Technology is growing at an incredible pace and can be daunting to keep up with at times. With the rise in tech comes the need for businesses to have a strong social media presence to keep up.
Instagram growth doesn’t happen overnight: well, it can (more on that later), but it shouldn’t.
If you have done research on growing a following quickly you have probably stumbled upon sites offering thousands of followers for the cost of a fast-food meal. Though these claims are technically true, the followers purchased from these sites are mostly inactive accounts and bots. They won’t like or comment on your posts and may even cause your account to get deleted.
How can your brand be negatively affected by purchasing followers? Bots are easily recognizable because they typically don’t post any content, their names are written in a language other than your own, and they follow hundreds or thousands of other accounts. If we can spot a bot, so can your organic and active followers. If a patient notices that you’ve purchased fake followers, you’ll likely lose credibility in their eyes. After all, would you have faith in a business that didn’t have faith in themselves?
The Possibility of Getting Hacked
Not only does purchasing engagement put you at risk of losing credibility, but it also increases your risk of being hacked. When starting up with a fake engagement service, you’ll be required to provide your login credentials. With those credentials, these services will often sell your information without your knowledge.
Most importantly, engagement is far more important than number of followers, because the Instagram algorithm favors accounts with high engagement. If you want your posts to show up in news feeds and on the “explore” page, you’ll want to build an organic following of folks who are interested in your brand by liking and commenting. Plus, it’s almost impossible to get true metrics when you have fake accounts following you. How can you gauge accurate data on likes and clicks when you don’t know how many are from accounts you purchased?
Finally, purchasing followers may cause your account to be suspended. Using a third-party app is against Instagram’s community guidelines, and more and more companies are having their accounts suspended or compromised than ever before. Technology is growing at an exponential rate, and Instagram’s elaborate algorithms are able to track these things more closely than ever before.
Instagram Best Practices for Your Practice to Follow
So, what can you do instead?
- Post consistent, creative, personalized content.
- Engage with those who engage with you! That means following back related accounts and replying to as many comments as possible across your social platforms.
- If you have a budget to grow your following, spend it on social media marketing services!
—Kai Eldridge, Social Media Strategist, Sesame Communications