Building your brand is no easy task. It’s a grind to build a significant readership on your blog and followership on your Instagram, but it is possible! There are lots of ways to grow your Instagram and achieve that influencer status. However, when you’re not growing at the rate you want, it’s tempting to take shortcuts to reach your ideal follower count.
There are growth services out there where you can pay for Instagram followers. If you’re looking to build your brand quickly, this might seem like a good idea. But, is it? Should you really buy Instagram followers? We’ve dedicated our post today to answering that very question:
Should You Buy Instagram Followers
Buying Instagram followers is never a good idea. There is very little return on investment and buying fake followers can actually put you in hot water. So, in short, there are few benefits, but LOTS of risk. You should never purchase Instagram followers!
What Happens When You Buy Followers on Instagram
You violate terms of service.
Most social media platforms, including Instagram, have strict rules on fake followers. When they catch wind of any purchased following, they quickly take action. Instagram could quickly delete the followers you purchase. Or, worse yet, Instagram could suspend your account altogether!
Engagement remains low.
If you’ve read any of our posts on monetizing your brand through brand collaborations, ad space, etc., you know that companies look for a high engagement rate over a high follower number. So, if your goal is to boost engagement, you’ll be very disappointed with the followers you’re purchasing!
Often, these “followers” are either fake accounts or inactive accounts. You may see a few comments and likes here and there early on, but it’ll run dry very soon. What you need is real people to grow your brand in the long term! They’ll be the ones commenting, liking, and sharing every day.
Your authenticity is compromised.
What do followers like most about an influencer? Their authenticity. If you want a real Instagram community that’ll support you, engage with your content, and help you grow, you don’t want to muddy the waters with bots and inactive accounts. It’ll compromise your integrity, turn off new followers, and make it difficult for you to know what’s real and what’s not.
You skew your data.
One of the primary ways you determine what kind of content you should post is through your Instagram insights. The analytics on your Instagram account will be totally distorted if there are lots of fake followers on your page. This makes it really difficult to tell what content clicks with your community when a majority of your followers aren’t paying attention to you at all.
Instagram will delete them anyway.
Instagram makes a point to clean up their platform regularly. They don’t want tons of fake accounts cluttering the platform, because it ruins the user experience. So, in one of these sweeps to cut the fake accounts, you may lose a lot of the followers you paid for. What a waste! Really, there is no ROI on acquiring fake followers.
How to Get More Followers on Instagram Organically
Optimize your profile.
To get more followers on Instagram the right way, start with some Instagram SEO. First of all, you should have a creator or business account to make sure you have full access to all Insta analytics and functions. After that, there are just a few key things to do for profile optimization:
- Username: Include keywords in your display name and handle. That way, when people explore pages, they could discover your profile organically as they search your niche.
- Bio: Your bio should clearly state what you do, but it should also include keywords. With both a username and a bio full of keywords, lots more users will find your content.
- Photo: The profile picture on your page should be professional and reflect your current campaign goals.
- Trackable Link: In your bio, include a trackable link! You can shorten it using Bitly to make sure it fits in the limited character count. This link will help you gain more analytics from your Instagram account.
Post quality content – consistently.
Your current and future followers want one thing: high quality content. They want you to create content that they connect with post after post. Make sure you have a good sense of your aesthetic and brand, so your content speaks to your followers every time. Your Instagram content should follow a certain theme and resonate with your target audience consistently.
Research and use the best hashtags.
Hashtags are huge for gaining organic Instagram followers! As users are browsing hashtags in your niche, they’ll find your profile, but only if you use the right ones. Use a hashtag research tool to find the most effective hashtags, then add them to your post!
Be careful to not reuse the same ones too many times in a row and don’t flood your post with hashtags either. The Instagram algorithm doesn’t like that! For the best results, add around 11 hashtags and mix them up each time
Use Instagram reels and stories.
Users love to engage with visual content. This is why Instagram is such a thriving platform! However, they’re not looking for just photos anymore, TikTok has made short-form videos and similar types of video content the dominating social media force. Because of that, you NEED to get on reels! It’s much easier to get noticed organically using reels! Everything you need to know about Instagram Reels, HERE!
Then, once you’ve got the followers, post stories regularly. This will remind followers of your engaging content and keep them coming to your profile again and again. Soon, they’ll travel beyond your profile to your blog, your shop, and really wherever you want to take them!
Post regularly and at peak times.
Every social media algorithm has the best times and days to post on their app. And, pretty much all of them want you to upload daily! Uploading your content at these times will ensure it reaches as many people as possible. That wide reach means more followers!
To make sure you post at the right time each day, consider using an Instagram grid planner. You can schedule your posts in-advance, so you’ll make sure you never miss a day. With this function, you can also make certain your aesthetic is always on-point before the photos ever hit your grid. Here are the best times to upload to Instagram:
- Monday – 11:00 – 1:00 pm PST
- Tuesday – 8:00 – 10:00 am PST
- Wednesday – 9:00 – 11:00 am PST
- Thursday – 11:00 – 1:00 pm PST
- Friday 2:00 – 4:00 pm PST
- Saturday – 8:00 – 10:00 am PST
- Sunday – 6:00 – 8:00 pm PST
Engage with others in your niche.
Another great way to capture your target audience is by interacting with them on Instagram! Comment on similar creator’s posts praising their content, answering follower questions, and just hanging out! Over time, you’ll start to develop a relationship with the community and authority in the space. Soon, followers will be coming to YOU for your expertise and experience.
Contests are a great way to increase brand awareness and build your follower base. You can share your products or services as a prize, or simply give away a gift card. People love free stuff, and all they have to do to get into your contest is follow you, like the post, and maybe tag someone! This is a great way to get in front of a lot of people fast.
Reaching an audience through Instagram marketing means you’ve always got to stay relevant. This is hard if you’re not an avid social media user, because trends move as fast as lightning. Stay up to date by joining a trend newsletter or following a few marketing influencers on Instagram itself. You can take their research and apply it to your own niche!
Search engine optimize your blog posts.
Your new followers won’t only be coming from the Instagram app. No way! Don’t forget you have an amazing blog with stellar long-form content that everyone is dying to read. If you spend time optimizing your posts for search engines using our blog or SEO services, you’ll see more and more organic readers traveling to your site in no time!
When you optimize your posts, make sure you add links to your Instagram! Not only can you have links to your profile using a call-to-action, but you can also include links to past posts that are relevant to the article. Once your posts are ranking high on the search engine results pages, you’ll see your readership and Instagram follower numbers soar sky high!
Collab with other influencers.
There are lots of other influencers in your niche. Many of them are trying to build their followership like you! So, collaborate with them! Teamwork makes the dreamwork, right???
Simply swap a post for a post. They post to promote your content, then you do the same for them. They gain your sphere of influence and you get theirs. Doing this regularly with influencers of the same size as you will help you grow steadily but surely!
Buying Instagram followers is a shortcut that has no long-term gain—only long-term risk!
We know you want to be an influencer not just at heart, but at your follower count as well. But, all of us here at InfluencerSEO are here to tell you not to take shortcuts. Hunker down, do the grind, and soon you’ll have a REAL loyal group of followers waiting for your next post. And, every one of those followers you earned the right way! Skip the shortcuts. Don’t buy followers. Find success the RIGHT (and only!) way – you can gain all the followers you want with your steadfast spirit and our helpful content!