It can be tempting, but is there ever really a valuable reason to buy Instagram likes? Short answer: no.
We’re going to explain why this is the case, and why brands are using Growthoid to get Instagram likes instead.
Instagram’s algorithmic patterns have had businesses and influencers up in arms; they feel that over time it’s become more challenging to get enough views and likes or comments on their posts. Because Instagram’s algorithm is always evolving and actively listening to the patterns of users, there has been more of a fight to gain likes and engagements with content.
Even still, Instagram is one of the most popular platforms among businesses and influencers, with over 1 billion active users and 90% of users following at least one business account. There are plenty of users vying for engagements, and it seems to have a simple formula: grow your following, post great content, get lots of engagement and make money.
While that is in essence the idea of Instagram for influencers and businesses, it doesn’t always come as easy. With increased competition, users looking to maximize Instagram for money-making purposes have resorted to less than savory practices, among them, being buying likes for Instagram.
There’s a reason why services that sell likes have remained in business, but they aren’t necessarily the best way to grow your account. It seems like a quick-fix shortcut, but can actually have negative effects on your account.
Here we’ll examine how to buy Instagram likes, why people buy likes, reasons you should avoid buying likes, and some alternatives such as Growthoid to supplement your desire to grow your account’s engagement.
How to Buy Instagram Likes
Two of the worst ways to grow your following quickly can be described as:
- Using fake accounts (either purchased or created by yourself) to like your account’s content.
- Paying for bot services that use automation to engage with accounts for like/follow/comment back.
The first method is pretty time-consuming and is inconvenient, so many businesses and influencers resort to paying for likes. There are many services that deliver likes to your account, and some of them, like Buzzoid, sells them to you for as low as $1.47! That would get you 50 likes, which can be split across multiple photos.
This idea, at first glance, seems attractive. Why wouldn’t a business or influencer want it to appear that many people are liking what they post?
Sure, it will appear as though people are. But since engagement is the key to conversion and business growth, faking likes is pretty much as useful as pretending to put gasoline in your car. It won’t get you very far.
Another downside to this strategy is that it’s not hard for your target audience to tell that these engagements are fake. Most of these likes will be from accounts that are run by bots or totally fake, with no followers or no content. When users in your target audience notice this, it’ll become clear that these are all fake followers, and discredit your content.
The second method, using Instagram bots and automation to grow your following and engagement, is equally as bad, and can even be worse. Packages like this depend on the “follow for follow” and “like for like” method of engaging with accounts in your target audience and then expecting them to take action on your account. Bots and Instagram automation services do this automatically so that you don’t have to.
Because followed-to-follower ratio matters, nobody wants to have an account with 5,000 followers who is following 7,000. So, bots will basically go back and unfollow all of the accounts that were followed in the process of trying to gain followers and engagements.
For example, if your bot liked account X, it will wait a few days, hoping account X will follow you back. Then, it will go back and unfollow account X.
This can be seen as an unethical practice because it is, in essence, tricking users into following you. Not only that, many users have caught onto this practice, and will be highly unlikely to give you a follow back if it appears that your account is just simply using a bot to follow people.
Sometimes, bots will use comments or other engagements like DMs to contact users, and while perhaps a little bit more personal that a simple follow or like, it’s still very easy to see when a generic comment was left by a bot. Users are turned off by this and are highly unlikely to see your account in a positive light, let alone engage or follow you.
There are endless comment wars on many Instagram profiles calling out bots and inauthentic activity; not only that, imagine if your generic bot comment gets placed on a photo in which it would be inappropriate to say that? A relatively somber post about losing a job would be a horrible occasion for your brand to comment, “awesome! Love it.”
All in all, it’s a really bad look for your brand image to use these types of services.
Why You Shouldn’t Buy Instagram Likes
I’m sure by now we can see some of the negative context with buying Instagram likes, but we’re going to analyze three main reasons that will definitely make you want to avoid giving into the temptation of buying Instagram Likes.
Reason 1: It Ruins Your Engagement
It’s not an uncommon phenomenon for accounts to see a slight decrease in engagement as their follower count grows. Even still, it’s not hard to determine when an account has a really unhealthy and suspicious rate of followers to engagement.
Let’s say an account has 18k followers. On average, the account gets 60 likes per photo. This is literally not even a 1% engagement rate. It’s very easy to see that this person has purchased followers at some point.
So now, you’ve got a bunch of fake followers that don’t engage, and it perpetuates a very vicious cycle of trying to match your engagement with likes. You will not be able to keep up with this dilemma long-term; it will end up costing you time, money, and actually bring you very little business ROI.
Conversely, if an account has 10k followers and has 7k likes on a photo, this is also a disproportionate ratio, and while they may not have purchased followers, it’s pretty clear that they have purchased likes. It becomes even more apparent when there are a lot of likes, but very few comments. All in all, it’s not difficult to spot when people are paying for followers and engagements.
So, the easiest two ways to identify accounts that use purchased likes or followers include:
- Looking at who follows the account. If a majority of the followers have hardly any activity on their account with inconsistent follower ratios, it’s likely they are purchased followers. Things like no followers, little to no posts, very old posting history, and high number of followed accounts all represent fake followers. Also, if any companies that sell fans are following the account, it’s likely they’ve been involved in some way.
- Checking engagement numbers. If the account has any of the skewed ratios that we mentioned above, it’s likely that they are buying likes or followers.
Reason 2: Instagram Can Take Action Against Your Account if You Buy Likes or Followers
One of Instagram’s main goals is to provide an authentic, genuine experience for users of the platform. When bots interfere with this, it compromises the user experience, therefore going against Instagram’s goal. Instagram will take action against accounts that use these services, and many of the services themselves have been shut down or destroyed because Instagram has discovered their unsavory practices.
Not only that, Instagram deletes fake followers and likes themselves. So, if you buy these, there is no guarantee that they will even stay there. Regular users and celebrities alike suffered drops in followers in the thousands when Instagram began to hunker down on the purchase of followers and likes.
Don’t put your account in risk, don’t lose your investment, and don’t trust companies that are likely to be out of business in the near future anyway.
Reason 3: Fake Followers and Likes Give Zero ROI
The goal of businesses and influencers on Instagram is to make money, to convert followers into partners, sponsors, clients, or participants. Conversion is the key to doing this, and ultimately fake followers will never, ever be able serve this purpose.
The only thing that fake followers do is make it appear that your brand has more clout than it actually does. In terms of producing results, the likelihood is slim to none.
And yes, numbers do play a role in how users view your brand or business; however, that’s not to say that a high follower count or high engagement amount will automatically bring your partnerships and business.
Even if a partner does decide to work with you based on your numbers from purchased followers and likes, it’s a lot harder to maintain your brand image and values over time. None of those followers will actually care about your content, your partner will see little results from working with you, and will sooner rather than later realize that you’ve been using shady Instagram growth measures.
Brands don’t only look at follower count, by the way. They also look at engagement. So, again, even if you buy Instagram likes, if your comments are low, they’ll notice something is up. If you get hardly any DMs, or if your Instagram stories or posts never get shared, they’ll notice. All of these metrics hold value in whether or not a brand wants to partner with you, and these numbers are basically impossible to fabricate and sustain if you’re buying followers or likes.
In the end, the message is this: a large fake following with no interaction does far less for you than a smaller, more active, and engaged community will.
Why Do People Buy Instagram Likes?
You may now be thinking, okay, so if buying likes or followers is so bad, why do people still do it?
There are a variety of reasons why people may buy Instagram likes or followers, but that doesn’t mean that you have to. Let’s take a look at what some of those reasons may be.
- They don’t know any better. People who are just starting out on the platform or new to technology for business growth may have no idea that buying likes and followers can damage their account. They may be too naive in how the platform works to realize that nowadays, buying likes is frowned upon and easy to recognize. It’s better to do some research on social media strategy before deciding to pollute your profile with a bunch of purchased likes and followers.
- They’re desperate. Sometimes, when people have already opened up the can of worms, they can find themselves in big trouble with their purchased followers. If an account purchased a bunch of fake followers, eventually their likes and comments will suffer. Once they start to see that, they’ll begin to buy Instagram likes and comments and so on. This is a vicious cycle, as we mentioned earlier, that you’ll never get out of unless you stop purchasing these things altogether and clean up your account. It’s a terrible place to be and it can end up costing you a lot of money and lost business.
- They’re in denial. Some people just don’t want to do the work to build a healthy Instagram following, and want to believe that these services can actually do some good. Unfortunately, over time, they will see with their results that they didn’t provide any value to their accounts and will eventually have to give up, get caught in the cycle, or change their strategy.
- They want a quick boost. Potentially the most dangerous, sometimes people just want a few extra likes or followers to round off all of the hard work that they’ve been doing. Resist! This is terrible because these fake followers skew your Instagram insights, making it harder to determine which posts are actually performing well. This can be a detriment to growing your Instagram and finding out what is working well on your account.
Organic Instagram Growth
Well, if we can’t buy Instagram followers, what’s the alternative? The term organic Instagram growth was coined to describe the process of building your Instagram following and engagements in an authentic way.
This will lead to much more conversion, ROI, and collaborative partnerships than fake followers and likes ever would.
So, how can we grow organically? There are a variety of strategies that we can use to facilitate organic Instagram growth. Before we wrap up this post, we’ll give you some tips on how to grow your Instagram organically.
Tip 1: Produce Great Content
One of the most surefire ways to obtain a massive Instagram following is to produce engaging, visually stimulating, unique content.
This seems like a massive feat, but actually, it can be simpler than you might think.
Some ways to maintain great content production include:
- Sticking to one aesthetic. When a user looks at your account, there should be a cohesive and visually pleasing aesthetic. Content, color scheme, and filters all play into this. Keep your aesthetic aligned with your brand image and your profile will look very professional.
- Using content pillars. Content pillars help to keep your content aligned with your brand image. Make sure that your content is relevant and connected to your purpose, and choose a few topics or main content features to include when shooting your content. It’s even better if you shoot all of your content for the week over the course of a day or two as it helps to stay more consistent.
- Implement photography skills. The better your content is in terms of photography, the better it will be received. That doesn’t mean you have to go and take a bunch of photography courses and buy the top-of-the-line cameras. Nowadays, the standard iPhone with some lighting adjustments produces incredible photos. It does mean, however, that you should be mindful of basic photography when shooting content. Use light in a productive way, think about your image composition and subject, consider negative space, and again, remember your aesthetics. Filters and editing can also be used to enhance images.
- Write captivating captions. Your words matter and they speak to your followers. Use engaging captions that showcase who you are, what your content means, and why your followers should care. Use humor and personality to even further engage. Use a call-to-action like asking your followers a question, or to tag a friend. These are all great ways to enhance your content.
All in all, you’ve got to set yourself apart and have a defined brand image through your content. The connecting thread in all of these methods for great content all come back to consistency. Keep your image consistent across everything you post on Instagram, from your bio, to your photos, to your captions, to your Instagram stories– everything. This defines you and defines your profile.
Tip 2: Use Hashtags
Now that you’ve got great content, how can you get more people to see them? You can’t get likes or follows if you don’t increase your reach.
The first thing you should do is make sure your account is public. If your account is private, you’ve effectively limited yourself in getting more likes and comments on your posts. It can also be a deterrent for people to follow you because they don’t want to have to wait and be accepted to see what you have to offer. It’s vital that you use your account publicly.
Once your account is public, you can begin to maximize your hashtag use. How many hashtags to use is debatable, but around 11 hashtags is said to be a good starting place. Instagram allows you up to 30.
The key to using hashtags effectively on Instagram is mostly dependent on using the correct ones. You want to use hashtags that are connected to your brand, ones that your target audience is likely to follow or be interested in viewing.
Let’s imagine that your business is a local restaurant in New Orleans, LA. A hashtag like #goodfood may be too general to actually make a connection with people in your target audience; it’s way too general, and since there are many posts that use that hashtag, your post will be pushed down in the hashtag feed pretty quickly, becoming less likely to be viewed.
If you use one that’s more specific, like #eatnola, you’ll have a lot more of a chance to get your content seen, as it’s more specific to your niche and has less posts that are uploaded with that hashtag.
So, what happens after you post content with a hashtag?
Your post, as long as your account is public, will appear in the hashtag feed. Anyone who looks up #eatnola or follows that hashtag will see your post. This is the best way to maximize reach without using any services like bots or automation.
You’ve got to do some testing to see which hashtags bring the best performance to your posts, and this is exactly why you don’t want any fake followers muddying up your insights. Test out some hashtags, see how many and which ones bring you the most success. Also, check out similar competitor accounts and see which hashtags they’re using. That can help you mold a strategy of your own.
Tip 3: Optimize Your Workflow
Running an Instagram account and working on it’s growth can be a super long and tedious process which requires your focus on many moving parts. It can sometimes become overwhelming, so know which tools exist out there to help streamline your workflow, save time, and give you peace of mind in the process.
One great tool to look into is scheduling your Instagram posts with an Instagram scheduler. This helps you to save time and view all of your content in one place before posting it. Not only that, you don’t have to be waiting by the phone to post your content at your scheduled posting time. You can upload it and prepare it with captions and all in the scheduler, and then it will go live at it’s scheduled time. Excellent!
When choosing a scheduler, be sure to check out their features as some of them offer different things. Ultimately, you should choose one that has an interface you feel comfortable with and that includes the most vital features within your price range.
Another amazing tool for Instagram growth is Growthoid. If you really find yourself struggling to build your following and engage with other accounts, Growthoid is the best alternative to bot-run services that are based around automation.
Growing followers by hand can be incredibly time-consuming, tedious work. When there are so many aspects of your account to focus on, it’s difficult to worry about this and keep a clear mind. That’s where Growthoid comes in.
Basically, Growthoid will engage with accounts in your target audience and help to build your followers and increase engagements by hand. Yes, manually. You will be assigned an account manager who will take down all of your targeting details, and once you give them that, they’ll handle the rest just as you would!
This is revolutionary because it does the work that you’d need to do, but takes it out of your hands and puts it into those of a designated account manager. Using a manual account manager is 100x better than automation; it actually provides your account with organic followers, likes, and comments. It also won’t get your account flagged and minimizes the chance of inappropriate automatic comments on your target audience members’ posts.
It’s important to use tools like these to help keep focus on producing amazing content and finding new strategies to engage our audience.
At No Cost Should You Buy Instagram Likes
Don’t waste your time and money trying to fool your audience and potential partners into thinking that you have a lot of activity and followers on your Instagram. This will provide no results, generate no real interest in your brand, and provide no financial benefits.
Instead, focus your energy on building real Instagram growth through authentic interactions and growth practices on the platform. Focusing on things like content and hashtag strategy, and then analyzing your performance, will prove to be a much more effective and sustainable way to facilitate a healthy Instagram community of followers.
Use Instagram schedulers to provide your content to your followers at the optimal time without worry. Keep your posts consistent through tools like this.
Using an authentic, manual Instagram growth service like Growthoid can be an excellent alternative to buying likes and followers. You don’t have to worry about automation and being flagged by Instagram, and you’ll get the quality engagements that you’re looking for on the platform, saving you time and offering you peace of mind at the same time.
There are plenty of ways to facilitate Instagram growth without buying likes; resist the temptation! Opinions expressed here are the opinions of the author. Influencive does not endorse or review brands mentioned; does not and can not investigate relationships with brands, products, and people mentioned and is up to the author to disclose. VIP Contributors and Contributors, amongst other accounts and articles, are professional fee-based.