Don’t do it.

Really, stop it.

The idea that you have to have a certain follower count in order to be taken seriously is just not true. We know shortcuts are so tempting. But buying Instagram followers is simply not worth it.

Below are a few reasons not to buy Instagram followers.

  1. For anyone who knows anything about Instagram, it’s really easy to tell when you have bought your followers. So it turns out that buying followers is pretty unimpressive to those you actually want to impress. In fact, that list of fake followers makes your brand look untrustworthy and not all that respectable.

  2. When you do pay to promote your Instagram posts, you’ll be paying for those fake accounts you purchased (with no one behind them) to see your posts. Hard pass on spending our marketing dollars to advertise to empty shells of Instagram accounts.

  3. Instagram has software designed to catch fake accounts. It’s pretty hard not to look suspicious when you have a lot of fake accounts following you.

  4. Instagram is really cracking down on third-party apps. Instagram is actually hoping to discourage users from using any automated apps to boost follower counts by suspending accounts (eek!) or limiting the user’s experience if they don’t get rid of the app. We don’t want that!

  5. If you truly want to be an influencer, you need real people following you to influence. If you want to influence, you have to influence real people. Influence with your great ideas or beautiful photos, not an inflated and meaningless number.

  6. If you truly want to sell your product or service, you need real people following you to purchase your product or service. Last time we checked, fake Instagram accounts don’t do much shopping.

  7. The websites that sell Instagram followers just look shady. If you decide to buy some followers, there’s a chance you’re also deciding to become a victim of identity theft.

  8. Fake followers don’t engage with your posts. Engagement is an important piece of the Instagram algorithm. You won’t get any likes or comments from a fake account (you gotta pay more for fake engagement).

So what’s a brand to do when their follower count is lower than they’d like?

Well, there are many strategies that we’ll be covering over the coming weeks and months. But in a nutshell, develop a thoughtful Instagram strategy targeting a specific audience with consistent, well-timed posts that share engaging content and include well-researched hashtags.