Should You Pay For Your Followers? My POV

It’s tempting for sure…Buying followers on Instagram when every blogger and small business seem to have more followers than you.  They have thousands and thousands of comments and likes on their posts. How are you even supposed to compete?

I can’t help but think, how the hell did they do that(?) when I come across an account with over 20K followers. How long did it take them to get there? Did this happen naturally or did they pay for it?

So I did some research on the costs of paying for followers and likes and the results were interesting:

  • According to 2016 data, buying Instagram followers in bulk (instantly) averages at $2.95 for 100 followers to $250 for 50,000 followers. Alternatively, bot automation where bots will like comment and follow based on hashtags or geolocation will be fees ranging from $2.99 per day to $99.99 for 30 days.
  • There are many cheap services you can use to buy Instagram followers. For about $6 USD, you can get 500 followers, and for about $10 USD, you can get 1,000 followers. The vast majority of these purchasable followers, however, are either bots or inactive accounts.
  • Services like “Buy Instagram Followers” claim to offer genuine followers for sale, as well as the opportunity to purchase “likes” on your photos. Be warned, though, charges are steep: 1,000 followers will cost you $90, while 20,000 followers will set you back a whopping $1,800.

Now, let me be clear, I am not knocking on paying for followers.  I completely understand if this is the route one chooses to take to build their following and brand. It’s indeed very attractive and inspiring to come across an account with a massive following. However, the experts say followers do not always equate to sales as expressed in this Hootsuite article. The same goes for engagement rates.

As I work to grow my business, I find it an exciting challenge to organically grow my following.  It’s allowing me to engage, build relationships and learn from other bloggers, something I wouldn’t necessarily be doing as actively if I was using a bot.  Plus, I’d rather not shell out that money and spend it on other tools that have proved results.  Now, that’s not to say I don’t have my frustrations when I wake up to see I gained one follower overnight, or there was even a decrease. So, I am making it a habit to do the following on the daily since I can’t just sit back and wait.  I know I have to put in the hard work.

  1. Post up to 40 comments a day on other people’s Instagram posts that are relevant to my brand (mostly wine and healthy lifestyle accounts).  I make sure to read their entire post before I comment, even the ones that are 5 paragraphs long. I don’t just look at the picture and pretend to care. Participating in a few Instagram PODS has been extremely helpful too!
  2. Search for and like relevant hashtags (such as “#wine” “#roseallday” “#winetasting”) at least twice a day.
  3. Post at least once a day.  This has been the most challenging for me.  As long as I tie it back to, is this something my friends would find interesting and share out?  If the answer is yes, I am comfortable and feel good about posting it.

So what are your thoughts on this one?  I would love to hear from you so drop me a line here in the comments or shoot me an email at carley@veggiesandvino.com

Bonus points: If there is anyone that has paid for a third party service to collect followers, likes, comments, etc I would REALLY love to hear from you and get your POV.  I think we can all agree we’re still learning in this process and sharing is caring!

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