Let’s be real, buying Instagram UK followers and buying Twitter UK followers is very tempting. When every blogger and mom-and-pop store seems to have more followers than you, with hundreds of people blowing their comments and engagement rates through the roof, how are you supposed to compete? With Instagram and Twitter becoming one of the top new sales platforms for e-commerce, the temptation to buy followers has never been stronger. Get more followers, and even if they are “fake”—the thinking goes—real people will take notice and start to shop in your store.
Buying Instagram and Twitter UK followers could be a way to “growth hack” this new and incredibly powerful channel. But does this theory hold any water? We set up an experiment to find out. Buying followers generally falls into two categories: A company makes a bunch of fake pages, and then they “follow” you. The bad news is that Instagram has been known to crack down on fake accounts, plus the only thing it does is inflate your follower count. We did not test this tactic out—since the “followers” are shell accounts, they clearly are not going to drive revenue or engagement for your business. It is also an easy way to get banned. A company uses a bot that automatically follows/likes accounts and then un-follows them. Within this cycle, people will see that your account followed them, check out your page, and give you a follow.
This technique works because it plays off common Instagram etiquette; follow me, and I will follow you back—but here the other account gets unfollowed after a few days. You can choose how fast you want the bot to work, but it is generally faster than what your crazy-dedicated intern could do on a few energy drinks. 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. We decided to go with the latter of the two options because it was more likely to actually work as a method of increasing your brand’s social media strength, given that our followers would not just be a bunch of empty accounts. The experiment would be relatively straightforward. We already had a real Instagram account with a store.
We’d taken note of our Instagram results (followers gained, engagement on our posts, etc.) and also had a variety of metrics from how well we converted those people to visitors to customers on Shopify. Then, we’d ramp it up. We’d pay for a bot to do the work of getting followers for us—at super speed. We’d compare the results from our bot-following phase with our natural results, and finally get some answers as to whether or not buying followers is worth it. We temporarily stopped gathering new followers and posting before we switched over to buying followers. This gave us a nice clean break when we went back to look at our results — there is no overlap at all between our bot results and our human results. There are a lot of bots and services out there you can use to buy followers on Instagram. These types of services are abundant, and often seem pretty fake. We used Boostgram, which claims to help you fully automate your account and give you “real followers, likes, and comments.” It’s pretty easy to set up: you link your Instagram account with Boostgram in their dashboard, choose some quick settings, like how fast you want the bot to run, and you start “generating” followers. The generation process is pretty much the same as what you would do yourself (find, follow, unfollow) but much faster. With Boostgram, we targeted people following four popular stores that have the same target audience as Not Your Girl.