What happens when you buy Instagram likes?
Do you suddenly wake up the next morning to find that your account has been banned?
Are all of your followers instantly alerted that you’re a great big #Faker?
Or do you end up with a stronger social following (even if your wallet is a little lighter)?
Everyone says that buying likes and followers is a bad idea, but there isn’t a lot of great information out there explaining why you can’t take a shortcut when you’re striving for better IG engagement.
After all, developing a competitive Instagram following can be quite the challenge – particularly in the current era, where everyone seems to have their online strategy.
Here, we’re going to get to the bottom of what happens when you buy Instagram Likes, and why it’s a bad idea for your company.
Why Do People Buy Instagram Likes?
You may wonder why ‘Grammers would bother taking a risk on fake likes in the first place – particularly when the general consensus is that it’s a dangerous move.
The simple answer is that getting true engagement on Instagram isn’t easy.
First, it’s worth noting that over an eighth of planet earth’s population now uses Instagram – and the number keeps going up. The means that every day, you’re competing against about 95 million photos, 400 million stories, and a yet-to-be-defined number of IGTV videos.
While Instagram users do “like” an average of 4.2 billion posts per day, you’ve still got a lot of work to do if you want to make it big with your #Gram.
When you buy Instagram likes, you instantly accelerate your perceived “engagement” rates. Since engagement is the number one metric that IG tracks when it’s deciding where to place you on the Explore page, it’s one of the few things on Instagram you really can’t do without.
Engagement on Instagram and #Fake Followers
When Instagram is evaluating your account, and deciding how influential you are, it doesn’t just like at your number of likes or followers. The Instagram algorithm considers both of those metrics together.
This means that if you have 100,000 followers, but only 20 likes on each post, something is going to look wrong. The balance between followers and engagement is one of the biggest reasons why it’s so important to earn your followers authentically, rather than investing in bot accounts.
So, what’s the deal when you buy Instagram likes?
After all, it can’t be a bad thing to have too much engagement, right?
How Can You Buy Instagram Likes?
There are two popular methods that you can use to buy Instagram likes and grow a fake following fast.
We don’t recommend you use either of them, but for the sake of education, it’s possible to:
- Subscribe to a service that uses bots to “like” photos on related accounts.
- Create multiple fake accounts and use them to “like” your content.
Creating countless fake accounts is a time-consuming and tedious process that most brands just won’t have time for. What’s more, as Instagram continues to upgrade its security strategy, it’s fair to say that a number of accounts that only “like” one brand and don’t engage in any other activity are going to look suspicious.
On the other hand, when you buy Instagram likes through a service, the idea that is that you’ll generate engagement through the rule of reciprocity. In other words, if you “like” someone else’s post, they’ll be compelled to like your content in return. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always work, and you could risk your entire brand, without getting any real results.
The Issues with Buying Instagram Likes
When you buy Instagram likes instead of earning them on your own, there are only two outcomes that can happen:
- Your engagement doesn’t grow, but you’re eventually caught by Instagram and penalized
- Your engagement levels increase temporarily, but you’re ultimately caught by Instagram and punished
Either way, the risks outweigh the rewards.
Ultimately, the biggest threat of buying Instagram likes isn’t that you could end up wasting your money. It’s that you could be spending cash on a strategy that harms your brand reputation, injures your future marketing potential, and does very little for your long-term engagement.
More often than not, here’s what happens when you buy Instagram likes.
1. You Risk Your Reputation and Follower Relationships
If like most companies who buy Instagram likes, you decide to go the bot or automated route, then you’re putting your entire social strategy into the hands of a robot. Unfortunately, though artificial intelligence is getting a lot savvier, it still can’t tell grasp the concept of “context.”
Your Instagram likes bot will be there to simply “like” posts, regardless of what they’re about, or what content they show. Most services work by simply tracking a specific hashtag. This means that you risk “liking” countless posts that your brand doesn’t want to be associated with, just because a specific tag is present. Over time, these problems with context can do irreparable damage to your reputation.
2. You Get Labelled a #Faker
The non-human nature of the bots and automated accounts that dole out Instagram likes means that spotting #Fake content is incredibly easy these days. For instance, here are a few signs that your favorite brands might buy Instagram likes:
- Minimal follower activity: Look through the profiles of the account’s followers on Instagram. If their fans don’t do much – other than like that brand’s posts, then this is a good sign that they’re fake accounts.
- Poor user engagement: If a profile has an insane amount of likes on every post, but not a massive number of followers, something fishy is going on. Keep the like-to-follower ratio in mind.
- Check if specific services follow the account: If the brand has connections with websites where you can buy Instagram likes, that’s a huge red flag.
3. Your Account Could be Purged
Instagram wants their social channel to be a place where people can make real, authentic connections.
If you’re trying to cheat your way to the top by purchasing your likes and followers, then you’re in direct contest with the Instagram terms of service. If Instagram finds out that you’re not playing by their rules, then they will remove your account, making it even harder for you to get the social following you need.
If you’re lucky, there’s a chance that the team behind #Gram will merely give you a warning instead of deleting your profile. However, don’t hold your breath. In 2014, Instagram purged millions of fake followers from their system, and they’ve been cracking down on fakers ever since.
4. You’ll Fall into a Vicious Cycle
Finally, when you buy likes on Instagram, you could end up in a vicious cycle, where you’re continually purchasing followers and likes just to keep on top of your ratio. This means that you’re always spending cash on your Instagram account, but you’re never really getting any of the engagement that would lead to long-term growth for your business.
To avoid the purge, countless Instagram users have invested in a careful combination of purchased likes and followers, intended to make their post-performance ratio seem more realistic. Unfortunately, this means that even if you only planned to buy Instagram likes initially to get your account off the ground, you might be stuck paying for extra likes and followers until you’re finally caught out.
You Don’t Need to Buy Instagram Likes to be #InstaFamous
On the surface, purchasing likes to boost the engagement levels on your Instagram account can seem like a great idea.
After all, if other people see how popular your posts are, they might be more likely to follow your profile and engage with your content too. Unfortunately, buying likes rarely works out the way you want it to. Instead of launching your engagement strategy, you end up in a difficult situation, where it’s impossible to adequately protect your reputation, and grow a genuine following for your brand.
The good news? You don’t have to struggle with Instagram engagement just because you don’t want to invest in bots. There is a better way.
With Upleap, you can generate real likes and engagement through a dedicated social media manager that handles account growth on your behalf. We’ll help you accelerate your Instagram potential, without taking any unnecessary risks.
Sound good? Start your free trial today!