No doubt, you will have seen advertisements implying you can top up your social media following by hundreds or thousands simply in minutes. Does it sound too good to be true? Well, that’s because it is! Buying followers may seem like the smart way to grow, but as most who’ve purchased followers will tell you, buying them only leads to social media heartbreak. In this article, we will debunk the reasons why buying your Instagram followers will lead to fewer followers in the long run, and why this simple action is a social media marketing nightmare. The following is fake When you buy Instagram followers, you aren’t purchasing a genuine following. The accounts that follow you are real in the sense that they physically exist on Instagram, however, the person you see on the feed isn’t the person behind the account. Fake followers have similar attributes: the images on the feed are generic or stock images; the pictures are stolen from other accounts; the names appear weird and randomised, and they don’t have many of their own followers. Fake followers don’t engage If the following is fake, then what is the point? Fake followers don’t engage with your content; just because you have an inflated following, it doesn't mean you will experience an increase in video viewership, post likes, or engagement through stories. Especially for brands who sell online and look to use Instagram to expand their customer base, fake followers serve no purpose in converting customers or making sales. While it may seem handy to have a long list of followers on your Instagram account, if they aren’t buying what you’re selling, their following is meaningless. Instagram may block you Instagram is a fickle beast, but one thing we do know about its algorithm is that it doesn’t favour fake followers and accounts that purchase likes and followers. Though this system isn't illegal, it is against Instagram’s user guidelines, and if caught, your account can be suspended for days, weeks, and even indefinitely. If Instagram doesn’t catch you, you may still notice issues with your following. Instagram regularly culls fake followers, weeding out those it suspects of being fake. What results for you is unexplained dips in your following, which can look questionable from the customer’s perspective You won’t see growth What we know about social media is that the more you post, and the more likes your posts attract, the more Instagram refers followers to your account. However, this isn’t the case for fake followers, and it seems to have the opposite reaction. Those who buy followers notice a drop in their organic following and posts that might have been picked up on the explore page no longer feature predominantly. The use of hashtags also become irrelevant, as Instagram has preferred another account which has built a following through credible Instagram marketing techniques. You can’t choose your fake followers On most purchasing platforms, you can’t choose the specifics of your followers. There is usually no option to select location-based followers, gender-based followers or age-based followers, either. What results is a smattering of fake followers from a variety of demographics, and your following could be opposite to the target market you need. Additionally, you have a very unreliable set of statics about your account. With such a varied following, you experience warped figures about who your demographic really is, how they engage, and where they are from, playing havoc with your Instagram marketing efforts. Does the idea of fake followers tempt you? Contact us directly to understand how to grow your Instagram following the right way!