Buying Followers: Pros and Cons of this Common Social Media Practice

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Recently, the trend of “buying followers” has been a topic of controversial conversation. From brands to influencers, many people think that buying followers is the best way to grow your following quickly and increase engagement and legitimize your account. While it will certainly be an easy way to increase your follower count, there are several drawbacks to this common practice. Here, we weigh the pros and cons of buying followers with the knowledge we have as a social media agency.  


The Pros of Buying Followers

 The most obvious pro is that you will get noticed by bigger brands and have a higher chance of getting partnerships (However, if they do their research, they can tell they are fake – we’ll discuss later). It is also becoming insanely easy to get ahold of these “followers” and incredibly cheap too. Some sites offer 10k followers for around $70, which compared to the amount of money you can make off of just one Instagram ad, that is a stellar deal. You also avoid spending some serious cash on a social media agency. 


The Cons of Buying Followers

The cons here definitely outweigh the pros. First, if you are buying followers, you are really just paying for the number. There is no guarantee that any of these bot accounts will even engage with your content and when they do it is very generic comments like “Awesome post!” We have all seen them, and we have all wondered how legit the influencer or brand really is. If you have 15k followers but only get 200-300 likes per post, the alarms bells will ring. Plus, there are so many programs that analyze followers and engagement on accounts, allowing anyone to identify fake followers. The jump from such drastic numbers can alert Instagram’s team that there is something sneaky going on. For example, if you have 500 followers and suddenly you are reaching 15k by the next day, Instagram will be notified and your account will be looked into.


In the end, the best way to manage your followers is just to remain authentic and patient. Do not expect to have such a high following so soon (unless, maybe you go viral?). Just like most things, building a brand takes time and effort. If you are serious about your social media growth, a social media agency might be a good way to go if you want to maintain value. Buying followers will only delay the process and might make you unapproachable to brands who would consider working with you. 

Interested in how to grow your Instagram following organically? Read our blog post here.