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Why Buying TikTok Followers Hurts Your Social Strategy

Madisyn MacMillan
May 12, 2023
Last Updated On
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Follower count has historically been one of the easiest metrics to track in terms of account performance and success on TikTok. Your brand is gaining more followers? Great. Keep up the hard work! But if your brand has followers dropping like flies? That’s a problem that stakeholders will want to see action taken on immediately.

It’s no secret that organically growing your follower count is not easy – especially on TikTok – so, using a small amount of your marketing budget to buy a couple hundred or thousand followers may seem like a quick and easy fix, but we’re here to explain why that does more harm than good in the long run. 

In this blog, we discover: 

  • Does buying followers on TikTok work?
  • Can you buy TikTok likes and views?
  • 4 Reasons why you shouldn’t buy TikTok followers
  • 5 Tactics to use for follower growth
  • How Dash Hudson can help with organic follower growth

Does Buying Followers on TikTok Work?

The question is, does buying TikTok followers actually work for growing your following on the platform? In the short term, yes — your follower count will increase. But in just about every other way, no. Buying followers on TikTok will not bring you the success you’re looking for.   

When you buy followers, the fact is, your follower count does increase. Your analytics will reflect that growth, and if real users happen to come across your profile, the number of followers you have may entice them to join — but that’s where the positives end. Reporting on the reason behind your sudden follower growth to stakeholders will become tricky, and you may start to see followers you gain organically fall off if they realize they aren’t interested in the type of content you offer. In short, buying followers is a very short-term (and not effective) fix that doesn’t address the actual issues of why you’re not gaining new followers.

Can You Buy TikTok Likes and Views?

If you shouldn’t buy followers on TikTok, can you at least buy TikTok likes and views? Unfortunately, it’s very much the same story. While you technically can buy TikTok views and likes, it’s a temporary (and unexplainable) boost. Buying likes and views does not set your account or future content up for any more success than it was destined for before the purchase. Much like buying followers, a large jump in inauthentic likes or views will look fishy to real users and your content performance will likely suffer because of it. 

4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Buy Followers

At this point, it’s pretty clear that buying followers usually leads to more trouble than it’s worth. But if you’re still not convinced, here are the four biggest reasons you shouldn’t buy TikTok followers and likes. 

1. Fake followers will lower your engagement rate score

While follower count is still an important metric to track in terms of success, brands and users alike are beginning to realize it is nowhere near as effective or impactful as measuring engagement rate. When you buy TikTok followers, they are just that – followers. They don’t interact with or watch your new content, so when calculating your engagement rate, it will be suspiciously low when you compare your follower count to the amount of engagement you should be having on your new content. 

Having a small but loyal, engaged audience is a far better scenario than a larger audience with no interaction or engagement. 

2. They will hurt your chances of landing on the FYP 

Experiencing a low engagement rate doesn’t only hurt your metrics, it also hurts your chances of being boosted by the algorithm to new users or landing on the For You Page. A low engagement rate show TikTok that your content either isn’t relevant or isn’t interesting (even if that isn’t the case) which means it will likely get little traction or views outside of your already established, real audience. 

3. Real users will see through this tactic

Social media users have been using apps like TikTok for a long time. Because of this, they’ve become extremely attuned to when something doesn’t seem right, and bought followers, likes and views are some of the easiest things to pick out. Users can easily identify what they think are fake followers by taking a look at the accounts that are following. Fake accounts usually have no photos or posts, and spammy names full of random numbers or letters. Social media users today are so astute that they can often determine the authenticity of an account without even having to click on it.

Once users identify the illegitimacy of your following, it will make them question everything you’re trying to offer and it could lead to a swift unfollow or even block. 

4. It’s a waste of valuable resources 

While buying followers isn’t technically against TikTok’s guidelines, it is absolutely frowned upon. And because purchased followers are essentially spam, over time they will eventually get flagged as bots or fake accounts and be removed or deleted. This means you’ll be left with wasted time and money spent on purchasing followers, likes or views but nothing to show for it once the spam is weeded out. 

Tactics To Try Instead of Buying Followers on TikTok

While buying TikTok followers might feel like a quick fix, it is not the solution to growing your follower base — but you’re not out of luck. There are plenty of things you can do to help build your follower growth in a way that is genuine and even more importantly, long-lasting. 

Here are the best ways to get started:

Learn where you fit within your industry and set realistic benchmarks

To start growing your TikTok followers organically, it’s important to start at the beginning. Take the time to research your industry to see how it fits into the TikTok landscape, understand your competitors' content strategies, and more importantly, set appropriate TikTok benchmarks for yourself. By setting realistic benchmarks, you will be able to predict how your content should be performing and how your follower base should be growing. 

Understand the TikTok algorithm and how you can get it to work for you

While it’s not possible to understand the TikTok algorithm exactly, it is possible to understand what it takes to get it to work for you and grow your follower base organically. Perform competitive research, trial different types of content, and switch up your posting schedule to find the best time to post on TikTok for your account to see how the algorithm responds and adjust your strategy to cater to what performs.

Create entertaining content

The best way to do right by the TikTok algorithm gods and your prospective (and existing) followers is by creating entertaining content they want to see. This may sound difficult, and in the beginning, it might be but don’t be afraid to experiment with different TikTok content ideas, formats, video lengths and styles until you find what works best for you and your audience. 

Stay on top of current TikTok trends

If you’re struggling to create entertaining, original content, TikTok trends are an amazing alternative to get your brand in front of new users. The beautiful thing about TikTok is that you no longer need a massive following to be successful and go viral. By keeping up to date on the latest trending songs and sounds, you’ll be able to stay relevant and hopefully build your follower base in the process. 

How Dash Hudson Can Help You Grow Organically on TikTok

There is no better way to grow your following on TikTok than to deeply understand your performance and your analytics. With TikTok Management, brands have access to in-depth video and account insights, elevated reporting, multi-channel scheduling and publishing, and even a link in bio tool, Likeshop, which makes your entire feed shoppable for new and existing followers. 

Capture the attention of new audiences by always staying on top of what’s trending on TikTok with Dash Hudson’s weekly curated Trending Sounds. Foster your existing follower base with Community, which fully integrates TikTok into your community inbox so you can constantly be in touch with users and show your authenticity and interest in your comments. 


Can you buy TikTok followers?

Yes, you can purchase followers that will show up as following your account, but these accounts are never going to genuinely interact with your content the way a real, organic follower will. That makes this answer both a yes and a no. Yes, technically you can buy followers, but no, they are not real followers. 

Does buying TikTok followers affect you?

What happens if you buy TikTok followers and does it affect you? Buying followers might have a very short-term positive impact on your account, but over time fake followers will negatively impact your engagement rate and overall brand performance on TikTok. 

How do you know if someone bought TikTok followers?

While there is no way to know for sure whether or not someone has purchased TikTok followers, there are a couple of signs. The first is exponential growth in a very short period. Now this doesn’t always mean followers are bought, especially if there has been viral content on that account recently. But if there hasn’t been any viral content or activity happening on the account and there is a massive jump in followers, they were most likely purchased. 

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