How Buying Social Proof Can Make You Invisible
“Buying Instagram followers” is a hot combination of keywords right now.
That’s surprising. I thought that trend was far gone. But after looking for trending topics in social media, I realized that buying followers was still one of the top searches on Google.
Here, let me explain why buying followers won’t fix any of your problems, and why it can harm your account long term.
Buying followers will destroy your engagement rate.
The engagement rate is the ratio between the average number of likes and comments you get on your posts and the number of followers you have.
Instagram values content with a high engagement rate. That means that Instagram naturally pushes content that drives lots of likes and comments.
If you buy Instagram followers, you will drastically increase your number of followers while your number of likes will remain the same. The followers that you’ll buy aren’t active accounts, and these people will not like your content.
So, what Instagram sees, is a giant spike in your number of followers and an equal decrease in your engagement rate.
This is enough of a signal for Instagram to know you bought followers. Naturally, Instagram won’t push your content anymore as a punishment for going against the rules.
Your account may grow after buying followers, but that won’t last for long. Sooner rather than later, your content won’t be shown on your followers’ feed.
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Everyone online has seen it. Whenever people search for something on Google, they end up interacting with similar ads…
It looks suspicious.
Maybe you’re thinking about buying a few thousands of followers to improve your business’s social proof. Well, this is also a terrible idea.
How does it look like to you, to see an account followed by 100k people, that gets an average of 85 likes per post?
This is a massive red flag. Lots of restaurants and trendy brands buy followers to make them seem more popular than they are. This is a hard pass for me. If a restaurant tries to trick you into thinking they’re incredibly popular, what are they even making you eat?
It tells a lot about someone’s ethics when they decide to buy followers to kickstart their business.
What if Instagram changes the rules?
Instagram is highly unpredictable. They change the rules all the time.
What if they randomly decide to get rid of every single account that bought followers? They could do that. They did that a few years ago with accounts that have logged into some specific automation software.
Then your entire business account is gone. Your years of hard work are wiped off, and all of that because of 3,000 followers that you decided to buy three years ago.
It’s fixing the symptom, not the cause.
There is a reason why you’re not getting new followers. You’re fixing the consequences of a lousy content strategy, poor-quality content, bad targetting, or any other cause.
By ignoring these reasons, you’re preventing your account from growing at all.
The thing is, identifying the cause of slow growth is relatively easy once you have the right method.
But most importantly: don’t buy followers, it’s not worth it.
Do you feel like you tried everything to grow on social media and especially Instagram? Hopefully, what follows will be the last thing you will have to do to reach your goals.
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