Sometimes you go on Instagram and you land on a business page with countless followers. According to the number of their followers, they should be soaring high but when it comes to likes, comments, and shares of their posts it’s significantly low. Compared to their followers, that is.
What impression does that leave on you, as a buyer? Do you begin to doubt the integrity and honesty of the business? Or do you go about your day and forget about it?
There’s no denying that buying fake followers is common. Whether we talk about businesses, celebrities, or influencers, all are guilty of buying fake followers. There are multiple websites that actively sell Instagram followers to individuals and businesses.
Are Followers Important for Businesses?
The simple answer is yes. Having a huge following has too many benefits. First, businesses that have a lot of followers show that they are reputable. Businesses become reputable only when they have delivered quality products or services. As a response, consumers follow their accounts and wait for new products/services to come so that they can buy them. Whether you’re a brand or a personality, having high followers can help market your product.
This is a pretty simple logic. But does that increase the public’s trust too? Again, the simple answer is yes. An average business lurking on Instagram is more likely to trust and work with a business with 100,000 followers than a business with, let’s say 1,000 followers. The logic at work here is pretty simple too. People only take businesses seriously if they are big.
With so many scams and fake businesses out there selling low-quality products and services, it is common for the public to doubt the authenticity of small businesses. Having a high number of followers takes off some of this doubt and fear.
More Followers More Customers
The more followers a business has, the more potential customers it will serve. Attracting and having high followers is really important for small businesses. Followers act like a boost to their infant business. Small businesses struggle with credibility a lot. Plus, if they get one order wrong, then this can seriously damage their reputation as a business.
Here’s where a large following comes to use. The businesses that worked with you can share their positive experience with your product or service, and this can make the judgment about your business positive. Of course, this point only applies to businesses with real followers.
Stories and Posts
Reputable businesses with real followers are usually interested in engaging with their customers and potential customers every single day. This may range from stories, polls, questions/answers, and other features. This is one easy way for businesses, especially small ones to gather information and relevant data about their customers.
Companies spend billions of dollars every year to conduct market research. It won’t be wrong to say that Instagram has made all that much easier. Now small businesses can just conduct polls and ask about the preference of their potential customers. Let’s say business X was thinking about changing the packaging of their soft drink. But they asked their customers first. The polls reveal that the customers are not welcoming to new packaging. See how easy it has become for businesses to gather information now?
However, this doesn’t apply to businesses that have fake followers. They don’t have genuine followers, so they won’t get their desired engagement. So, should you buy fake followers for your B2B business? It really is up to you.
Now, let’s talk a little about the downsides of buying followers, particularly fake followers.
Obvious Engagement Differences
Compare a small business that has 3,000 real followers and a business that has 30,000 fake followers. The one with the fake followers may get less than the one with the real ones. This is bad for business, quite literally.
Buying followers does not equal higher engagement because the websites and businesses that sell these followers do not reveal that these followers are actually fake accounts, or they’re usually bots. These bots or fake accounts are like empty shells, they don’t like or comment on your posts and they certainly cannot engage with your stories. They’re just there, on your profile. That’s their only purpose. But not many followers selling services tell you this, they actually hide a lot.
So before reading this, if you were thinking about buying fake followers for your business, then this should help you make a better decision.
Safe to say, the public isn’t stupid. Most people can easily tell that the business has bought fake followers. Again, it is easily noticeable if one spends barely five minutes checking the posts. The obvious difference in the number of followers and the engagement on the posts is painfully embarrassing. Plus, there’s always the followers list.
If a customer, or a potential customer takes one glance at the follower list, it will display new Instagram accounts with obnoxious usernames, creepy display pictures and no posts. If this is common with some of them, it makes sense. But if the whole list comprises these individuals, then the customer will know.
Then they won’t likely purchase your service or business.
Once the news gets out, it’s almost over. Whether the business is small, medium, or big in size there’s no escaping from a fake following scandal. If the business is small, it may not matter much but big or medium sized businesses should be wary about buying followers. This can backfire really badly and lead to disastrous consequences.
Not to mention that something like this can actually damage the goodwill of the business. For instance, let’s assume that their product or service is actually good. But due to the fake following incident, they are no longer trusted.
All and all, buying fake followers has its fair share of advantages. It is true that Instagram profiles are primarily judged by the number of followers you have. But, that’s not the only thing and it’s not worth that much either. Yes it is true that it can take several months or even years for a business to get numerous followers on Instagram. But, the wait is worth it because it’s genuine and true. The business can later talk about their struggle with less number of followers in the beginning.
Buying fake followers may not cost that much, but if it backfires, then the reputation of the business will be badly damaged. The most important thing a business has is its reputation. Are businesses willing to take that risk? In the end, the simple answer to should you buy fake followers for your B2B business, would be that it’s not exactly recommended.