Earlier this year, I talked about Instagram best practices. What I’m about to talk about in today’s post is quite possibly my biggest pet peeve when it comes to social media and bloggers: buying followers/likes on Instagram.
This is a topic that even my non-blogger friends know I hate with a passion. Quite frankly, I hate it so much that I even included it on my list in a recent post called 25 Most Trivial Hills I Would Die On! Today, I’m going to give you five reasons why you should never buy Instagram followers or likes.
If I get a little heated in this post, it proves that I’m that passionate about it so I’m not sorry. Why buying followers is so BAD?
Well, from the perspective of Huong, this is why:
- Loss of integrity – Let me tell you one thing. It’s hard to find honest people these days to be friends with, much less a blogger/business you trust. Integrity isn’t just about morals and principles. It’s about the level of trust. Buying Instagram followers and/or likes knocks you down about ten pegs. Oh and just so you know, the integrity scale ranges from 0-10, so if you’re at the top, you’re now at the bottom in my book.
- Lost of trust – Speaking of trust, here’s the truth. Never buy Instagram followers or likes because it makes you lose trust with your audience. How can you go from 100 to 1000 followers in a few days or in a week and expect people NOT to get suspicious on how your following increased? I consider buying followers/likes a form of cheating/lying. The truth will come out and you will be caught with your pants on fire.
- Your identity as a business/blogger is tainted – Once it’s been revealed that you’re dishonest, your image is forever shattered. This goes back to point #2. It takes a long time to build your reputation and trust with your audience again. Is this what you really want? I certainly hope not. What I’m about to tell you is a true story. I follow this fashion/beauty blogger on Instagram and liked her a lot. She’s funny, gives great beauty recommendations and always seems happy and positive. Someone’s positive vibes in itself warrants a follow, right? It wasn’t until I found a source that said she buys her followers. “No. It can’t be! She’s so lovely, real and awesome!” I thought. I checked her account on a social media resource to make sure that source was telling the truth. It was right there in black and white. She purchased followers in the four digit range and recently too! The way I think about her has now changed. Sadly, I may even unfollow her too. I haven’t decided yet, but I’ve stopped liking and commenting her posts since I found out.
- Fewer business opportunities – Two words: SOCIAL BLADE. This is the very website I used to check on the blogger in the story I just talked about. If I feel that someone I’m newly following is buying followers, I’ll check on this site and if that person is, I hit the unfollow button. Fast. As a follower, if I don’t like the way you operate, what makes you think businesses with integrity will? If you get found out, trust me when I say that word will travel. You don’t think you’ll be put on a “do not work with” list? Think again. People talk to people. It’s not uncommon. Oh and if you work in PR and want to work with bloggers you’ve been watching and don’t know about this handy website, go and check it out yourself. Sadly, you may be surprised at what some of the current “influencers” you’re working with have been doing too.
- You become a spammer-ish – I think this point depends on which service you use to buy followers. I say this because I usually get a flurry of fake accounts following me within a close time period. That makes me wonder. Why am I getting fake accounts following me all of the sudden? Maybe it’s because the service you used may be sending out “pushes” to follow all the accounts you follow. How is that respectful to your audience who chose to follow you in the first place? It’s not. And I’m looking at you, online entrepreneurs! It’s easy to figure out who’s buying followers when it comes to you guys. Your fancy clothes, cars and homes isn’t a good enough reason to make me want to follow you. Just sayin’.
As someone who has worked hard this year to grow her blog and following, it’s very frustrating to see this kind of behavior happening in social media. I know it’s still going to happen and until Instagram/Facebook comes up with a better solution (I know they’re working on it), I’m going to stay transparent with my audience.
If you’re in the same boat and have been tempted to buy your following, don’t. I feel you. I’ve been tempted myself. Don’t give in. Keep working hard because I promise you that someone will notice your integrity as much as the content you work hard to create!
What are your reasons on why you would never buy Instagram followers or likes?
How do you feel about bloggers/businesses buying Instagram followers or likes? Do you consider this cheating or an action that someone does just to give themselves a little leg up? Let me know your reasons/thoughts too!