Being an influencer is a pretty awesome job. You get paid to talk about stuff you love, you get free stuff, you’re your own boss… What’s not to love? Oh, right: Long hours, high startup costs, and it may be YEARS before you hit it big, if you ever do. That can make it pretty tempting to give in to paying for more followers and likes, so brands and social media users will start taking notice.
We’re here to tell you: Don’t buy your likes and followers. Don’t use Instagram Pods to increase your subscriber engagement and beat the Instagram algorithm. Don’t. Seriously. Here’s why.
BRANDS CAN TELL IF YOUR FOLLOWERS ARE GENUINE
Thanks to sites like SocialBlade and Instacheck.io, it’s easy to analyze a channel’s growth, number of likes + comments, and the strength of subscriber engagement on posts. Retailers & brands are growing increasingly cautious about sponsorships, partnerships, and PR samples, because they want a return on their investment.
If you have a lot of followers, but not a lot of comments or likes, that’s a huge hint that your followers are paid. If you have a lot of likes and comments, but the comments have seemingly nothing to do with the posts they’re on, that’s another hint. If your follower count goes up in huge chunks with no plateaus or gradual rises/falls, yup, another hint.
It’s also super simple to click on followers’ profiles to see if they’ve got any actual content, or are just dead accounts from “follower farms”. Brands will carefully monitor your subscriber count to subscriber engagement ratio to see if your followers are genuine.
IT’S NOT SUSTAINABLE
If you monitor your subscriber counts, you’ll see that there’s a natural rise and fall – sometimes you lose some followers, but usually you gain. Totally normal. No one ever DOESN’T lose followers sometimes!
YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc all regularly cull fake accounts, both because of real users flagging them, and because they have sophisticated software (and dedicated staffers) that finds and deletes fakes. So if you buy your followers, and suddenly half (or all) that disappears, you’re right back where you started.
IT WON’T MAKE YOU ANY MONEY
Fake followers aren’t going to click your links and buy products you recommend. They can’t. They don’t actually exist. Sorry. They won’t get you any ad revenue, they won’t earn you commissions, they won’t actually do anything for you. Just having a high follower count won’t induce real people to follow you.
YOU ONLY GET ONE REPUTATION
There are countless social media stars who have fallen from grace when a scandal happens – we won’t name any names, but you know who we’re talking about. Once your name is tarnished, it’s really hard to rebuild your rep. It’s better to naturally, organically increase your following through good ol’ fashioned hard work. It might take longer for you to reach internet stardom, but you’ll know you did it the honest way.