I Bought Instagram Followers : Don’t Judge Me

Your first reaction to my post title could be two thumbs down or just a loud ‘Boo!’ You might not even want to read this post after reading the title as you might think what a faker I am to do this but if you are not that judgmental and if you are open minded (this is not networking though) you might want to read this until the end.

If you have been following my Instagram account before July, you might have noticed the sudden change. Firstly, I started posting images on a daily basis and I posted travel photos even though I am not a travel blogger. Also you might have noticed, or maybe not, from July to August, I had a steady follower increase, around 15 to 20 followers per day and it went on for weeks. And suddenly by September, I had a sudden increase in followers. I bought 5000 followers for 37 Dollars.

My followers on the 24th of July vs 28th of July

In July, I have read an article from an online influencer that I met, on how to increase your instagram followers manually. Looking at the number of her followers, I was so curious if she really gained those 65k followers manually. So I thought, why not give it a try since no human being will be harmed in the process anyway.

I followed her steps religiously, everyday for about 3 to 4 weeks. I followed around 25 accounts each day and got around 15 to 20 follow backs. I posted images daily. I liked photos of other accounts and I got the likes back. I even gained new IG friends whom I exchange sincere likes and comments.

I tried this procedure on my own IG account as well as the three business accounts that I handle and while I found this helpful on my personal account, it wasn’t the same for business accounts.

By the end of August, I came to about 800++ organic followers on instagram and each photo I’ve posted got about 120 to 170 likes.

So my experiment was a success (on my personal account only) and I thought, I’d like to do another experiment.

I wanted to know if more people will follow or follow back if I have thousands of followers. Also, I would like to know if these USERs, will stop following me. (These users are those accounts who will follow you, like all your posts religiously for a while and you, an idiot newbie on instagram will follow back and like all their photos as a gratitude for liking yours until you’ll realize that you are the only one liking their posts because they have unfollowed you already. And that’s how they get their followers, they follow you and unfollow once you have followed them already).

So you might ask now, what is the end result of my 2nd experiment?

It’s a fail.

I still see these USERs following me. But as soon as I realize they are USERs, I don’t follow back anymore. How do you spot USERs? They have like thousands of followers (or more) but they only follow like several hundreds, that’s because they unfollow you after you followed back.

When I just had 800++ legit followers, each photo I posted got more than hundred likes but ever since I bought followers, I never reached a hundred likes anymore. I don’t know if I have been flagged by Instagram or my real followers lost interest after noticing what I did. Or maybe I was just in time with the issue that all influencers experienced recently. They are also not getting as much likes and reach as before, because maybe (they thought) instagram wants everyone to pay for sponsored posts to get more reach. (See, instagram is much more complicated than just posting great images).

Also, I kept losing all these fake followers (which are all from Turkey and Indonesia). I lose about 30 to 80 followers each day and I am only waiting for the time that they will all vanish into thin air, then I can just say, there goes my 37 dollars.

However, if the buying of followers didn’t work well for my personal account, it seemed ok (not really successful but just ok) for business accounts, which I will not further discuss here, since most of us here are personal bloggers, and if needed, I might write a separate post for it.

Lessons Learned 
  • I am not really a travel blogger but I posted travel photos for my experiment because I thought that Travel and Fashion are easier niches when it comes to instagram growth. However, I am not fashionable so I just chose the first. I posted travel photos and followed travel bloggers. You will more likely to get a follow back if you follow grammers of the same niche. I tried following instagram accounts of campers and I never got even one follow back.
  • Manual instagram growth is really not that easy and as well time consuming but it is rewarding (for those who use this platform as part of their blogging or business). It’s not like you post a great photo today and tomorrow you’ll see people rushing in to hit the follow button. You have to spend two to three hours per day for this.
  • Great images and tagging won’t guarantee likes and follows (unless you are extremely popular). You have to like other images so you’ll get a like back too.
  • They said, giveaways can also help increase your followers. This is not true for all. You might just end up getting the followers that you don’t really want, and in the end you’ll get cursed if they don’t get the giveaway.
Trivia

How would you know if an instagram account has legit followers?

As per my observation, 10% or a bit more of your followers would like your photos. So if an account has 10k followers and you see only 200 likes on the photos, most probably, they just bought their followers.

However, this may not be true for those who have millions of followers. Like I said, something is going on with instagram reach lately. I can only learn this once I have a million followers already, and that’s nearly impossible.

Side Story
  • I saw some eyebrows raised when I start being active on instagram. I didn’t want to compete with my fellow bloggers on the travel / lifestyle niche. I was just doing an experiment. I saw some friends laugh at me too.  But that’s ok. They could laugh all they want.
  • I am handling all the social media accounts of our three properties. This was dumped (dumped because its more like work to me than fun, but sometimes its really fun) on my desk because the previous handler was lazy and lame. Or just lazier and lamer than me. I’m not a trained digital marketeer so I had to learn even at my own expense.

Thanks for reading and hope this post is helpful. Now, you can judge me.

Author: aysabaw

Aysa is a self-proclaimed hotelier without any culinary talent. She used to fly around Dubai for ten years via her magic carpet but destiny led her to a new path. She is now a little mermaid swimming in and around the Maldivian waters. If she is not reading her books, writing something comical, leaving rubbish comments on your posts or strumming her guitar, then she's up to some mischief.

58 thoughts on “I Bought Instagram Followers : Don’t Judge Me”

  1. Really interesting post, thanks for being so honest! It’s really useful to see what happened with the different approaches you used and how successful they were with growing your accounts. How useful have you found Instagram in attracting people to your blog? I don’t really use it for my blog, more personal at the moment, but it’s something I’m thinking of changing possibly…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey thanks for for reading and commenting! Well, since I am not a travel blog, but I made my instagram account look somehow like one, it doesn’t really help attracting people to my blog. I guess it will only help if both the blog and the instagram account are on the same niche, such as your IG account & blog.

      But to be honest, as per my observation, instagrammers won’t really give time to read your blog even if you attach the link on your BIO. You get a little to no redirection.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I got a lot of USERs everytime i post something new. I check their accounts before I follow them back. If I see they have 2-3k followers but only 800 or so follows, I know they’ll unfollow in a few days.

    I have a friend who started out posting travel photos until he found his niche with portraits. So ayun, nagkakagig na siya and i’ll say legit ung 3k followers niya. But I also noticed naging nitpicky narin siya sa finofollow niya. Nagsuplada bigla. Hahaha.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. With my 10 working fingers and amount of time I can manage to get in touch with the world, I can only manage WordPress and Twitter. I may go for Instagram someday but that would be……
    I don’t know when!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Naku, madami talagang mga USER sa IG. Kaya nga ako may rule ako bago mag followback. Sure followback sakin kapag #1 – mas marami ang pina-follow mo compare sa followers mo. Kahit pa yung nagfollow sakin eh nagbebenta ng arinola at kawali, basta mas madami yung pina-follow nya compare sa followers, matik followback yan sakin. ๐Ÿ˜„ And #2, in case mas marami yung followers nya, pina-followback ko pa din basta yung difference eh sobrang liit lang. Like kung 3000 ang followers nya, dapat ang pinafollow nya nasa 2700 to 2800. Of course, that only applies sa mga hindi ko kakilala.

    Alam mo ba Aysa muntik ko na rin gawin yan? May isa pa akong IG, dun ko sana plano mag-experiment. Madami nag-aalok ng ganyan sa internet. Nagri-range lang sa $5 to $20 depende sa dami ng followers na gusto mo. Eto pa, ‘organic’ daw ang ino-offer nila. At yung mga nag-ooffer nun ay may mga positive feedbacks din from satisfied customers. Tempting diba? Baka hindi legit yung binilhan mo. Binigay mo ba password ng IG mo sa kanila?

    And BTW, no, I wont judge you.. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Like

    1. Hahaha bilang wala akong alam sa kalakaran ng Instagram noon, basta nagfollow ifofollow back ko agad haha. Learning experience talaga ito. Katulad mo na din ang paraan ng pagpili ko sa mga ifofollow back.

      Nako Jheff, feeling ko wala kang mabibilhan ng legit o organic. Hindi totoo yan haha, ewan ko kung pano nila nahahack pero pag bumili ka ng followers puro talaga fake accounts tapos minsan kaya nawawala yung followers kasi naglilinis ang IG ng inactive accounts.

      At wag na wag mong ibibigay password mo if ever bibili ka haha…account name mo lang dapat….

      Salamat sa hindi pagjudge hehe

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ganun ba? Hindi ba dapat binibigay yung password? Kase yung mga nakikita ko halos lahat sila hinihingi yung password. At lahat din sila magaganda ang feedbacks. Baka legit kapag kinukuha yung password? Kaya nga yung 2nd account lang muna sana ang plano ko, kase ayoko i-risk yung real account ko sa IG. Pero di bale, wala na rin naman ako plano. Tyaga-tyaga na lang tayo sa organic. โ˜บ

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Yung hack parang di mo rin iisipin kase nga madaming feedback yung nag-ooffer from their satisfied customers. Pero kung duda ka, gawa ka ng 2nd account para dun ka mag-experiment. Ayun lang, ininform lang kita kase baka gusto mo uli i-try. ๐Ÿ˜

            Liked by 1 person

  5. Lahat ng tanong ko sa isip ay nasagot na ng post nato. Hahaha kaya pala may mga grabe mangflood ng likes tapos mawawala na din. Pansin ko sa mga ig shop naman, uso yung SFS? Di ko sure kung ano meaning nun pero nagtutulungan mga shops na i-advertise yung shop ng iba pero may kapalit na pera. Tapos meron ding mga ibang shop na nagbebenta ng account mismo na may 10-50k followers.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Minsan nakakastress magpadami ng followers. I stopped IG because of that tsaka feeling ko I’m not being true to myself… Yung ang glam ng dating ko pero irl di naman ganun, am just a normal backpacker na nagbablog. This is a nice read tho and honestly who would judge you… mga wala lang magawa sa buhay. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ay totoo yung nakakastress at nakakafrustrate ang pagpapadami ng followers…inisip ko din…bakit ba ako nagsasayang ng panahon sa pagfollow at unfollow gayong pwede kong igugol ang oras na yun sa mga mas mahahalagang bagay? ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ salamat sa pagbabasa at hindi pagjujudge haha ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

      Like

  7. Hay naku, para sa akin frustrating ang Instagram na yan. Atras abante din ako kaya ambagal tumaas ng followers ko meron nga point in time na mas maraming ang following ko kesa followers. Kaya lately gumamit ako ng app para malaman kung sino ang nag unfollow sa akin. Tanong ko lang, need ba talaga na marami kang followers sa socia media? Gano ba dapat kadami ang followers para makascore ka sa mga PR’s? Tinatamad din kasi ako eh, kaya hindi ako masyadong nagpopost sa IG.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahahahaha honest answer ba ang kelangan mo dito? Mahalaga ang bilang ng followers lalo na kung naghahanap ka ng sponsor ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ kahit sabihin na natin, bilang pinaghihirapan natin ang gawa natin, ang tinitingnan nila…quantity muna, kasunod na lang kung may quality content. Never ko pa nakita na pinili ng mga companies ang may quality content pero konti followers… syempre kelangan nila ng product exposure…kaya ganyan….

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh you’re not alone. I once bought followers, too. Kainis kasi nung time na yun, nasa 960-ish na followers ko tapos I was hoping in just a matter of weeks, I would go over a thousand. And then I slowly lost a chunk of them and I went down to 870-ish (if I remember these numbers right). Tapos yun, I decided to “buy” followers. I didn’t actually spend any money but I used coins instead. :p

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Merong app na instead of you buying with actual money, you can use coins. Catch is, you have to earn those coins. So you earn it by either liking posts or following other people. Tapos you can buy followers like say, 50 followers for 300 coins. Ganern. I did it years ago, though. Like 2014, I think??? Not sure kung nawala na sila lahat cause I ended up doing giveaways on my blog and I gained some sort of footing in the social media world so nag-gain na rin ako ng followers organically eventually.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Makeup giveaways work. Everybody loves makeup hahaha. I think it also helped na yung blog ko back then had a lot of traffic, so marami talagang sumasali. And I also have close to 3k FB friends. :p

            Liked by 1 person

  9. nako may mga ganyan talaga, mga follows na online shops, minsan mga doktor pa, nahahagilap siguro nila ako base sa mga hashtag ko. Deadma nalang. Yung ig account ko, parang journal lang din, kung ano lang ang gusto kong ilagay, ilalagay ko. Kahit wala masyadong pumupuso sa akin, okay lang ๐Ÿ™‚ saka minsan nao-overwhelm din ako kapag nagssearch ako ng mga posts, parang kung laging “blessed” life ang lagi kong nakikita sa fb, “perfect” life naman sa ig.

    Like

  10. very very informative. wala akong nalalaman sa instagram whatsoever pero i think useful yung mga info na ibinigay mo. next time about wordpress blogs naman sana makapag-share ka ng insights about stats, views, reach, etc. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Instagram is an interesting beast. Users will follow and interact with others who are similar to them and are perceived as genuine. I always look at how many posts vs likes and followers/accounts being followed. There is no magic solution and buying followers doesnโ€™t increase engagement. I had a client that I was working for and who despite my advice went ahead and bought followers. Her account ended up looking like it was hacked. It took me a while to clean it up. I focus more on interaction with likeminded people instead ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

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