Does Buying Instagram Followers Work for Growing a Brand?

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Karen Lin

Instagram 101 | Mar 26, 2024

Want More Real Instagram Followers?

Every brand or creator wants a lot of followers on Instagram. After all, a high follower count is social proof of your fame, influence, and power on the platform. While some users work on organic growth strategies to gain followers, others turn to more convenient, risqué methods to grow. Perhaps the most popular of these methods is buying followers from a third-party source. But does buying Instagram followers work?

It’s no secret that many Instagram accounts have fake followers. According to Fasthosts, even celebs like the Kardashians, Justin Bieber, and Zayn Malik have a high percentage of suspicious followers. But if you buy fans from a third-party site, would you get the same huge follower count you’re anticipating? Is it even worth the money?

In this guide, we’ll delve into whether buying followers actually works and if it’s good for your brand. Keep scrolling to learn more about this risky move, all in the name of getting more fans.

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Let’s Cut to the Chase—Does Buying Instagram Followers Work or Not?

Yes, technically speaking, buying Instagram followers online does work if you purchase follower packages from legitimate websites. But there are a few caveats to this.

Buying followers can skyrocket your follower count significantly. But most of the time, this will simply be a vanity metric. The followers you acquire through your purchase may not be the high-quality, engaging followers you had hoped for. In that case, they will only contribute numbers to your follower count, but not real, authentic engagement on your page.

Plus, buying followers instead of working to gain genuine fans is far from sustainable. If you stop buying followers, you’ll realize that your community isn’t actually growing or engaged in your content. So, you’ll buy followers again. You might find yourself trapped in a vicious cycle of spending more and more money just to grow on Instagram.

While buying followers does work, it poses plenty of technical risks for you and your Instagram account.

First, inauthentic activity, like buying followers or likes, is against Instagram’s terms of use. If the algorithm flags your account as a buyer of fake followers, it could put you on a shadowban. This can lower your visibility on the social media platform, further hurting your chances of gaining genuine followers.

Aside from that, buying followers from sketchy websites on the internet can make your account vulnerable to hacks and fraud. Remember—not everyone on the internet has good intentions. Some “sellers” might be in it to steal your login credentials or financial information.

So, does buying followers for Instagram work? In a nutshell, yes, it works if all you care about is the number of followers displayed on your profile. But if you want to have a genuine community of fans who love your content, it won’t give you that.

The Dangers of Dealing With Fake Insta Followers

One of the biggest reasons why buying followers can be bad is that you’ll likely end up with low-quality followers. Instead of building a highly engaged and active community, you might end up with fake Insta followers.

Fake followers can be detrimental to your online presence on the social media platform for many reasons. Here are just some of the dangers associated with having fake Instagram followers bought from sketchy third-party services.

Inactive Accounts Won’t Engage With Your Content

Many services that sell fake followers won’t actually give you genuine fans. Most likely, the followers you buy online will be bots, ghost followers, and inactive accounts.

While these kinds of followers rack up numbers in your follower count, they don’t engage with your content. Because there are no real people behind these inactive accounts, there’s no one likes, comments on, or shares your posts.

This has a huge negative impact on your key metrics, specifically your engagement scores. When you have thousands of followers and little to no interactions on your content, your engagement rate is lower. This is already really bad because it’s a sign that there is no genuine engagement on your posts. But it also spells disaster for your future on the platform.

Instagram’s algorithm decides which posts and profiles to prioritize on the feed based on their engagement rates. The more engaging your posts, the more the algorithm pushes your content onto your followers’ feeds and the Explore page.

But when your engagement rate is incredibly low, it deprioritizes your posts, decreasing your visibility. Fewer people will discover your brand online, hindering genuine Instagram growth.

Having fake followers that don’t interact with your content might sound harmless at first. But when you see the snowball effect it has on your engagement rate, you’ll realize it’s not worth the hassle.

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You Might Receive Unsolicited Spam DMs and Comments on Your Posts

Having fake followers also exposes your page to sketchy, automated spam accounts. These accounts might harass you with unsolicited promos, offers, inappropriate messages, and even phishing links.

They might leave them in comments on your posts or through DMs. If these fake fans write generic, spammy comments, your organic followers might perceive your account as fake and inauthentic, too. And if the spam accounts send you countless DMs, they’ll flood your inbox and blow up your phone with notifications. Either way, this kind of spam can get pretty annoying.

It Lowers Your Credibility if Your Real Followers Find Out

There are many ways that your real followers might notice that you’ve been buying fake fans online. Maybe they looked you up on a fake follower checker or noticed way too many spammy comments on your content. Regardless of how they find out, it can hurt your public image.

Buying fake followers is still taboo. It makes brands look inauthentic, as if they don’t actually care about their community or creating excellent content. The target audience might perceive creators known to buy followers as shallow and lazy. These negative perceptions can lead to a loss of trust and credibility, leaving your reputation in tatters.

Being caught buying fake followers can lead to many dire consequences for your brand. Some of your genuine followers might start questioning your integrity and authenticity, pushing them to unfollow you. Others might stop interacting with your content, which will plummet your engagement rates. A disreputable image might also hurt your opportunities to collaborate with other brands and creators.

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How Can You Tell if Someone Bought Followers on Instagram?

There are many reasons why someone might want to find out if another brand or creator is buying their followers. Maybe you’re thinking of collaborating with them but want to be sure that they have genuine followers. Or maybe you’ve simply been suspicious of an influencer that has grown so fast in so little time. So, how can you tell if someone bought followers on Instagram?

There’s no way to tell for sure if someone has bought their Instagram followers online. But there are lots of red flags and signs to watch out for at that point.

The first thing you’ll want to keep an eye out for is sudden changes in their follower count. When a creator buys followers, you’ll obviously see a big jump in their following count. Genuine, authentic growth happens much slower, so you’ll probably notice such a big spike right away.

Keep your eyes peeled for sudden drops in their numbers, too. Instagram is transparent about the fact that they regularly “clean up” inauthentic followers from some pages. This is to maintain the authentic online experience on the social media platform. If an account suddenly loses thousands of followers, it might be because they bought followers that Instagram is now deleting.

Another tell-tale sign that someone has fake followers is if they have a really low engagement rate. People with fake fans have huge follower counts but don’t drive that much genuine engagement. This results in a super low engagement rate. If someone has thousands of followers but gets just a dozen likes or comments on posts, it’s a bad sign.

You might want to look at the comments on these posts, too. If they’re generic or spammy, it might be from bot accounts that are the result of buying low-quality followers.

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Buying Fame: How To Pay for Followers on Instagram

Are you still curious about buying followers online, even after everything we’ve touched on? We don’t blame you—getting tons of followers overnight really is tempting. If you’re still interested in the idea of buying fans but don’t know how the process goes, we’ve got you. Here’s how to pay for followers on Instagram, as you will see play out on many third-party websites.

1. First, you’ll need to pick a legit website from which you can buy your followers. Make sure it’s a trusted service with many good reviews. Don’t go for a sketchy, no-name site that might just be in it to scam you. 

2. Then, check out that service’s follower packages. You’ll usually be able to choose your specific target audience and how many followers you want to buy. 

3. Give them your username so they know which page to deliver the followers to. Never give out your password to any of these websites.

4. Pay for your package (remember—use secure payment methods only!). Then, just sit back, relax, and wait for the service to deliver your new followers.

Should I Buy Instagram Followers To Get More Paying Customers for My Business?

Does buying followers on Instagram work if your goal is to drive sales from paying customers? Definitely not. This is probably the worst reason to buy followers online. Fake followers are only for show, like if your only goal is to have a high follower count. But it’s useless for trying to win over new customers for your business.

Remember, buying followers online will most likely give you inactive ghost followers. None of those users will like or comment on your content, let alone buy products from your business. These “users” won’t make an effort to head to your brand website and check out your products and services.

So, if you’re asking, “Should I buy Instagram followers to get more paying customers?” the answer is always no. Buying fake fans will inflate your follower count but only give you even lower sales conversion rates.

In the End, Is Buying Instagram Followers Worth It?

Purchasing fans online is a quick, convenient way to balloon your following count. But is buying Instagram followers worth it?

If you only care about that number on your Instagram profile, then sure, buy as many followers as you want. But don’t invest marketing money into buying followers if your goal is to drive genuine engagement and conversions. It won’t help in any way. If these are the marketing goals you have in mind, you’ll flush money down the toilet if you buy followers.

If you want genuine followers who give authentic engagement, we recommend focusing on organic growth strategies to lure them in.

Create content plans with high-quality posts that resonate with your target audience. Use hashtags in your captions to boost your visibility. And, of course, always be consistent with your posting schedule to increase your chances of being discovered by potential followers. These are the keys to real, sustainable follower growth.

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Instead of Wasting Money on Fake Followers, Invest in Path Social!

If you have money to invest in Instagram growth, don’t waste it on fake followers that will kill your engagement rates. Instead, enlist the help of a reputable growth service that can promote your content to a targeted audience. Trusted growth companies can help you attract real followers—never bots and inactive accounts—with tried-and-tested promotional and engagement methods.

Does buying Instagram followers work? Technically, yes. You do get tons of followers from buying fans online. But these users are typically low-quality and won’t engage with your content. If you want genuine followers who will actually love and interact with your content, work with the Path Social team.

Path Social’s growth service helps you find your niche target audience and promote your content for them to see. You’ll get a boost in post visibility, brand awareness, and, most importantly, immense, sustainable follower growth. Grow your Instagram community the right way today!