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Should You Buy Instagram Followers Cheap in 2023? An In-Depth Guide

With over 2 billion monthly active users, Instagram has become a key platform for businesses, influencers, and personal brands looking to grow their audience and improve engagement. But gaining those critical first 10,000 or 100,000 followers can be a major hurdle when starting out.

This increasingly leads users to consider buying Instagram followers as a shortcut to appear more popular. According to a 2021 survey, over 60% of marketers have bought followers, likes or views to boost their Instagram growth.

But before you buy, it‘s important to weigh the potential benefits and risks involved. In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll break down if and when buying followers makes sense as part of your Instagram strategy for 2023 and beyond.

Why Buy Instagram Followers?

Let‘s first look at some of the reasons people choose to buy followers and likes for their Instagram account:

Quickly Boost Your Numbers

The most obvious benefit is that buying followers instantly increases your follower count. Rather than waiting months or years to organically gain 10k or 100k followers, you can get thousands of followers delivered to your account within days.

This growth hacking tactic creates the illusion of popularity right away. According to social media researchers, accounts with more followers tend to be perceived as more influential, credible and authoritative.

Improve Discoverability

Instagram‘s algorithms favor accounts with higher follower counts and engagement. So buying followers can potentially increase your visibility and reach in places like the Explore page, hashtag searches, and Instagram Reels.

One 2018 study found accounts gained on average 13% more engagement after buying 5,000 followers due to this boosted algorithmic promotion.

Gain Insights Into Your Audience

Many services that provide high-quality followers will target your purchased followers based on relevant interests and demographics.

Analyzing the data from your bought followers can provide useful insights into your ideal audience to inform content and marketing strategies.

Jumpstart Your Growth Flywheel

While bought followers won‘t engage much directly, the perceived popularity and improved discoverability can help you start gaining more organic followers as well.

This growth flywheel effect can give your account the initial momentum it needs to pick up steam. But maintaining that growth requires high-quality, relevant content.

Potential Risks of Buying Instagram Followers

However, there are also considerable risks involved with buying followers that need to be taken seriously:

  • Bots and fake accounts: Low-quality followers damage your legitimacy and engagement rate. Ensure any provider offers real, active user accounts.
  • Lack of engagement: Followers purchased in bulk are far less likely to engage with your posts and stories. This skews your metrics.
  • Reputation damage: Fake-looking followers may turn off potential partners and organic followers. Tread carefully.
  • Instagram ban: Explicitly buying followers or likes violates Instagram‘s terms of service. If detected, your account could get banned by Instagram permanently.

Case Study: The New York Times Buys Followers

In early 2014, The New York Times conducted an experiment buying fake followers from Deviant Solutions, a company later banned from Instagram.

Within two weeks, The Times gained nearly 60,000 followers. However, engagement on posts did not increase proportionally, dipping from an average 4 likes per post down to just 2.

Additionally, when Instagram detected the fake accounts, they deleted all 60,000 followers. This example demonstrates the real risks of buying low-quality or fake followers just to inflate vanity metrics.

How to Buy Instagram Followers Safely

If you want to utilize buying followers as part of your Instagram strategy, here are some best practices to do so safely and effectively:

  • Vet providers carefully through reviews and past customer results
  • Prioritize gradual, organic-looking delivery schedules
  • Analyze follower accounts for signs of authenticity
  • Limit purchases to less than 10% of total followers
  • Closely monitor metrics for bans and maintain plausible deniability

The key is working with reliable providers that deliver moderate amounts of high-quality followers that appear authentic. Let‘s look at the top options on the market today.

5 Best Sites to Buy Real Instagram Followers

1. Growthoid

For the highest quality followers from authentic accounts, Growthoid is one of the leading options, albeit at premium prices.

  • Gradual follower delivery over 1-2 months
  • Manual vetting ensures real, active users
  • Targeted followers based on bio and posts
  • Average price of $99 for 500 followers

With their meticulous vetting and organic growth approach, Growthoid is ideal for maximizing authenticity and minimizing ban risks.

2. UseViral

For those wanting an affordable way to buy followers from real accounts, UseViral is a great option.

  • Large selection of packages up to 100k followers
  • Fast delivery with new followers daily
  • Active followers from most major countries
  • As low as $19 for 500 followers

While delivery speeds are faster, UseViral still provides real, targeted followers at reasonable price points for smaller businesses and creators.

3. Stormlikes

Combining cheap prices and strong reviews, Stormlikes focuses on providing quality followers to grow your brand.

  • Gradual delivery from real accounts
  • Options to target country, gender, interests
  • As low as $12 for 100 followers
  • Trustworthy track record since 2017

Stormlikes hits a nice balance between affordable pricing and targeting while delivering new followers slowly to appear natural.

4. SocialEnablers

A relatively new provider that‘s quickly gained popularity for their reputable services catering to nano and micro influencers.

  • Starts at just $7.99 for 100 followers
  • Vetted, real followers from the USA
  • Slow drip-feed delivery to avoid bans
  • 24/7 customer support via live chat

For those with smaller budgets, SocialEnablers delivers legitimate-looking followers from real accounts starting at just $7.99.

5. Kicksta

While priced higher than most sites, Kicksta focuses on growing reach and engagement rather than just follower counts.

  • Starts at $99/mo for 50-150 daily followers
  • Manual targeting options
  • Proven results increasing reach and engagement
  • 14-day money-back satisfaction guarantee

If you‘re willing to pay more for high-quality, the all-in-one growth services from Kicksta can be highly effective.

Top 5 Instagram Followers Providers Compared

ProviderPricesDelivery SpeedTargeting Options
Growthoid$99+ per 500Gradual over monthsGender, Age, Interests
UseViral$19+ per 500Fast Daily DeliveryCountry, Gender
Stormlikes$12+ per 100Medium over weeksCountry, Gender, Interests
SocialEnablers$7.99+ per 100Slow Drip-FeedCountry, Gender
Kicksta$99+ per monthFast DailyManual Targeting

What to Look for in a Provider

When vetting providers, keep these factors in mind:

  • Price – Balance of affordability and quality
  • Delivery speed – Gradual delivery appears more natural
  • Targeting – More options improve follower relevance
  • Retention – Look for refill guarantees if followers drop
  • Reviews – Check sites like TrustPilot for reliable ratings
  • Customer service – Quick responses to questions/issues

While going cheap is tempting, focus on providers known for delivering real, lasting followers that engage for maximum value.

Red Flags to Avoid With Providers

Be wary of providers that:

  • Offer thousands of followers instantly
  • Have no refund policy or satisfaction guarantee
  • Require your Instagram login credentials
  • Don‘t disclose pricing clearly upfront
  • Have no visible reviews or public reputation

Prioritize established providers with clear pricing, strong reviews, gradual delivery, and responsive customer service.

Maximizing Real Engagement With Purchased Followers

While purchased followers themselves won‘t engage much, you can maximize their value by:

  • Optimizing Your Content: Target content to their interests to potentially engage a % of them
  • Using Captivating Visuals: Bright, bold images and video perform best to catch their attention
  • Strategic Hashtags: Use a mix of popular and targeted niche hashtags related to your content
  • Calls To Action: Directing followers to comment, like, or save posts can boost interactions
  • Interactive Content: Questions, polls, and contests tend to perform well and drive responses
  • Engaging With Your Followers: Reply to comments, like posts, and interact to build connections

Blending purchased followers with smart organic content and engagement tactics is key to maintaining their perceived value long-term.

Complementary Tactics to Accelerate Growth

While buying the right followers can provide an initial boost, ongoing growth requires multiple strategies:

  • Optimize Your Profile: Include keywords, link to website, fill out bio completely
  • Post Consistently: Post new content at least 1x daily to stay top of mind
  • Engage With Your Niche: Like, comment and follow accounts in your industry
  • Use Relevant Hashtags: Mix niche tags with popular tags balanced to your size
  • Run Contests/Giveaways: Offer prizes relevant to your audience for more followers
  • Leverage Influencer Shoutouts: Get nano influencers in your niche to promote your account
  • Advertise Strategically: Use paid ads to further supplement followers

Driving long-term Instagram growth requires combining bought followers with great content and smart organic growth strategies.

Results of Buying Targeted Instagram Followers

While the quality of results will vary based on factors like content quality and engagement efforts, here are some potential outcomes from buying properly targeted Instagram followers:

  • Follower Count Increase: Most packages deliver 100% of promised followers, increasing follower number
  • Perception of Social Proof: More followers gives the illusion of credibility and popularity
  • Improved Discoverability: Additional followers could improve reach in hashtags and the Explore page by 5-15%
  • Increased Organic Followers: Some studies show 1-10% of bought followers eventually convert to real, engaged followers
  • Expanded Brand Awareness: Broadened audience and follower count makes your brand appear more established

The Bottom Line: Is Buying Instagram Followers Worth It?

The verdict: Buying a moderate amount of followers can be an effective growth tactic but only if done carefully and legally.

The benefits of an amplified follower count and perceived credibility need to be weighed carefully against the risks of damaged legitimacy and being banned by Instagram.

By thoroughly vetting providers, buying followers slowly from real accounts, and combining it with content that engages followers, you can utilize buying strategically without putting your account in jeopardy.

But buying thousands of fake followers or bots will do far more harm than good in the long run. Focus on high-quality providers known for durable, authentic engagement from real accounts.

While buying Instagram followers shouldn‘t form the core of your growth strategy, it can provide a valuable jumpstart. Approach cautiously and strategically, and you can reap the benefits while minimizing the risks and downsides.



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.