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More Followers More Problems

Having followers is fun.  More followers mean that there are more people paying attention to you.  It also means that brands may want to start doing business with you… after all, if a lot of people follow you, then you have a lot of influence. Sign me up.

The only problem is that gaining followers takes time, effort, and, let’s face it, luck.   But what if there was a way to instantly grow your following overnight or to take over an existing Instagram account that already has tons of followers?  Would you take the shortcut? But more importantly, should you take the shortcut?

Through the wonderful powers of the world wide web, it is now possible to buy followers, buy likes, and even to buy existing Instagram accounts that are already established.  And it’s honestly not expensive. 

For about $7 you can buy 500 followers or for $700 you can buy an existing Instagram account that already has 101.2k followers.

There are a couple of downsides to these practices including the fact that both buying and selling Instagram accounts and handing out your login credentials violate Instagram’s terms of use.  A successful media presence is about a bit more than just the sheer number of followers you may have.  It is also about the quality of content that is produced and follower engagement.  All of your followers are ultimately worthless if they are not engaging in your content.  In order to appeal to brands, you need to show that you actually have an influence on the people who follow you.  When you buy followers, often they are bots or people who do not care about your content.  If the account is actually legitimate, you will become responsible for replicating the style and level of content that drew people to follow that account.  As you can imagine, that is beyond difficult to do.  So, really, the only benefit to buying followers is just to look cool to your friends. 

In short, it is much better to gain a following the old-fashioned way: producing good content and interacting with other users.  Buying and selling Instagram accounts may give you a larger superficial following, but it is doubtful that those followers will engage enough with your account to make them worth your time and money.  

 

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Jon Pfeiffer is an experienced entertainment and copyright trial attorney practicing in Santa Monica. Jon is also an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California where he teaches Media Law. COM 570 covers First Amendment issues as well as copyright, defamation and privacy.  

  • Influencers | Social Media
  • Sep 27, 2017

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