The temptation is great, I know. You see unknown people who got Instagram fame (and a fortune) in the blink of an eye. There are Instagram celebs that have millions of followers and, in the meantime, you can’t get past the 1k mark.


Couple that with the fact that you can easily buy 20k followers with as little as $10 and you’ll find it even hard to resist the messages offering you Instagram glory.


Despite my insistence, even one of my clients did that. They got 25k followers within a week. Over the course of the next month, they regretted it. Why, you ask? Some of the reasons are below:


1. Bought Instagram followers are irrelevant

Irrespective of the business you’re in, people who didn’t follow you because they wanted to will never become your fans or your clients. They’ll be just a vanity metric.


My client bought 25k followers from all over the world. Some of them don’t speak English (the language of all their posts). Most of them are from countries where their products aren’t even sold.


Instagram has more than 400 million active users every day and a lot of untapped marketing potential. Believe it or not, marketers are still flocking to Facebook mostly because they haven’t completely figured out how to master Instagram.


I have personally used Instagram to get eCommerce sales for my agency’s clients (and wrote about it). But bought followers had nothing to do with the actual ROI we generated.


2. They don’t stick around

The vast majority of the accounts that will follow you are either bots or empty accounts. And most of them get closed by Instagram.


In the case of my client, this led to a loss of 100 to 200 followers per day.


3. Your account becomes a hub for spam

The accounts that aren’t bots or fake ones typically have an “agenda.” It can be anything from sharing their political views (which are usually extremist ones) to advertising their own products.


You can expect to see comments that advertise anything from far-right platforms to sex toys. And they will all be hosted on your profile for the whole world to see.


Granted, you can delete them. But are you really online 24/7 and able to do so before anyone else sees them?


The worst thing here is that people who sell you Instagram followers will also follow some accounts from your profile. Again, you may never know whom you’re following until it’s too late.


4. You’ll get a very low engagement

While not all your purchased followers are bots or “zombie” accounts, there’s no guarantee that they are interested in your profile. You could be trying to sell women’s high-heeled shoes to soldiers.


Even if they don’t report you to Instagram for popping on their feed without them following you, you still won’t end up with much of bang for your buck. "Source: -"Despite your large number of followers, you get very few likes and comments. Which is bound to raise a few eyebrows.


5. Your reputation will suffer

A savvy marketer’s eye can easily tell if an account has bought followers or not. Do you want your competition to learn about that?


Worse, do you want your clients to find out you’re purchasing followers? No matter what business you’re in, this will definitely impact your reputation.


A long, long time ago – five years ago, to be precise, but that’s a lot in digital marketing — Lady Gaga was discovered as having bought Twitter followers. Of course she didn’t do this herself. Maybe she didn’t even know about it. But the media sure had fun covering this story.


The rules of Instagram specifically prohibit buying followers

Instagram rules specifically prohibit you to do this. You may think it’s OK as long as so many people do it. But it’s not. A typical Instagram purge can cost you as much as 50 percent of your followers. And yes, Instagram can also close your account without any warning or possibility of an appeal.


Talk about money down the drain, right?


But there’s also good news!


Instagram ads are relatively cheap. Plus, unlike Facebook, Instagram still makes it easy for you to rank organically.


You are better off investing $10-$100 (that you would have spent on buying followers) on ads and get genuine people following your brand. Plus, with the right use of hashtags, you can (still) easily grow organically.