I wanted to see what it does for your image/followers/numbers if you buy followers. So I bought followers and likes on Instagram. It cost me 20 dollar. And what exactly did I get?
YES, I knew I was buying fake accounts (but not certain) and YES I knew this was a risk and not good for certain reasons, namely:
– my reputation (OMG she’s SO fake, she BOUGHT her followers)
– my love rate (that’s the percentage of number of average likes on your pics divided through the number of followers)
I had 990 followers on Instagram.
I bought 1500 followers on a website I found through Google. I cannot find it again now (they probably come and go), so just Google ‘buy real Instagram followers’ and you will see a lot of services. After paying 15 dollars (it said ‘best option’, for 25 dollars I could have bought 2500 followers, was that no good?) and within the next 24 hours, I got all these 1500 followers. Three weeks later and I now have 2712 followers.
These are indeed fake-accounts. They don’t ‘live’, aka they do not like nor comment, but they look real. You can still recognize them: these accounts have weird names, they do have an average profile pic and follow a lot of people. So far the same as any account. They do not have (m)any followers, mostly 0 to 5, they do not post pics, mostly no more than 1 tot 10 pics already there. These pics are randomly picked from the web.
After I bought the followers I wanted more, more! I thought that if one of my pics got on the popular page, I would get more fans. After all, the pics on Instagram’s popular page are not the best ones, right? So I bought 500 likes for 5 dollars from the same service for one of my already popular pics (60 likes, which is a lot for me). The likes came within a couple of hours. I got 562 likes in total on this pic from my son Mauro and his friends.
– Buying followers worked a little bit for my image: I got more followers faster than before. In the past 3 weeks I got 200 new followers where as I got a dozen in this same time slot before.
Note: I also gave a presentation to over 200 (starting) bloggers from which I got more followers than usual.
So when people see that I have 2500 followers they think it’s worth to follow me more than when I had 990 followers. Mission one accomplished.
– My Klout score went up from 67 to 68 and it looks like it stays there. Klout can’t determine they are fake accounts. A failure from Klout, in my opinion, but very difficult to undermine. (Update december 2014 > maybe Klout also examines engagement rates from Instagram, like the love and the talkrate)
– The likes did NOTHING. To get on the popular page you need thousands of likes so I should have bought much more than 500. Will do that if I have the guts. (Update: the popular page is the explore page now and totally controlled by an algorithm of Instagram, hashtags are your only way now to have control over new followers).
– My loverate and talkrate a.k.a. engagement is lower than before, because these fake-account don’t like and comment. Not that good, but not a terrible thing.
– I haven’t got any bad comments from people (yet) nor have I been banned from my beloved Instagram (yet).
Am I happy? Yes? Would I recommend this strategy? No, but I would not lie that it could work for your image. Are there any REAL services to get more followers that you know of? Let me know! There was an article about Instagram scams from the Android app Instlike, check it out on Mashable.
Update june 2104:
Testing the tool Instagress that promisses REAL followers.
Buying followers got me new followers faster, but it also brought down my love- and talkrate. When I followed an Instagram Marketing webinar, they recommended the tool Instagress. I tested it. It is a tool that will like and/or comment automatically on accounts you don’t follow yet based on hashtags you choose. You can also choose the option that you will start to follow accounts automatically. And agreed: it is pretty scary. Instagress is free for 3 days and after that you have to pay.
In the three days this was the result:
– Likes done 3041
– Comments done 811
– Follows done 974
Number of people that followed me because of the above actions (in the period of a week) 250
So was it worth it? The accounts following me are real. Some even engage with me. But the automatic commenting option was a bit scary. I got one comment back saying: thanks, but this is a video. Apparently the comment ‘nice pic’ was placed under a video. OOPS. And there are a lot of crap pics now in my timeline, so I am unfollowing the ones again who do not follow back and that is a lot of work.
Decide for yourself: https://instagress.com/
Update november 2014
There are a lot of apps now like ‘Get followers‘ where you receive coins for following people and spent those coins when people start to follow you through the app. So those are real followers and you earn them by following people. But you can buy coins too, for real money. And you can also receive coins by doing things the app tells you so, for example looking at a video from an advertiser or clicking on a link. It also says that if you unfollow the persons you just started to follow within the next 6 days you loose your coins again. Smart. Interesting. But small chance that those new people are actually interested in you, so bad again for your engagement rate.
Update 18 december 2014
Instagram deleted my 1500 fake followers and they did so with every inactive and/or spam account, so a lot of people have less followers now. I have to come up with a new killer blog post on buying followers. Curious as to when Instagram will do a clean-up again. Most people that got hit, still have loads of followers, because they bought them a while ago and they grew faster with real followers after that. @Negin_Mirsalehi lost less than 100.000 followers and Justin Bieber lost 3,5 million. But they’ve got loads so that did not hurt much.
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Check out my other popular articles in english:
Visual and Social Commerce through Instagram and Pinterest
10 tips to become an Instagram PRO
How to become more popular yourself (personal branding online)
Pins that work best on Pinterest: what do you have to do to gain more followers on Pinterest?