If you run a business with an Instagram account, no doubt you have had DMs pop up from lots of accounts selling you followers. Hopefully you just ignore these messages. If you are tempted, let me tell you why you should avoid this at all costs. 

Follower numbers is firstly a vanity metric. It is not important how many you have; it is the quality that counts. 

Let’s go back to your original goal when you set up you Instagram account, what did you want to achieve? No doubt you wanted to increase you brand presence and get more business. How are you going to do this when you buy followers who are irrelevant to your business and have no interest in what you are selling? They will not engage with your account and are likely to bring spam with them. Instagram is a clever beast and does recognise these fake followers and will purge them. They also reserve the right to suspend accounts that are involved in this.

Another reason to avoid this practise, is if you want to run ads. If you want to run ads to your warm audiences, this will usually include your Instagram followers. Usually, these followers would be the people that are most engaged with your brand and cheaper to convert – except you bought followers, so you would be wasting your money advertising to these people. If you wanted to build a lookalike audience of your existing followers, the same applies, you can rule this out too. 

In summary, buying followers, skews your data and inhibits the growth of your business on social media. Every follower that you have genuinely attracted to your site, is one to be celebrated. They followed out of choice and will continue to engage with content and ads and hopefully, eventually become a customer.  So next time you are tempted to give those numbers a bit of a push, instead, look at who your ideal customer, look at the content you are creating for them, check that it serves their needs and home in on that – it will be worth it in the end.

By Natasha Fitzpatrick

Natasha is Facebook Ads Strategist specialising in helping businesses increase sales and generate leads.

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