Buying followers on Instagram can often seem like the fastest and easiest way to enhance your social presence.
After all, while around 80% of Instagram users follow at least one company on the channel, there are already 25 million brand accounts competing for your customer’s attention.
It can be notoriously difficult to create an Instagram marketing strategy that allows you to not only stand out from the competition but also boost your chances of conversions and engagement. The lower your follower count is, the less likely consumers are to trust you, which means you gradually become increasingly less visible.
It’s easy to see why some companies might choose to pay for a boost.
However, buying followers has never really been the effective growth strategy it was made out to be.
Today, when consumers are expecting more transparency, honesty, and authenticity from the companies they interact with than ever before, purchasing your followers could lead to major issues.
The Truth About Buying Instagram Followers
For years, companies have offered other brands and influencers the opportunity to buy Instagram followers and potentially boost their social media presence.
There was once a time when this practice was relatively commonplace. When Instagram was still a young platform, many people bought followers to help their profiles seem more credible.
However, while buying followers might have offered short-term benefits to these brands, it often led to long-term problems.
Ultimately, buying followers means investing in “fake Instagram growth.” When you pay to purchase followers, you’re really just focusing on making the number on your profile look good. You’re not actually improving your reach to any relevant leads or customers.
Buying followers means buying a number, not an engaged fan or customer.
You don’t get the interaction you’d get from a real follower, and you have less chance of converting anyone you’ve “purchased” into a genuine buyer. Not to mention, as Instagram has evolved, it’s also begun cracking down on users who appear to be using underhanded tactics for growth.
Buying followers expose you to problems like:
· Fake followers and bots: There’s no guarantee the followers you purchase are going to be high quality. In fact, you could be purchasing inactive accounts, bots, or accounts for fake people. Not only does this harm your engagement level, but it increases the risk of bots interacting with your customers through spam messages.
· Low ROI: Because your followers aren’t guaranteed to be fans of your company or even real people, there’s a good chance you won’t make any money from them. You won’t be able to engage and convert these followers like you would other potential prospects.
· Risk of losing your account: If Instagram discovers you’re using fake growth strategies and associates your account with spam, they could end up banning your account. This means all the time and money you’ve put into your growth is wasted.
So, what’s the alternative if buying Instagram followers just doesn’t work?
The simple answer is focusing on organic growth instead.
It takes more time and effort, but organic growth will generate real ROI, protect your reputation, and strengthen your online presence.
Instagram Growth Strategies For 2023
Ultimately, organic growth is the only tried and tested way to ensure your Instagram account delivers genuine results.
Focusing on organic marketing strategies means you can connect with genuine people who have a real interest in your products and services.
You can improve your brand reputation, unlock new growth opportunities, and actually see an ROI from your Instagram campaigns.
Here’s how to master your growth in 2023:
1. Invest In Organic Growth
Organic growth can be difficult on Instagram, particularly when there are already so many companies competing for the attention of the same customers.
However, organic Instagram followers deliver endless benefits for brands and influencers.
With an organic growth strategy, you can focus on targeting the specific people who are most likely to be interested in your products and services, so you can turn your fans into consumers and advocates for your brand.
Plus, organic growth will help you to strengthen your reputation the right way. It shows your customers that you’re committed to connecting with them on a deeper level.
Through organic growth, you can build a relationship with your target audience that helps to distinguish you from the competition. There are even organic growth services out there that can help you get started.
These tools work by “liking” the posts of people in your target audience automatically to help encourage them to view your profile and follow your account. It’s safe, effective, and most importantly, it delivers real results.
2. Create An Instagram Content Strategy
Achieving organic growth in 2023 means investing in a content strategy that’s going to engage, delight, and entertain your target audience.
Just as the right blog posts and news reports keep prospects coming back to your website, the right selection of Instagram content will encourage fans to follow and interact with your page.
A great Instagram content strategy should be focused on delivering variety and value to your audience, at the best possible times.
Experiment with a range of different content types, from posts to Stories, Instagram Guides, and videos. This way, you can find out what kind of content appeals most to your target audience. Take a look at the wide range of content created by HubSpot for instance:
It’s also worth making sure you have a schedule for posting your content in mind. Instagram prioritizes fresh and “recent” content.
Check when your customers are most likely to be online by viewing your Instagram Insights, and ensure you’re posting at the right times.
3. Try Instagram Reels
Buying followers might help you to increase your follower account quickly, but it won’t increase your engagement levels and conversions as well as produce the right content.
One of the best kinds of content you can produce to generate growth quickly is an Instagram Reel.
Reels are fast-paced pieces of video content you can create in a matter of seconds. They can be enhanced with filters and effects, just like regular Instagram posts. Plus, you can add audio to boost your chances of being found by customers who view content with the same connected sounds.
Instagram Reels have their own section on the Explore page, and they’re constantly being promoted by Instagram, so you have a higher chance of expanding your brand reach.
Instagram Reels are also a great way to experiment with different types of content, like How To guides and behind-the-scenes posts. Dots for Spots even created a Reel showing users how to manage bad skin days:
4. Start Engaging With Your Audience
Focusing on organic growth instead of buying followers gives you a fantastic opportunity to draw relevant customers, prospects, and leads to your Instagram profile.
These followers can even help you grow further if you’re willing to connect and engage with them.
Engaging with your followers on social media makes your brand look more authentic and credible.
It also helps to generate conversations around your brand which can assist in attracting new customers. For instance, you could host contests on your Instagram profile, and ask customers to respond by tagging a friend they’d like to win the competition with.
You can also use your audience engagement strategy to learn more about your target audience.
For instance, you might include questions about your latest products and services in your captions. When customers answer, respond to their comments to keep the conversation going.
You can even ask customers to send in their own queries and respond to the most frequently asked questions in Stories, Reels, or Instagram Live streams.
5. Track Performance With Instagram Insights
Organic growth won’t give you the immediate results that buying followers do, but it does generate better outcomes in the long term.
This is particularly true when you pay attention to the analytics and reports you can access within your Instagram account. If you have a Business or Creator account on Instagram, you can use your Instagram “Insights” to learn more about your campaigns.
These insights will give you a behind-the-scenes look at everything from which posts generate the most engagement, to where your customers come from. The insights you collect can help you to design more effective social media campaigns in the future, based on what you learn.
You can even expand your understanding of your social media strategies and your customers by using third-party analytical tools alongside Instagram Insights too.
An Ineffective Strategy
Ultimately, “buying followers” isn’t an effective strategy in 2023 – in fact, it’s really never been the best way to generate growth.
Buying followers won’t give you long-term, measurable results.
However, creating a content strategy, engaging with your followers through growth services, and creating real connections with genuine people will help you to thrive in 2023.
Don’t just buy fake followers to ramp up your Instagram numbers.
Take the right approach to Instagram growth, and generate followers the right way.