Buying followers to make yourself seem popular, whether you’re a brand or an influencer, is tempting and it’s not very expensive to do so too. According to 2016 data, buying 100 followers averages at $2.95 while getting more likes and comment ranges cost about 2.99 per day.
There has been a rise in Instagram bots ever since Instagram changed its algorithm to stop showing chronological posts on the ‘Discover’ feed; instead of ranking them by what its data said people wanted. Such a move resulted in steep engagement drops for millions of users.
Besides buying followers, you also make bots follow hundreds of accounts in minutes based on interest, location etc. The idea is that some of those people will follow you back.
Hold up though, we’re not trying to sell you here, in this post we’re going to give you solid reasons to resist temptation!
1. Buying Followers on Instagram Defeats The Purpose
Can Instagram bots replace human interaction?
The point of social media is to interact, connect and share with other people, brands virtually. And since we don’t live in the world of ‘HER’ yet, having ‘fake’ followers will give you no genuine engagement.
This is particularly important for anybody who identifies as an influencer and brand who chooses to work with the former. If your followers aren’t interested in your likes, dislikes, and interests, then you aren’t influencing them in any way.
Similarly, if you have a business account on Instagram, you will have little use while buying followers who aren’t potential buyers of your product or service. At the very least, you want your followers to look at your posts, even if they don’t like or share them. Bought followers will never see anything you post.
2. You Might End up with Inappropriate Bot Comments on Posts
How bots generally work is that you connect your Instagram accounts to them, select the length of time for the bot to function and choose what you want it to do such as, like, comment, or follow. The user then selects generic comments for the bot to choose from, such as “Great post!” or “Amazing!” which is then spammed across many posts.
A problem might occur when the bot makes inappropriate comments on posts. For instance, you might make a post announcing a pet’s death. A fake follower’s “nice post” or “good one” comment doesn’t exactly look good to the other people perusing your account.
3. Instagram Often Purges Fake Followers
Instagram is aware of the bot situation and makes regular cleanups of fake accounts. Since 2014, Instagram purged millions of fake followers from many accounts on Instagram with celebrities like Ariana Grande, Kim Kardashian, and Justin Bieber losing millions of followers in the process. Instagram recently shut down Instagress and PeerBoost, two automate behavior offering Instagram automation services. So buying followers will have no long-term value.
4. Messed up Instagram Feed
Since your bot will follow thousands of accounts a day some of whom may follow you back, you can end up with a very jumbled feed, burying relevant accounts in the process.
5. Influencers will find it difficult to cash in
As we mentioned earlier, brands often engage with influencers through affiliate marketing, custom discount codes. Obviously, bots cannot spend any money on the products, rendering the campaign ineffective. With Affable, companies can also determine with great accuracy the % of suspicious followers thus putting your credibility at risk if you do purchase bots.
Source: Insights From Affable’s Platform
It is a red flag if an account has 25,000 followers but only 100 likes on an average post which means the engagement rate is less than 1% engagement rate. It gives off a suspicion that most of the profile’s followers are spam accounts or bots. And if your engagement starts dropping due to fake followers, it will become less and less likely that your content gets surfaced in the feeds of your real followers.
We’re sure you’re convinced to stay on the right side of Instagram and win followers by great, engaging content! As for brands who are considering being more careful of which influencer to work with, check out affable.ai and bot-proof your campaign.