How To Get Instagram Followers Easy: Should You Buy Fans?

Profile photo of Heidi Lang, author

Heidi Lang

Instagram 101 | Jan 09, 2024

Want More Real Instagram Followers?

It’s natural for people to want lots of Instagram followers. And it’s super understandable. Having a high follower count makes you look more popular and gives you a little confidence boost. The problem is that many people want to take the easy route and cut corners to get a following. They’d rather know how to get Instagram followers easy instead of how to work hard to attract them genuinely.

That’s why many users end up buying followers instead of working to build a solid community. It’s convenient and gives you “fame” overnight. But is buying followers really the best solution for those wanting to grow their page fast?

Today, we’ll talk about how to easily gain followers, from the bad, toxic methods to how to do it right. Keep reading to learn whether buying followers is a sustainable practice and what your other growth options are.

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Every Influencer Wants To Know How To Get Instagram Followers Easy

People who aren’t active on social media platforms might think wanting a higher follower count is shallow and conceited. But for Instagram influencers, it can make or break their career.

Wanting to have many followers on Instagram is super valid. It contributes immensely to someone’s success on the platform and whether they land jobs and brand partnerships. The more followers you have, the greater and more massive your reach, perceived influence, and status. These are things brands look at before deciding to book you as their brand ambassador.

Having lots of followers is also one of the keys to looking credible and trustworthy online. A large fanbase suggests that many people trust you. It signals to potential followers that you’re a creator worth following because of the value you add to people’s feeds.

All these reasons make wanting more followers a valid goal for Instagram creators. But the problem is that many influencers want to take the easy way out and get famous overnight. Not only is that impossible, but it also pushes them into a rabbit hole of toxic decisions. Unfortunately, these decisions—like buying fake followers—only hurt their reputation later on.

A group of excited, loyal fans cheering and taking photos at a concert.

Fake Fame: Do People Buy Instagram Followers?

Anyone who doesn’t know the dog-eat-dog world of Instagram that well might be shocked that many influencers buy followers. They might genuinely wonder, do people buy Instagram followers?

Yes, in this day and age, buying followers is pretty common, albeit quite controversial too. According to a study by IMAI, one in four Instagram influencers has purchased 15% of their follower count. This suggests that at least a quarter of your favorite content creators have fake followers. It’s not promising at all!

But why are influencers inclined to buy followers instead of working hard to build a genuine following organically?

The answer is simple: the more followers you have, the more opportunities you get on the platform. Having many followers is social proof that people like you, which can potentially make you look more attractive to brands. And many influencers are willing to pay big money to create the illusion of fame and admiration. Why? Because it lets them score their dream brand partnerships.

However, brands are getting smarter and more savvy with social media. That means they’re now able to detect which influencers have genuine engagement or inauthentic followers. So, it looks like buying followers to try and “prove” your influence will be utterly useless in the near future.

Someone handing over their credit card to buy Instagram followers.

What Happens if You Buy Instagram Followers?

Have you ever wondered what happens if you buy Instagram followers from a third-party website? Not that we recommend you do this, but this is how it would typically go.

First, you’ll choose from the many websites that claim to sell legit followers on Instagram. While some sites deliver on their promise, most websites tend to fall short of theirs. So, if you really do want to buy followers, always be careful to choose legitimate sites.

Then, you’ll pick out one of their available packages to buy. You can pay little for a few dozen followers or maybe hundreds of dollars for thousands of fans.

After that, the site will typically ask for your Instagram account information. Most sites will only require you to tell them your Instagram handle. Steer clear of sites that ask you for your password.

Lastly, they’ll ask you for your payment. Once that’s done, you just sit back, relax, and wait for that influx of fresh, new followers.

The process of buying followers is super easy and convenient. That’s why so many creators fall prey to it. And we get it—seeing your follower count instantly grow gives you a dose of serotonin. But sooner rather than later, you’ll realize that buying followers instead of gaining organic ones is bad for your page.

Is It Bad To Buy Followers on Instagram?

Some consider the act of buying followers “cheating” in the digital space. It’s considered cutting corners and can be unfair to other influencers who work to build a genuine fanbase. So, in a way, it could be considered unethical and morally wrong. But from a technical, reputational aspect, is it bad to buy followers on Instagram?

Yes, Instagram would say that buying followers is “bad” for the platform. It violates the app’s terms of service, which prohibits any type of inauthentic activity like buying likes or automating follows. Instagram prioritizes authenticity and real, positive engagement above all things. So, buying followers is a huge no-no for them.

But what are the consequences if Instagram identifies that you’ve been buying fake followers?


A popular negative effect of being caught buying followers is Instagram placing your account on a shadowban. When you’ve been shadowbanned, the Instagram algorithm deprioritizes your content’s visibility on the feed. As a result, you’ll have lower reach and engagement on your posts. And that’s absolute hell for influencers trying to make brands notice them.

The Pitfalls of Fake Fans: Disadvantages of Buying Instagram Followers

Aside from potentially getting shadowbanned, what are the pitfalls and disadvantages of buying Instagram followers from third-party sites? Here are just a few of them.

Ghost Followers and Bots Will Kill Your Engagement Rate

It’s an open secret in the digital world that when you buy followers online, many will likely be bots. Some websites might also sell you inactive or “ghost” followers, which is just as bad.

Low-quality followers like this can plummet your engagement rate. Instagram bot followers and ghost accounts have no real people behind them. That means when you post something on Instagram, they won’t like or comment on it. And since Instagram’s algorithm prioritizes engaging content on the feed, your posts will have lower visibility. This will kill your engagement rates and reach even more. Yikes!

A man getting upset because he has zero likes on his Instagram post.

Purchased Followers Might Unfollow You After a While

Another thing about low-quality followers purchased online is that you can’t rely on them to stick around forever. Many of them will disappointingly do the opposite—unfollow you just a few days or weeks after you bought them.

Because you didn’t organically gain these followers, there’s no assurance that they’re actually interested in your content. For all you know, they’ll hate the photos and videos you post and unfollow you right away.

That’s a huge con when buying followers online—their interests likely won’t be aligned with yours. Your fanbase might be full of random people, not a niche audience you can effectively talk to. As a result, there’s a big chance that they’ll leave your community as fast as they joined it.

And it’s not just people unfollowing you because of disinterest. Instagram also does its due diligence by “purging” the platform of fake accounts, bots, and ghost followers. The site then deactivates these accounts to maintain a more authentic environment on the app. This regular clean-up can lead to huge losses in your follower count if you have many of these low-quality followers.

It Makes You Look Inauthentic

Having tons of fake followers can also make you look like an inauthentic poser. That sounds a bit harsh, sure, but so are people on the internet.

When your genuine followers notice discrepancies in your follower-to-following ratio or engagement on your posts, you’re in trouble. They might do some digging in your following list and realize that you’ve bought yourself some fake bot followers. When that happens, your credibility will crumble, and your reputation will be tainted forever.

If you’re labeled as untrustworthy online, you don’t just lose followers. You’ll also lose the opportunity to collaborate with many brands.

Online brands are very careful about how they choose their influencers. They’ll never work with someone known to have fake followers. Not only is it a sign that they’re not credible, but it also means they have low reach and engagement. No campaign will be successful if your influencers have those bad stats.

You’ll Be Wasting Financial Resources

When you buy followers online, you spend money on them. That’s money that could be going to other things that can boost your Instagram presence. That includes cooking up your marketing strategy, visual content production, social media management, and so much more. Instead, you’re basically flushing that money down the toilet.

You might think that buying fans online is an investment. But if you end up with low-quality followers who end up unfollowing you, you’ve essentially paid money for nothing.

An unseen person holds a few burning US dollar banknotes.

Where Can I Buy Instagram Followers Safely?

Buying fake followers online has dire effects on any creator’s Instagram presence. But the reality is that people are still going to do it. The best we can do is give our sound advice on what kinds of websites you should buy followers from. So, if you’re asking, “Where can I buy Instagram followers safely?” here are our tips.

First, only entertain the idea of buying followers from websites with a good reputation. Do your due diligence in researching if they have legitimate clients. Check reviews to see what people thought about their services. If you see only negative reviews for a website (or worse, no reviews at all), consider it a red flag.

Next, never go for websites that ask for your Instagram password. Most legit sites and apps that sell followers won’t need your password. All they’ll ask for is your handle. Websites that ask for your login credentials are likely scams or phishing websites. Never give them this sensitive information to protect your account from being compromised.

Lastly, we recommend looking for websites that allow you to pay via end-to-end encryption. Look for safe, reliable, reputable payment gateways that encrypt your data, such as PayPal. This ensures that your financial information is safe and private. Don’t give your credit card details directly to sketchy websites you don’t trust.

Instead of throwing away your money to buy fake followers, we recommend investing that money in a growth service instead. Reputable growth services help you organically gain followers with their targeting expertise.

That’s what we do at Path Social. Through targeted outreach and by optimizing how your content reaches people, we help you organically grow your page. Instead of dealing with bots and ghost followers, we help you make real connections with your target audiences.

How To Get Followers on Instagram Without Following Others or Buying Fans

Anyone looking for a quick, easy way to gain followers might also know about the scheming follow-unfollow trick. It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book and is so outdated that it usually doesn’t work.

The goal is to follow plenty of accounts in the hopes that they follow you back out of courtesy. Then, once they do, you unfollow them. It creates the illusion that you gained new followers when, in reality, you tricked them into doing it. When they realize what you’ve done, they’ll typically unfollow you again. So, all your effort will have been for nothing.

The follow-unfollow scheme and buying followers on Instagram are big no-nos if you want a sustainable, genuine Instagram following.

So, aside from working with a growth service like Path Social, what can you do to get followers easily? The answer is simpler than you think. All you have to do is focus on creating awesome, interesting, engaging content for your target audiences. The more people like your content and brand personality, the more you can reel in potential followers.

Do you want to start growing your account easily but in the right, sustainable, ethical way? Here’s how to get followers on Instagram without following other accounts or buying followers:

1. Craft a Content Strategy That Fits Your Target Audience’s Interests

A no-brainer way to get more followers easily is to create a content strategy that will excite your target audience. That means planning content pillars that will be a hit with your fans. If you know they respond well to specific types of content, focus your production on those.

For example, if you get higher engagement on Reels than feed posts, then you know your audience likes videos. Your creative content strategy should then focus on video content moving forward. That way, you can maximize engagement on your content and potentially be discovered by new followers.

Professionals at a social media marketing agency crafting a brand’s creative content strategy.

2. Post Shareable Visual Content With Compelling Captions

The more people share your posts on their profiles, the more famous you get. So, try your best to post content that is thrilling, shareable, and has the potential for virality. Examples of these include aesthetically beautiful visual content and cinematic videos. But if you want to go the funny route, you can post memes and relatable Reels, too!

To add even more character to your content, add compelling, thought-provoking, or hilarious captions to your posts. This extends the storytelling of your visual content and is a terrific way to make a connection with others.

When people share your content on their platform, their fanbase sees it. This makes it easier for potential followers to discover your page. And if they like your content, they might give you a follow!

3. Use Relevant Hashtags in Your Caption

Utilizing hashtags is one of the smartest ways to get potential followers to discover your content on Instagram.

See, every hashtag has its own “homepage” of sorts. The top posts that use those hashtags appear on that page. People can follow their favorite hashtags and see content that includes those tags on their feeds.

So, if you post content and include relevant hashtags in your caption, you could show up on the tags’ pages. You also have a chance of appearing on the feeds of those who follow that hashtag. If they don’t follow you yet and love your visual content, they might be inclined to follow your page.

 A jewelry box and dried flowers next to a letter board with the tag “#LOVE”.

4. Post Your Content at the Optimal Times

Posting content at the right time can also help boost engagement and, therefore, discoverability, reach, and, potentially, your follower count.

The best time to post is when your followers are online. That way, they can immediately engage with your post by liking or commenting on it. The more interactions a post has as soon as it’s published, the more Instagram pushes it to your followers’ feeds.

Your post also becomes more visible on the pages of any hashtags and location tags you use. Through this, more people can stumble upon your content for the first time and potentially give you a follow.

Pro-tip: if you have a professional account, you can check what time your followers are most active through Instagram Insights.

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5. Collaborate With Other Creators in Your Niche

By working with other influencers in your niche through videos or collaborative posts, you can reach their fanbase. Chances are, they have lots of followers that don’t follow you as well. This allows people within your target audience to discover your account and give you a follow if they like you.

Collaborating with other well-loved, trustworthy creators also boosts your credibility. By associating yourself with positive figures in your niche community, you prove that you’re one to watch in that space. That’s the magic of social proof. If someone they already love and respect vouches for you, people might follow your page, too.

Two female influencers shaking hands after collaborating on a podcast.

6. Harness the Power of User-Generated Content

User-generated content (UGC) is creative content that showcases a brand but is made by a customer, not the brand itself. Lots of companies prefer seeing UGC from their loyal fans and reposting it to their page. It makes their Instagram content look less traditional or hard-sell and a lot more authentic and fun.

Creating UGC is a fantastic way to tap into a brand’s popularity to gain followers of your own. If you make UGC for popular brands, there’s a high chance they’ll repost your content on their official page. This exposes your content to a wide audience. If some of these people love your UGC and want to see more of your posts, they might follow your page.

A young woman taking a video of her trying on clothes from her favorite fashion brand.

7. Cross-Promote Content on Other Social Media Platforms

If you’re active on other social media channels, consider cross-promoting your Instagram page there. That means linking your Instagram content to blog posts, Facebook posts, and even your TikTok page. The point is to direct people who are more active on other platforms to your Instagram page.

Don’t have other channels and social media profiles? Get creative! Link your Instagram page in your email signature and online portfolios. If you’re speaking at a work engagement or attending an event, promote your Instagram page by word-of-mouth. Hopefully, you’ll get tons of new followers from promoting yourself this way!

Don’t Buy Instagram Bot Followers for Fame — Work With Path Social Instead

Buying Instagram bot followers to grow your page can be detrimental to your social media presence. Not only can Instagram put you on a shadowban, but you could lose your trustworthiness and credibility. The worst part is that it plummets engagement for your page.

Building an authentic following with genuine people who love your content is way better. Luckily, there are plenty of easy ways to do it. From using hashtags to producing funny, exciting visual content, gaining followers is fun and simple if you think about it. It’s all about understanding your target audiences and luring them in with creative content. In no time, you’ll have a high enough follower count to consider yourself a successful Instagram influencer.

Now that you know how to get Instagram followers easy, it’s time to put your strategies to the test. Create the type of content you think your potential followers will love, and then reel them in!

Need help putting your content in front of your target audience? Path Social can help you do just that. Our AI-powered technology can help you look for your niche audience and serve your content to them. Before you know it, you’ll have stellar engagement rates and more real followers! Grow a sustainable, engaged community today with Path Social.