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Written by Ramsey Brown.
Instagram (when used properly) can be an extremely efficient tool for musicians looking to increase their engagement and grow their fanbases. Almost every artist and every business has an Instagram account nowadays — and if they don’t, they are only doing themselves a disservice.
Social media has given us the opportunity to share our lives, promote products, sell services, and network with people across the globe with just a simple click of a button. The internet has drastically changed our day to day lives but more specifically it has changed how businesses operate and how success is measured within industries such as music and entertainment.
Whether you are an emerging musician or a new business owner, spreading brand awareness is likely one of your top priorities — as it should be. As we know, social media sites like Instagram are a great place to do this. However, social networks often work through a series of complex algorithms that require its users to do or have a certain number of actions and figures to grow on the platform. Simply put, Instagram makes it difficult to be seen or get noticed on the platform if you don’t have a decent amount of followers and activity already.
Due to this unfair system, it has created the rise of people quite literally trying to beat the system — by buying their Instagram followers. Some people could care less about a follower count, but for many artists trying to land a record deal or major placement, the number of followers that appears on their profile could determine if their music even gets listened to or not. Although, this is not always the case.
With that being said, having a large number of followers on Instagram isn’t always related to vanity or having bragging rights, at least it shouldn’t be. Getting more followers is really about getting more engagement on your page — thus increasing the number of people who could potentially be interested in your music or service. Which brings us directly to our next point of why buying Instagram followers is really just a bad idea in itself…
There has been a long ongoing debate about whether or not buying Instagram followers is a good idea or not. As we mentioned above, more followers equals more engagement, and engagement means more visibility to your brand and product. But here are the reasons why purchasing your followers ISN'T the way to do this
There are many vendors who promise to sell you only ‘legitimate’ and ‘high-quality’ followers, some even guarantee this. However, you don’t actually know how these companies find these accounts or what their vetting process is before passing them along to you.
Most of these services will send you bot followers which are fake accounts that may have no profile picture, no posts of their own, and an absurd username containing random numbers and letters. These services claim to provide you with organic follower growth, which is a falsity seeing how the growth is being bought, not organically grown.
When you purchase followers from these vendors online, you are strictly solely paying for a number. Engagement is never guaranteed, or even likely at all. The followers you receive are either bots or inactive accounts. In some cases, the bots may even assume the identity of a real person, using stolen images and names.
The entire purpose of having more followers is to have more people engage with your content. When you have bot followers on your page, there is zero engagement happening. Bot accounts rarely if not ever like or comment on your posts, and they certainly won’t share your content or discuss your brand in real life.
It isn’t hard to tell when someone has purchased their followers. As we mentioned, fake followers rarely ever engage with content, so when someone has 50,000 Instagram followers but only a couple hundred likes on a post, those numbers don’t match up and screams that the person's followers are fake.
Having fake or purchased followers is very much frowned upon. So this could lead to your genuine followers thinking less of you or your brand and perhaps even unfollowing you all together. If you are wanting more followers to promote your brand or to become an influencer, just know that it is very easy for anyone to sniff out fake followers.
There are even tools and websites out there that can easily determine if an account has counterfeit followers. FakeCheck, HypeAuditor, and IG Audit are just a few that companies often use to vet someone before they choose to partner or collaborate with them…. the more you know!
Yes, you read correctly — Instagram has the right to ban or even delete your account if they identify that you have bought your followers. This goes against the company’s Terms of Service policy and they actively discourage people from buying followers.
Instagram’s moderators have gotten a lot smarter when it comes to finding fake accounts on their platform. Most often they will purge any purchased or fake likes, comments, or followers — but they also reserve the right to suspend accounts that are involved in this practice.
So if you have paid a third-party service for increased followers or likes, it’s very likely that Instagram will catch this and remove them from your account. Or even worse, remove your account from the platform all together.
All in all — buying Instagram followers is an extremely risky business. You may have some instant gratification when you see a nice big number of followers on your home page, but the risk of losing your credibility and perhaps your entire account is just too great for us to condone the purchase of Instagram followers.
On the contrary, you may strike gold with a company who actually does provide high-quality legit followers and you may get lucky and never get caught by Instagram, but this is an unlikely scenario and something you will personally have to weigh out the risk of losing your Instagram account for.
If it’s more real followers that you are wanting, unfortunately there is no fast track method that is both safe and legit. Although, there are many alternate solutions that you can use in order to gain more followers the smart and secure way. Let’s take a look at ways you can expand your Instagram reach without putting your entire account at risk:
Having a well thought out marketing strategy for Instagram is always a smart idea, especially for musicians. Having a goal to obtain more followers is a good place to start but just having followers won't make your Instagram account successful. Gaining followers has to be part of a larger scale plan that connects your business strategy and your social media goals. Think carefully about why you are doing an advertising campaign. Come up with a list of things you want to achieve such as:
Increase my brand awareness
Redirect web traffic to my official website
Increase my income
Get more people to listen to my music
Your username is your identifier on Instagram. It's a good idea to keep it consistent with your username on your other social networks, as this makes it easier for people to find and recognize you. Use your brand name or a variation of your name that people are likely to use when searching for your brand.
Also, you want to have a bio that is interesting and captivating. Typically, your bio is the first thing people see when clicking on your profile. So you want to make sure that it’s catchy enough to keep them scrolling and it also gives a good description of who you are and what you are offering your audience.
Throughout your posts, use hashtags that are also relevant to your brand. If you are a rapper in Atlanta looking to grow your followers, hashtags like #ATLrap, #AtlantaRapMusic, #ATLartist, etc., are always good to include to help better connect you to others who are interested in that same category.
Whether you are posting a photo, video, story, or commenting on someone else’s post — it is always more interesting and intriguing when you ask a question. Instead of just posting your music video, include a caption asking your followers what they think about it? Or post a story of some unreleased music and see when your followers think you should release the song.
Interaction is key on social media and there is no better way to interact than proposing a question that your followers feel obligated to answer. This doesn’t always have to be serious or brand related. Posting a poll asking fans what you should eat for dinner tonight is just one example of a fun and quirky way to get people involved with your account.
All of these tips mentioned above are extremely helpful, but at the end of the day nothing will help you grow your following better than engagement marketing. Companies such as ourselves at Omari MC specialize in helping artists achieve more engagement through optimized strategies tailored to your specific brand needs.
We provide authentic promotion services and have worked with thousands of clients, big and small. Our passion is helping artists grow and achieve the recognition they deserve by sharing their music to the proper markets.
If you want to start growing your following and launching your music career today, check out our many different services or contact us to chat about the best options we have for you!
When your song is ready to go, it's time to start promoting it to potential fans! Omari has the best organic promotion services money can buy. With packages for Spotify, Apple Music, Instagram, and YouTube, we will get your music the traffic and attention it deserves! Click below for more information.
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