Do People Buy Instagram Followers To Grow Their Business?

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Heidi Lang

Instagram 101 | Sep 15, 2023

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Have you ever noticed someone’s Instagram account blow up overnight without them posting a thing? Perhaps it’s someone trying to make it big as an influencer or a newly launched brand. It’s a bit weird to see an account gain a huge community without lifting a finger. This begs the question—do people buy Instagram followers to build their online community?

For people who are new to Instagram, this concept may seem outrageous. But anyone in the social media industry knows plenty of people look up how to buy Instagram followers.

Buying fake followers is a quick and convenient shortcut to growing your community and boosting engagement metrics. But is it good for business, or will it ruin your brand in the long run? In this guide, we’ll try to answer this and more.

Some Instagram users will buy followers to make their account seem bigger than it is.

Do People Really Buy Instagram Followers To Grow Their Account?

You can’t always trust the glitz and glam of your favorite celebrities and influencers’ Instagram profiles. Behind their glossy, aesthetic Instagram feed and a seemingly massive community of followers, something fishy might be happening without you realizing it.

There’s always a lot of talk about brands, celebrities, and meme accounts buying their followers. But is it true? Do people really buy Instagram followers just to make their profile look more legit?

Yes, it’s an open secret that tons of people on Instagram buy fake followers to boost their fanbase. It’s sort of a vanity metric—the more followers you have, the better you look to potential customers and partner brands. It doesn’t matter if your followers are real; they make your numbers look good.

However, many fake followers bought online are false accounts. These fake, low-quality Instagram accounts are bots that don’t interact with your content, killing your engagement rates. Sure, people get a bigger fanbase if they buy Instagram followers. But their engagement metrics—and consequently, their visibility on the Instagram feed—will suffer dramatically.

The Motivations: Why Do People Buy Instagram Followers?

But if buying fake followers from third-party websites has such a harmful effect on engagement, why do people buy Instagram followers anyway?

Many people are okay with losing out on post engagements as long as they have more followers. Sadly, these people are misguided about Instagram and how influence actually works.

Some people think that buying Instagram followers allows them to grow their reach. That way, if they post content about their products and personal life, more people will see it. But remember—many followers bought online are fake, false accounts or bots.

People also think that as long as you have a six-digit follower count, people will already think you’re credible. But Instagram users are a lot more intelligent than that. They can scope out which profiles have fake followers (like those with a massive fanbase but get just a few views on their Reels).

Another reason why people buy followers is because they think it’s a good first step to building an active community. The thinking is that after purchasing a set of followers, you can work to keep them engaged and build a relationship with them. It’s a noble idea. But it’s pretty impossible if the fake followers you buy have no intention of ever engaging with you in the first place.

Curious about people’s other motivations for buying Instagram followers? Here are more of them, depending on what kind of Instagram profile they manage.

Raking in Profit: Why Do Businesses Buy Instagram Followers?

You may be asking whether people buy Instagram followers for their business. Does it work to help them rake in more profits? Yes, business owners often do buy followers online. However, it rarely helps them drive conversions and sales. So, why do businesses buy Instagram followers?

First, it makes their brand look more established. This is the case for many new labels that are desperate to succeed immediately. They get pressured by how well their bigger competitors are doing on Instagram. So, they buy fake followers to look more legitimate and established, hoping to attract real followers to their page.

This is because the higher your number of followers, the more social proof you have. Social proof is the belief that when people see others following or interacting with a brand online, they will likely do the same.

Another reason why businesses buy Instagram followers is that some websites let you choose the demographic for the followers you purchase. That makes it easy to buy followers well within your target audience.

Do people really buy Instagram followers in their target audience and see results? Yes, they do. Let’s say you have a modern, smart casual clothing line for women, and your target audience is Millennial women. When you buy followers, you can ensure that every follower you purchase falls under that segment.

Some websites also allow you to buy followers from a specific town. This is great for local businesses that rely on foot traffic, like restaurants or salons. You can buy followers that live in your area to talk directly to your audience.

Some businesses buy followers to reach a specific target audience, like young female Millennial professionals.

Fortune and Fame: Why Do Celebrities Buy Instagram Followers?

Next, let’s take a look at famous artists, musicians, and actors. Do celebrities buy Instagram followers, too? Why would they if they already have tons of real followers and fans who love them?

For many people, a quick and easy way to measure a celebrity’s popularity is by checking how many Instagram followers they have. Celebrities know this, too. So, some celebs may go out of their way to artificially boost their fanbase by buying followers.

In 2019, GQ Australia conducted a social experiment to check which celebrities have the most fake followers. The top ten list included huge stars like Ellen DeGeneres, Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, and Priyanka Chopra.

Of course, there’s no way to find out if they bought fake followers. Honestly, it’s pretty unlikely for most ultra-famous personalities to pay big money to get followers on social media. That said, you can’t immediately discount the possibility that they did.

But why do people buy Instagram followers if they’re already huge celebs with loyal fanbases? The reasons differ for everyone. Some celebrities (especially social media-obsessed ones) might want an ego boost and look more popular. It may also be because they want to appear relevant again if they’re not as famous as they used to be.

Why Do People Buy Instagram Followers When They Want To Be an Influencer?

Becoming an Instagram influencer is a big dream for many people. But it’s not always easy getting there. In fact, it’s challenging to build a fanbase from scratch, no matter how good you are at creating content.

Sadly, plenty of influencers lack the patience to build a community of real followers organically and authentically. Instead of slowly reeling in followers with high-quality content, they prefer instant results. So, some wannabe influencers buy Instagram followers to get a headstart as they dive into content creation and brand promotion.

So, why do people buy Instagram followers when they want to be an influencer? The answer will vary depending on who you ask.

Some people do it for the vanity metric. They want to look as if they are popular and well-liked by communities. This serves as social proof. They probably cross their fingers that they’ll get even more followers that way if people see how popular they are.

Others have a more strategic plan in mind. They want more followers to look credible enough to land brand collaborations and partnerships. It’s a way to cut corners if you want to monetize your social media presence as soon as possible.

However, many new influencers forget that the key to success in their field isn’t a high follower count. Instead, it’s having good engagement metrics—something that buying followers rarely provides. The second brands realize that you have fake followers and alarming engagement rates, they may drop you—just like that.

Content creators might buy fake followers to get a good headstart in the industry.

Do People Buy Instagram Followers That Are Real or Fake?

Now that you know people on Instagram do indeed buy followers, your next question is probably, “What kind of followers do they buy?” Do people buy Instagram followers that are real or fake?

It mostly depends on a person’s budget and how naïve they might be when buying followers online. Websites that sell followers usually have affordable packages for low-quality followers and premium plans for real followers.

The ideal kinds of followers to buy are real and engaging. That way, you can be sure that real people behind these followers can like, comment, and share your posts to boost engagement.

You should also look for non-drop followers. These followers won’t unfollow you and will be a permanent fixture in your fanbase.

By buying the right kind of followers, you can expect authentic, meaningful engagement on your page. This will do wonders for your engagement metrics and your visibility on your followers’ Instagram feeds. That said, buying these types of followers can be difficult (and expensive). But trust us when we say it’s worth the investment vs. buying cheap followers.

Real, engaging followers will frequently hit “like” or leave a comment on your posts.

Why Do People Buy Instagram Followers That Might Be Fake?

While it’s ideal to buy real, engaging followers, some people still end up buying fake followers. So, why do people buy Instagram followers that are probably low-quality false accounts instead of high-quality fans?

Buying fake followers might be attractive and tempting for content creators and brands that have a small budget. Bot accounts and ghost followers are way cheaper than buying real, engaging followers. So, they opt for quantity over quality.

These people might think that they’re getting a huge fanbase for a bargain. However, they’re actually doing more harm than good to their Instagram pages. By buying fake followers who don’t like or comment on their posts, they’re killing their engagement rates. And the lower their engagement is, the less the Instagram algorithm will show their content on the feeds of your real followers. This can lower their engagement rates even more. As a result, brands will be even less interested in collaborating with them.

These people will also notice their follower count drop soon after buying new followers. Many cheap followers might also unfollow them a few days afterward. That means they just wasted their money buying disloyal followers.

Sometimes, it’s not even the accounts actively unfollowing them. Instagram has regular clean-ups to wipe out bots and inactive accounts. If a lot of your followers fall under these false accounts, you’ll see them disappear from your follower list.

If you buy cheap, low-quality followers, you may not get any likes and engagements on your content.

Can You Buy Instagram Followers for Someone Else Without Their Permission?

Let’s say it’s not your profile that you want more followers for but that of a friend. Can you buy Instagram followers for someone else as a gift? Do people buy Instagram followers for others, or is their permission necessary to purchase fake followers online?

Surprisingly, websites don’t ask permission from the Instagram account owner before rolling out followers for their profile. All they need is a username to deliver the followers to, and they’ll do it without question. They don’t ask for login details or verify whether the person buying the followers is the real owner of the page.

So technically, yes, you can buy Instagram followers for a friend or influencer without them knowing. Of course, this is unethical. It’s essential to ask for their consent before purchasing followers for them, even if you’re doing it out of the goodness of your heart.

Why? Because buying fake followers has scary implications for the account owner. If you buy followers for someone and their engagement metrics go down, it may confuse and upset them. You’ll harm them instead of making them grateful or happy for your generosity.

When you buy fake followers for a friend, you might stress them out when their engagement rates go down.

Why Do People Buy Instagram Followers Even if It’s Against Instagram Policy?

It’s no secret that buying fake followers online puts you under the scrutiny of Instagram. Buying followers is against the Instagram policy since the app prioritizes authentic, genuine interactions. Any inauthentic activity will immediately raise their eyebrows.

If you buy followers online, there’s a chance that you’ll obtain an Instagram shadowban. Your content will be heavily deprioritized on the Instagram feed and Explore pages when that happens. A tell-tale sign that your account has been shadowbanned is that you receive fewer likes and comments on your posts than usual.

So, why do people purchase Instagram followers despite the potential consequences?

To some, the benefits of appearing to have more fans outweigh the risks of buying fake followers. This is especially true for those who don’t care about their engagement rates and only want more followers as a vanity metric.

Many people are misguided and believe buying followers is worth the risk of getting shadowbanned. These people are sorely mistaken. Your brand will inevitably suffer if Instagram flags your inauthentic activity and shadowbans you.

That’s why instead of buying followers online, it’s important to focus your efforts on creating interesting, engaging content on your page. Do your best to engage your real followers and reach out to new fans instead of wasting money on low-quality followers. That way, your content and online presence can be more meaningful. Plus, your engagement rates will soar!

Gain Followers and Boost Engagement at the Same Time Using Path Social

It’s not hard to look for where to buy Instagram followers online. There’s an abundance of websites that sell fake followers. A quick Google search will lead you to dozens of them right away. However, not every website can guarantee high-quality Instagram followers and a boost in your engagement metrics.

If you want more followers and higher engagement, focusing your efforts on authentic growth is important. You can do that by consistently churning out high-quality, relevant content that your target audience will love.

You can still pay money to get services to do this for you. However, you shouldn’t rely on those sketchy websites selling fake followers. Instead, go for a trustworthy Instagram growth service like Path Social.

At Path Social, we do more than grow your fanbase. Do people buy Instagram followers from us? Sure. But we also push your content out to the people likely to enjoy it most and give it a like or comment. That way, every follow on your page and interaction on your posts is authentic. As you gain followers, you boost your engagement metrics, too. Build your community of real followers with us today!