Tech mistake |Instagram’s algorithm keeps changing from time to time, and with every update comes more speculation.
It isn’t fully explained, or understood, how it works. And perhaps it is not supposed to be understood, because every time you do start to understand it — a new update occurs.
Due to such uncertainty, it can be challenging to formulate a marketing strategy that gives desired results in the desired amount of time.
Increasing the number of Instagram followers is at the top of everyone’s goals, but when results fail to materialize, you may tread a path which may have a dead end.
Buying Followers on Instagram
Instead of strategizing a plan to gain organic Instagram followers, many buy Instagram followers.
One Google search is all that is needed to find endless services which guarantee an increase in the number of followers, and also in the number of likes on your posts, for a very small price.
The average price for 50 likes is less than one USD and less than fifty USD for 10,000 likes! Gaining followers is not much pricier than this either.
We did a quick Google search with the phrase ‘buy Instagram followers’ to find out how much it costs, and here is what we found when we clicked on the first ad:
|NUMBER OF FOLLOWERS||PRICE|
When such a large number of likes and followers can be purchased online for meager amounts, it is no surprise that so many people end up doing it.
You can opt for just a little boost or make a huge following as per your desire, and its available with no work or marketing, not even content!
But does this even work?
Here is a breakdown of what happens when you buy Instagram followers.
The first red-flag should be that buying Instagram followers is against Instagram’s Community Guidelines. The platform does not support dishonest methods to attract followers or boost engagement.
Moreover, since 2014, Instagram has been scanning for fishy accounts which spam the platform and then bans them.
Instagram attempts to create a platform that has authentic content and connections, and spamming accounts, fake followers, and purchased likes are all things which make Instagram remove accounts and deactivate them.
The second point to consider is that these accounts do not contribute anything to your marketing strategy.
To most people, the number of Instagram followers decides how popular you are. In simple words, it indicates how many people know about you and actively want to know more about your brand.
But bought followers do not like or comment on posts, since they are mostly inactive accounts and utterly unconcerned with your brand. They can never be leads or potential customers.
What is the point of followers if they cannot generate business for you? They do not do anything for your brand. They are only a number on a screen with no value whatsoever in real life.
Thirdly, bought Instagram followers defeat the whole purpose of having followers since they do not engage with your brand.
Services that sell followers do not guarantee engagement since these accounts are all bots or spam accounts that do not have an actual person running them.
The latest Instagram algorithm decides popularity based on engagement. This means that the more likes and comments a post receives, the more likely it is to appear in the discover section, also known as the Explore page.
The Explore page is important for any growing brand, as it helps you to reach out to a new audience and seek their engagement.
Since fake Instagram followers do not do anything to boost your social media presence, the Instagram algorithm does not pick up on your posts.
Lastly, these fake followers can ruin the reputation of your brand.
Potential followers are likely to be discouraged from following you if they notice a huge disparity between the number of followers and the likes on your post — an obvious giveaway that your followers aren’t real.
Further, these fake accounts often spam your posts, making you look even less credible and diminishing your chances of getting real followers.
Buying Instagram followers defeats the whole purpose of having followers since instead of attracting more of an audience, they make you lose potential business.
Other than buying Instagram followers and likes, bots can be hired to engage with other accounts.
Bots basically run on artificial intelligence, which has its drawbacks.
In an attempt to get people to follow you back, bots start following thousands of accounts. They like and comment, but lack the sympathy and understanding to engage correctly and fruitfully, making your presence on the platform rather awkward.
Why you need to Gain Organic Instagram Followers
Followers engage, like, and comment with your posts. They give important feedback to your brand, as well as help with marketing strategies.
Instagram decides the popularity of a post, not based strictly on likes, but on the basis of likes on a post relative to the number of followers an account has.
Your engagement rate can be calculated as given:
Number of Likes on Comments on a post/Number of Followers = Engagement Rate
This kind of engagement only comes with active and real followers. A real audience comprising of organic Instagram followers is, thus, what makes a brand grow.
A good marketing strategy is one that identifies the importance of a loyal base of Instagram followers who are truly invested in your brand. The right course of action is to create meaningful relationships with your followers and turn them into real customers.
They are leads which will actually convert to customers and bring in real cash.
Organic followers generate traffic and attract more views since they make content more likely to be discovered.
Things to keep in mind when you formulate your Marketing Strategy
- As per Statista, Instagram Mobile Ad revenue went up from approximately $2B in 2016 to an estimated $7B in 2018.
- 70% of Instagram posts don’t get seen and you need to utilize stories and ads to increase the engagement of your page since the algorithm decides popularity based on past engagements of your page.
- According to Sprout Social, users engage more on weekdays on Instagram than on weekends; so keep that in mind when you post.
You don’t need to buy Followers!
To truly excel at marketing through Instagram, you need patience and a constantly evolving marketing strategy that you keep reworking relentlessly.
Your aim must be to share relevant, useful and entertaining content to gain fans and followers who actually enjoy your content and spend time on your page.
Another great way to engage your audience is to respond to them when they comment under your posts, encourage them to tag their friends and share your posts.
You can also make use of the new Ad feature on Instagram to give your brand a boost.
Your plans should involve long-term and sustainable efforts to gain organic Instagram followers who are real people.
The article was originally published here.