Whether you’re a brand or a content creator, having a high follower count gives an impression to the public that you’re well known and trending, so it can be tempting to boost your follower count when faced with the opportunity to “buy” Instagram followers.
Buying followers is advertised as an opportunity to instantly grow your audience if you buy Instagram followers, which in theory would lead to increased brand awareness, partnership opportunities and revenue at a low cost. However, if buying Instagram followers was really this easy, wouldn’t everyone do it? In reality, the risks of the fake following industry on social media are greater than the pros.
In this blog, we explore:
Yes, you can buy Instagram followers. The price of buying instagram followers ranges based on the number of followers you want, and the quality of accounts. Numerous service providers offer approximately 1000 followers for as low as $12, and increase from there.
Generally — no, buying Instagram followers does not work.
While the idea of having a large follower count is alluring and seems like it would make your profiles seem popular and relevant for your account, the truth is much different. When you buy followers on Instagram, you only pay for the outfacing number of followers listed on your account. Many purchased followers are actually inactive accounts that will never interact with your content — or become customers. The low cost to buy Instagram followers will cause your brand to pay the high price of losing brand authenticity, engagement and growth with your target audience. It can also skew your reporting and measurement efforts with a disproportionate amount of authentic and purchased followers.
We do not recommend that you buy followers on Instagram — or any social media platform. However, social media professionals might be curious about the process, or might have been asked by someone else on their team what the process and potential consequences are.
So while we don’t recommend it, this is the typical process to buy Instagram followers.
There are many service providers to buy followers. Simply typing in “buy instagram followers” into your search engine produces a list of questionable providers offering deals that are too good to be true. Be aware when sharing personal information with these service providers.
Although there are many different sites to choose from if you want to purchase followers, most sites offer similar packages — these include:
This package is the cheapest option for brands but comes with huge risks. Due to the lower price, the followers within this package are noticeably fake (these are widely known as ‘bots’), which will cause Instagram to flag your account as spam almost immediately.
This is the middle tier package where providers will sell follower accounts that look less questionable. Although you will be promised an increase in followers, these accounts are not likely to engage with your content.
This top tier package is the most expensive within the fake follower industry. This package does include real accounts, but also comes with additional risk. Service providers will need to obtain your account information (buyer beware) to engage with potential followers on your behalf and help increase your overall follower count.
However, they are not looking for your target audience to help you drive brand awareness, instead, they clog up your explore page with accounts that are not likely to convert to customers.
The next step is to pick your numbers based on budget. Basic followers are cheap but will lead to a huge spike in your account overnight and a guaranteed ban or removal of your account by Instagram. As you upgrade to the more expensive plans you also gain the ability to purchase likes or story views (which the suppliers advertise as a more credible approach to avoid your account being banned). The more expensive the plan, the more nuanced it will be in delivering on followers, likes or views. While it’s less suspicious, a large enough number is still likely to be flagged by Instagram, making this option sound like exactly what it is — too good to be true.
The final step (again, that we do not recommend you take) is to confirm and wait for the roll out of the package you’ve decided on. Time will vary.
The risks of buying instagram followers outweigh the pros. Although you might see a surge of engagement immediately after purchasing, this will fade and your account will be left with a group of followers who don’t care about your brand.
The Instagram algorithm prioritizes Eengagement over followers. Increasing engagement isis key to having your Instagram's algorithm when choosing what posts will appear on users' Explore Pages and eventually following your account. If you have a lot of followers, but low engagement, less people can discover your account and follow your brand organically. A high follower count is not particularly useful if no one continuously engages.
While followers are certainly one aspect of Instagram’s algorithm, focusing on engagement and creating compelling content that the algorithm can recommend to users who like similar content is a better tactic to boost engagement and your follower count.
Here are some other risks and consequences to consider when purchasing Instagram followers.
Inauthentic followers have a negative impact on your data, reporting and Reels, Stories and post strategy — your engagement rate metrics will be too inaccurate and unreliable to make meaningful decisions based on fact.
If you do go ahead and buy followers, you’ll harm your social profiles and analytics. You’ll no longer be able to rely on your engagement or Effectiveness Rates to see what works for your social media marketing strategy as the high follower count and lack of activity will skew your data. Your Reels, Stories, and post strategies will all be impacted as your purchased followers are not your target audience so it will be difficult to see what information grabs the attention of your ideal persona.
Buying false followers could result in your account suspension or even complete deletion. In recent years, Instagram has become strict with inauthentic accounts, and have developed strategies to depict which accounts are obviously fake, and force the accounts to be suspended or permanently banned.
Whether you’re a brand or a content creator, an authentic audience is the key to success. You don't have to work in social media to recognize when an account gains too many followers in a short amount of time or if your followers appear to be bots — some members of your audience might even use a bot detection website to determine which percentage of your following is authentic versus purchases. With the increased value put on brand authenticity on social media, most users want to avoid following an account that participated in this type of behavior.
If you’re a brand wanting to work with influencers, creators, brand ambassadors or even other brands, getting caught buying fake followers can ruin your brand's reputation and create long-lasting negative impacts. Unlike true followers, fake followers will not spread positive comments about your brand which will also stunt your social media growth, and potentially your wider brand reputation.
Buying fake followers can also attract the wrong type of followers (think scammers, inappropriate accounts, etc). These accounts could leave unwanted comments or harass your real followers — this further damages your ability to keep the authentic, real followers you actually gained.
While we don’t recommend purchasing followers, some of the most popular sites to purchase real followers — not bots — include:
It’s been stressed, but it’s crucial to understand that when you buy Instagram followers, you’re purchasing a number of followers, not specific accounts. This means — like with organic followers — you can’t control who follows you. Unlike organic followers, you might not want to block inactive followers from these purchases since it can negatively impact your ROI.
If you do resort to buying Instagram followers, be sure to do this from a site that uses specific, active accounts from real people — not bots.
Brands don’t need to resort to shady tactics to grow their following on Instagram. From Analytics and Monitoring to scheduling, to link-in-bio solutions like LikeShop, Dash Hudson offers a convenient, streamlined platform to plan, publish and measure the performance of your Instagram content.
Beyond that, brands can connect with their audience in more authentic, organic ways with Dash Hudson's UGC tool to surface their best-performing content, while Community Manager makes it easy to respond to user comments, and even offers integration with your conversational commerce software like Salesforce or Zendesk.
What’s more, brands can earn authentic, organic Instagram followers ensures these users are tapped into your brand’s content and are more likely to like, share and comment on your content. Brands can increase their followers without buying them by optimizing their profiles with social media SEO tactics, engaging with their community, keeping a content calendar and consistent posting schedule, boosting Instagram posts and more.
There are many ways to find success on Instagram that work more effectively than risking your account on black hat tactics like buying followers — some tactics to organically build your following include:
Many service providers of Instagram followers state they’re legitimate, but you should still avoid this purchase completely. If you do go ahead and purchase followers, ensure you don’t provide any sensitive information to the service.
Yes, Instagram can ban your account for buying Instagram followers, especially if you purchase a basic follower package where your account obtains a large following at one time.
Yes, by purchasing a more expensive follower package you can sometimes obtain ‘real Instagram followers’, however, these accounts are still unlikely to engage with your content regularly, or turn into real customers. It’s worth the time to build a robust community and engage with users who found your account through paid or organic means.
Yes, many people buy Instagram followers, but it is quite noticeable to the public if there has been a purchase made because the account will have a large following, but their engagement will be extremely low in comparison. There are also tools that claim to identify which percentage of followers are real or ‘bots’, which can harm your brand reputation.