It’s universally acknowledged these days that social media is the go-to for efficient marketing campaigns. With people being (quite healthily) cautious of face-to-face encounters, it’s imperative to be visible to your target audience in the online environment.
Instagram is one of the platforms that has proved its usefulness for promoting products and services and, as everyone knows, strength stands in the numbers – the more followers an account has, the more visible and attractive it is.
So far, no surprises. It’s not like any of today’s entrepreneurs were really thinking they can increase sales by having a total of twelve Instagram followers and an average of three interactions a day.
And that raises the question of how to grow the crowd watching your accounts since there is the possibility of actually buying rather impressive (in numbers) follower lists. Here are the advantages and setbacks of choosing this path.
Let’s start with the good side. Buying such lists wouldn’t be a practice at all if it weren’t for some benefits:
Your account will get a big boost
That is due to suddenly having quite a crowd attached to it. Since most of the algorithms take the follower count into consideration, this means that the Instagram account will be more visible not only to the freshly acquired base but also to other online users.
Having large numbers of followers increases the chances for a business to get noticed and appear both well-off and trustworthy. You can have the best products and services, but if the general opinion does not seem favorable towards you, it’s still going to be very difficult to complete sales.
Younger generations, in particular, place a lot of value on peer recommendations and opinions. While using organic methods of growing your audience has great advantages – mainly that you are going to draw the groups that are genuinely interested in your message and your products, it takes a long time. If you can budget the purchase of an Instagram follower base, it will act as an immediate increment.
Buying a list may be cheaper than growing organically
At first glance, you’d think that purchasing will be more costly but actually, when it comes to the time and effort you’d have to put in if you wanted to get more followers by yourself, it turns out it’s not.
Apart from having to be present a lot, we are all well-aware that you need to offer incentives to get people excited and engaged. And most often than not, these cost money. Having competitions and challenges is only fun if the prizes are worth going after.
It’s the same with getting influencers to help with your endeavors – it’s always quid pro quo, and since you are the one in need of promotion, you’ll have to offer the proper incentives to them well.
So all in all, when you are trying to figure out what the right thing is for you, all things ought to be considered – not only the fee for the one-time follower list purchase but also the costs associated with organic growth.
Or not to buy?
On the opposite side, if you choose to buy your follower list, you need to be aware of the negative aspects that might arise:
It’s quite possible to get scammed
Many websites will promise a large follower base and continuous maintenance, but after you complete the purchase, you end up with shell accounts or bots. This will surely increase your follower base but not do anything for engagement.
There is a well-known Instagram mechanism of #FollowForFollow, where if you follow an account, it follows you right back. The catch, however, is that the account gets unfollowed after a few days. This is all done with the help of a bot, and you can program the parameters by which it will function, but it is still a far cry from any form of organic growth.
Furthermore, people who follow you will notice the changes and know you purchased follows. That’s not exactly an asset to your image.
You might not get the followers you need
Where customer targeting is concerned, buying followers doesn’t help one bit. Since you don’t have any saying in what accounts become your followers, the odds of them being set up by active users who are genuinely interested in your message and your online courses are slim if at all existent.
If your target is to get a solid audience who is indeed interested in your posts and genuinely engaged with your brand, buying a list will not only not help but could be a deterrent for your potential customers.
Especially in the online environment, people care a lot about peer recommendation and the crowds they move in. If they find that they change often with numerous unfollows and then grow spectacularly from one day to the other, they might feel undervalued and permanently leave.
The digital revolution has made people more aware of how meaningful human connections are, so even if the use of bots is generally accepted, they don’t have many fans.
Organic marketing is always preferred when you are looking for long-time positive results. However, there are instances when a boost in follower base numbers may be very needed, so if after weighing in the facts you find that is the case, you can proceed to purchase such a list. It’s advisable though to double-check the vendor and the feedback it has so you don’t get scammed.
Raluca Cristescu has over ten years of experience in corporate training, focused mainly on soft skills for customer service and direct sales.