Busted: How To Know A Brand Has Bought Followers

Feb 2017
Photo Credit: @nadsoninsta

If you’ve been working hard on building your Instagram following and feeling frustrated with the results, you’re not alone. Networking and making genuine connections with your audience can be hard work! However, if it seems that other Instagram accounts have been taking off and leaving you and your following in the dust, think again.

While targeting followers using the help of ads is a valid way to grow your following outside of networking, some Instagram accounts purchase followers in bulk. But don’t be fooled by the more “impressive” numbers these brands suddenly boast: These are typically not quality connections and not worth the investment.

If it seems like other businesses are having more success than you in growing their following on social media, don’t believe everything at first glance. Here’s a two-step check to help you determine whether or not a brand has purchased their Instagram following:


Evaluate The Engagement

It’s time to play the numbers game. If a brand’s Instagram following is massive, but it has a less than impressive amount of likes and comments on its content, something’s not adding up. Take note of the account’s following. While there is no absolute indication that someone has purchased followers other than a receipt for the transaction, a true quality social media following would be actively engaging with a profile’s content. A purchased following does nothing more than pad the follower count and boost numbers there. For example, if an Instagram account has over 10,000 followers, but less than 100 likes when it comes to engagement, it’s a clear sign followers may have been purchased to bulk up their following. A clear disparity in engagement will clue you into whether or not an account may have purchased followers.


Analyze The Audience

Numbers can reveal a lot, but going through an account’s actual followers can help you determine if a following is legitimate. If you look through a profile’s following, you can see each account that has subscribed to that profile. A quick scroll through these followers can reveal whether or not they are real Instagram users or spam accounts. Spam accounts will typically include information about earning more followers in their Instagram bio. If you view a few profiles and find that many are advertising ways to increase your following, chances are that those profiles are spam accounts.


Now that you understand why buying followers isn’t the answer to growing an audience, learn how to gain more Instagram followers using strategies that really work!


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