Buying followers on Instagram can be tempting. Several applications and platforms on the web promise to increase the number of fans, likes and even comments in a short space of time, without any effort. Some offer fake accounts to "pump up" their profile, while others capture real profiles, through mechanisms to automate the process of tracking accounts.
Prices start at around US $ 2.99, approximately R $ 12, at the current price. With low values to start investing, it is natural that tactics seem the perfect shortcut for those who want to become a digital influencer or promote their brand. But the results reveal another scenario, much more discouraging: in general, the method works as an anti-advertisement. Understand the risks of buying followers on Instagram with the list that dnetc prepared.
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Strategy to get likes and comments on Instagram may have the opposite effect Photo: Carolina Ochsendorf / dnetc
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2. You can lose your purchased followers at any time
Since Instagram constantly deletes fake accounts, purchased fake followers can be deactivated shortly thereafter. That is, there is a great chance that you will spend money and still lose followers drastically in your profile.
Service prices for buying followers and likes on Instagram vary according to the package Photo: Reproduo / Raquel Freire
3. it is easy to perceive a profile with purchased followers
There are two most common ways to invest in followers. The first to hire a service responsible for creating fake accounts to enjoy your personal profile or your brand. They can also enjoy your posts, according to the negotiation with the company. The second consists of accessing a bot designated to follow real accounts, enjoying some posts automatically and, after a while, stop following them. The goal is for real people to follow the "follow me that I follow you back" tag and start tracking the account.
However, both methods leave traces. The first is the most apparent, as these fake profiles have no photos or interactions of their own. And even in the second, focused on real accounts, it is common for people to stop following after realizing that it is a robot.
Fake Instagram accounts often have no posts or interactions Photo: Carolina Ochsendorf / dnetc
This occurs when the profile likes several photos in a short space of time or has 150 thousand followers, but only 200 likes per post, for example. This type of account also usually has a huge amount of likes on posts, but few comments, because the likes are cheaper. The massive presence of generic comments, such as "this is it" or "Legal", also awakens the red alert of buying followers.
If your intention with acquiring followers is to become an influencer or promote a brand, the method may have the opposite effect. Advertiser companies have mechanisms to identify whether an account has many fake profiles, and if they do, they'll never do business with you.
Followers who understand the trick will probably not only stop following the account, but also lose credibility in the brand. Thus, converting followers into customers will become even more difficult. In some more tense situations, it is possible for someone to expose fraud in comments and promote a negative impact on the profile.
5. Fake followers do not generate engagement
Instagram's most important metric is engagement. It is essential to define the disclosure of your content in your followers' feed and, eventually, in the "Explore" tab. For this reason, engagement rate is not just the absolute number of followers in a profile that brands are based on when hiring an influencer.
The problem: this metric never increases with the purchase of followers and likes on the contrary, it decreases. This is because these profiles will not effectively interact with the account, even if they like it. Interactions with likes and comments will be divided by the number of followers to generate the fee. With a high number of followers, engagement will be low and it will not be possible to stand out on the social network.
Account with followers purchased does not generate engagement in posts Photo: Reproduo / Hootsuite
The lack of engagement was found in a test conducted by Hootsuite. They also hired the bot service and, after two hours, the account already had 412 followers. However, when posting a photo, none of these people liked or commented. The profile reached 1,000 followers the following day, and yet, no one interacted with the publication.
6. You don't make money from fake profiles
Despite knowing that fake profiles will not buy your product, those interested in the service hope to "pump" the account and thus be seen more by real people. However, this does not prove to be true in practice. As stated earlier, your engagement rate drops and this is reflected in less visibility in the feed.
In an experiment made by AdeEpresso in 2016, the online store linked to Instagram account failed to sell anything when the company used a bot (with the scheme of following real people). In the previous period, when the profile used good practices for organic growth, there were real purchases.
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