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Thinking about buying followers? Think again.

Victoria Keyworth

When you’re trying to grow your social accounts organically it can be incredibly frustrating to watch people take shortcuts and effortlessly become more ‘successful’ than you. Although the trend of buying followers shows no sign of stopping, platforms are doing their best to make it as pointless as possible. Algorithm changes prioritise genuine interactions and authentic content.

Follower numbers don’t = success anymore. When it comes to social, the magic word is engagement.

The lovely folks over at Hootsuite have come with a handy formula to measure engagement rate, so you know how effective you're truly being:

"Take the number of Likes and comments your posts receive for a specific reporting period, your last 10 posts, for example. Then divide that by the number of followers. Multiply that number by 100 and you’ll have your engagement rate.”

Calculate your engagement rate:

number of Likes + number of comments / number of followers x 100 = engagement rate

Authenticity > 'Popularity'

You have to ask yourself where you assign value; having thousands of fake followers or a few hundred genuine followers who engage with your posts and might spread the word about your business.

Authenticity is a bit of a buzz word in social media at the moment, but for good reason. It’s painfully obvious when followers are bought and, even if your actual content is good, fake followers devalue your efforts and call into question the integrity of your brand.

buying instagram followers

Building Communities

Building any community, on or offline, is all about trust, so it’s important not to jeopardise that. All of us get spammy accounts following us, there’s not much you can really do about it. But when you scroll through an account's followers and they're mostly fake accounts, it’s hard to take that brand seriously.

We came across an account like this recently, belonging to a company in our industry. Even a marketing agency couldn't resist, and we get it! (kinda)
The appeal of follower buying and Instagram automation (those accounts that comment thumbs up on every picture no matter how inappropriate), is easy to see. It’s a cheap and effective way to boost your numbers. But it’s also incredibly damaging to your brand.

So the moral of the story? Work hard, focus on engagement and stay authentic. Social media is a space for you and your community, fake followers just don't fit in.

We’d love to hear from other agencies on this! What's been your experience with follower building? Join in the conversation over on our Instagram.

Victoria Keyworth

With a compulsion for content writing and a head for campaign strategy, when your social media marketing needs a refresh this is the girl to do it.

Keeping one eye on what's trending and one eye on your next big idea, she can help you make sure you're always ahead of the curve. She's also a big fan of the proper use of semicolons.

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