The Biggest Mistake You Can Make On Instagram


As a digital marketer, one of my most frequently asked questions from business owners is if buying followers is a good idea? Unfortunately, there are so many dodgy people out there claiming to offer you “high quality” followers for your Instagram account. Please know that this is NEVER a good idea and here are five reasons why.

1. Hurt your credibility

Let’s be real here – buying followers is downright deceptive to your audience. If people notice any unusual or suspicious activity on your account they will begin to question your integrity as a business. Bought followers are easy to spot. Factors such as the ratio of followers to likes, overall low engagement rate, sudden growth in follower count etc are all tell-tale signs of suspicious activity. If your customers catch wind of this they will begin to wonder what else you are being dishonest about.  

2. Your account may be suspended or shut down

Buying followers is against Instagram’s terms of service. In recent years Instagram has been cracking down on the issue and has been known to suspend or completely shut down accounts that have taken part in suspicious activity. Once again, having your account suspended or shut down will hurt your credibility.

3. Less effective advertising

Fake followers can greatly impact the effectiveness of your Facebook and Instagram advertising. If you are using Instagram lookalike audiences when running ads, the results won’t be accurate. This is because the platform will be creating audiences with similar characteristics to your existing followers and if your existing followers consist largely of bought followers i.e. people who have no real interest in your business, you can bet your lucky stars that this will impact the effectiveness of your campaign.

4. You won’t make more money

Bought followers, whether real or totally fake accounts, will not spend any money on your products or services. They also won’t refer people to your business or visit your website. Plus, with Instagram continually purging fake accounts, you will quickly see the money you spent disappear.

5. Less accurate insights

Audience insights are an extremely valuable feature for business accounts. They allow us to take a better look at who our customers are, allowing us to better know them and serve them. When your audience consists of fake followers with no real or genuine interest in your business, these insights will become skewed, making it much harder to get to know your real audience and serve them effectively.

At the end of the day, it may take longer to build a large following on Instagram but I truly believe that vanity metrics aren’t as important as building an honest, real following of people who are genuinely interested in your business. Always remember, 1000 real followers will be far more prosperous for your business that 10,000 fake ones.

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