Is buying followers on Instagram legal?
Updated: Apr 25, 2021
If you want to show the world that your business is unethical, this is the easiest way to do so.
When you're just starting out with your business, the temptation is always going to be there to take the 'easy route'. And whilst buying followers, or joining pods etc may seem like a clever idea, I promise you that people are pretty savvy these days to these sorts of practices and will judge your business as being unethical in its approach to business.
Running a business takes time, effort and patience
I say this all the time, and I'm pretty sure I'll continue to say it until the end of my days, running a business is NOT easy. There are no shortcuts in creating a successful business. Please believe this. There is a reason 60% of small businesses fail within the first 3 years.
When I see an account that has 10,000 followers on Instagram for example, and the posts only get a handful of engagements, it's pretty much guaranteed that that account has 'fake followers' or has engaged in follow loops, pods and other dodgy tactics.
Having 10,000 followers that don't engage on your content, don't buy your products or services is as useful as men having moobs.
If you are serious about your business and plan on still running it in a year or two years time, then doing things the right way will set you up for success. Buying followers and fake engagement will not.
Rather than damaging your business/brand reputation by resorting to these tactics, make sure you have identified your ideal client. Make sure your profile/BIO is optimised for the social media platforms you have chosen to use. Ensure you're using the right platforms to reach your ideal client, and build up your knowledge on how to use your chosen platforms correctly. Target your identified ideal clients by researching the hashtags they would be using (Instagram, Twitter primarily). Spend actual time engaging with their content, liking, commenting etc.
Building your audience with people who are genuinely interested in your content, products and services will be tiresome and seem like an impossible task, however, whilst society may live in an 'instant gratification world, business doesn't I'm afraid. It still takes the average small business owner between 18-24 months to become profitable on a regular monthly basis. So if you are looking for a quick win, starting up your own business may not be for you.
I provide 1:1 and workshop training on LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook for a mere £49! These training sessions are designed to give you the information you need to ensure you are getting the best out of your social media efforts.
But remember, like any training, someone can give you the information you need, but unless you put the time and effort into it, you're better off using your money to buy some wine and cheese.
So Is buying followers on Instagram illegal?
Well yes. It goes against Instagrams community guidelines and specifically: "Foster meaningful and genuine interactions. Help us stay spam-free by not artificially collecting likes, followers, or shares, posting repetitive comments or content, or repeatedly contacting people for commercial purposes without their consent. Don’t offer money or giveaways of money in exchange for likes, followers, comments or other engagement. Don’t post content that engages in, promotes, encourages, facilitates, or admits to the offering, solicitation or trade of fake and misleading user reviews or ratings. You don’t have to use your real name on Instagram, but we do require Instagram users to provide us with accurate and up to date information. Don't impersonate others and don't create accounts for the purpose of violating our guidelines or misleading others."
So there you have it, not only is it against the community guidelines but it's also a silly business decision if you're serious about your brand.
Don't buy followers!
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