Why you should NEVER buy Followers

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Get ready for a rant people because this one is coming’ in hot! 

PLEASE, I BEG YOU PLEASE don’t ever ever buy your followers on social media. Here’s why:

There is definitely motivation to buy followers these days, not just for the fact of looking ‘cool’ or ‘popular’ on ‘on-trend’ but there is money to be made on having a high follower count. Fashion IT-girls and insta-travel bloggers get free march, free trips, and CASH MONEY advertising and advocating for fans on their social media feeds. Classic example: Kardashians and Sugar Care Hair Vitamins. These little blue bears are promised to make your hair grow lush, long and beautiful and somehow this company got the famous K fam on board to promote (i.e. money). I read a stat that said that instagrammers with north of 4mil followers can make between $5k-$20k+ PER POST. PER POST PEOPLE! This is insanity. 

Of course, wherever there is perceived ‘easy money,’ cheap solutions will follow. There are thousands upon thousands of websites, apps and services you can buy to ‘purchase’ followers, likes and even comments (i.e. ‘bots’) for your instagram account in hopes to get you to those figures to be raking in the dough. Although enticing, this is a BAD, AGAIN BADDDDD IDEA. 

I’ll explain:

  1. They’re often not real people!

    If you buy followers, you aren’t guaranteed that you are going to get real, life, breathing humans behind those profiles. Sure, a person may have set it up, but a lot of these fake accounts are following thousands of accounts and have no followers themselves. 
  2. It'll skew your Analytics

    Many fake followers are created with accounts in the middle east (?). Super random. The way to check this internally is to look at your instagram analytics from your business page and scroll down to Followers. Click 'See More' and you'll get a break down of your following by gender, age, cities and countries. An account with bought followers will show really skewed following in places that don't make sense. 
  3. It’ll Affect your Engagement  

    Whether you’re a small business or an influencer, partners gage your influence by looking at engagement. Although not an exact science, engagement can roughly be measured by the number of likes + comments on an image divided by the number of followers. Basically this measures how many people who follow you are actually engaging with your content. This is why we have seen a rise in micro-influencers, which are accounts that are industry specific that have high engagement, meaning they are creating quality content and have gained trust with their audience. For example, an account with 300 followers, but an average of 80-100 likes per image shows a higher engagement than an account with 10,000 followers that is only getting 200 likes per image. This is also a method used to spot fake accounts. 
  4. But Michelle what if I buy comments and likes, too?

    Sorry, it’s still pretty obvious. Bots aren’t advanced enough (yet, although with AI they probably will be soon), to actually generate legitimate comments on images. Instead you get a lot of ‘awesome content <thumbs up emoji>’ or ‘cool pic!’ which are pretty universal bot comments.
  5. The whole point of Social Media is to make CONNECTIONS

    If you are of the camp of wanting to buy followers, likes and comments then you are kind of missing the point. Social media is intended to be social meaning that you have conversations with and connect with likeminded individuals. This is also the reason why platforms like instagram are so great for creatives. I have met some really awesome strangers (for lack of a better word) through Instagram and it also gives me a space to interact with the best creatives in my industry, that I otherwise maybe wouldn’t have access to.  

The lesson here is pretty straight forward: Don’t buy followers or likes or comments. Don’t look for the quick fix, but put in your best effort to connect.