Instagram, to be then followed by people finding you and for them to click on your profile and engage wwith your content. There is a set legal system, through a set of good hashtags that you use on your recent posts, geotag, stories, or interactions you make with others during the day, or by using paid advertising – promoting your content to a specific demographic for a budget you can afford if you can afford it.
However, because there are so many users on this platform, people have found a way to “cheat” the algorithm using unethical methods to grow their following. One of the wrong ways to increase followers is the follow/unfollow, then you have buying fake followers. If you are unfamiliar with the process, buying followers is pretty straightforward – you purchase bots in order to look like you have more followers on your Instagram profile than you actually have. You can pay a small amount of money for a few thousand followers or pay more and get hundreds of thousands of followers.
The sad part is because Instagram is such a popular app and that is one of the main reasons there are hundreds if not thousands of websites offering this service. So, if you have ever been tempted to buy followers on Instagram (I know I did – not gonna lie) but surely if I did I would be shutdown instantly! However this has become such a trend lately and in 80% of the cases where someone buys followers it works for them, they don’t get caught or banned, it goes unnoticed and it just gives them the right amout of boost to keep growing!!! If you are unlucky like me, then the other 20% here’s a quick round up of what happens!
What Happens When You Purchase Followers?
Let’s just call it the “fake effect”. Once you’ve purchased the desired numbers of followers, you will start getting notifications about how random “people” are now following your profile. Over time, your profile will reach the number of followers you have bought. However, what nobody tells is the snowball effect that fake followers can have on your account especally if you do not have a few thousands already!
Fake followers are not real people. They are bots which on the Internet/Social Media era are equal to a blank number. So, even if you purchase enough followers (10,000) so you can now use the swipe up feature on your Instagram stories, you have also purchased a blank number, blank people that do not interact in the least.
But that’s not even the bad part. The more fake followers you purchase, the more you mess up with your Instagram accounts’ engagement rate. And this criteria is by far one of the most important for the Instagram algorithm. Having a good engagement rate will help you grow by boosting your account and the exposure/reach it gets. The more people interact with your content by sharing your posts through direct messages, saving, liking, or commenting on your posts the bigger the chance to increase your reach by getting making it to the explore page or deatured top posts of your hashtags’ selection.
SO WHY BUYING FAKE FOLLOWERS SUCH A BAD IDEA?
Sure is, buying bots, that won’t interact with your profile in any way is where the bad idea that it is. Yes, they will follow you but that’s all you will get. For Instagram, it is important that you get real and organic likes, comments, saves, and reshares (through DMs) from the people that follow you or find your profile through hashtags. So you can see how purchasing thousands of followers will hurt your Instagram profile for a long period of time. The more followers you buy (2k, 5k, 10k, 50k) the harder it will be to get your account back on track.
Some people will try to keep the “fake effect” for as long as they can, there are instances were they will even go one step further and purchase likes and comments for their posts, so you can never tell if it is fake or not. However, Instagram is pretty sneaky when it comes to bots, so soon or later they will catch up on the cheat, you will lose the money you have invested in your account and it will get banned. This question is do you want to live in constant fear of being banned?
Now that you know why fake followers are bad however, the list doesn’t stop there. If we look at it from a psychological perspective, buying fake followers can have a negative effect on your mental health. We see countless post on how social media has proven that it affects the way we think and the amount of dopamine our brain release when thinking of possible rewards and milestones we can achieve! If you do not know what Dopamine is … it is the chemical that tells the brain to release during pleasurable situations such as food, love, exercise, and other triggers, which makes you feel good.
When one reaches a certain number of followers on Instagram is a great example of a dopamine release. But what happens when you start losing instead of gaining followers? We have seen it with influencers all over social media, especially on Youtube. It gives you anxiety and pressure to keep growing instead of going backward, and the fact that it is happening in front of so many eyeballs is even more traumatic for your brain.
I hear you asking me how is this connected with fake followers? SIMPLE … because Instagram is constantly removing fake followers (bots), so if you are not getting as many followers as Instagram removes from your profile, you will soon start losing the followers you have just paid for. And this process can be infinite if you don’t know how to fix it.
To sum it up, you will pay for a blank number of bots that will mess up with your engagement rate, which will consequently decrease the chance of getting more reach, thus GROWth, while you will also start losing the followers you have paid for.
SO Why ARE People STILL BUYING Followers on Instagram?
Well in plain simple English these people do that because they like benefiting from small brands that are not that familiar with the process of due diligence and return of investment and are just in it to get free products or money deals. While others believe that if they start with a few thousand followers more than their competition, they will trick people into following them just because they have a big number of followers compared to other newcomers in their niche. In theory yes it might be effective but definately to a very limited end-game.
If your content is bad, sloppy and you are not working on your Instagram profile, purchasing fake followers will get you in this downward spiral that will have a negative impact on your ‘brand’ and your own mental health. Bottom line is, that fake followers are not worth it, not only because you can get banned but because you can invest your time into working hard on your brand instead of spending your own money, when in the long run you can get the same or even better results as long as you are consistent.
Take it from me I have been consistently on Instagram for eight solid years and I work hard on the content I post on my feed which for many content creators out there it might be next to nothing but it is who I am, I am not expert but I give it my all. I have countless moments were I was about to quit but then I rethink the whole eight years I have been on the gram and to get to 2.8k organic and interactive followers and for them I will keep thriving!
Until next time,