It’s 2019 and social media is more present than ever. Growing your presence is important, but what are the right ways? Is there a wrong way?
Now with advanced technology, there are many ways to increase your following and engagement rates extremely fast. Just because the methods are out there, that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to take advantage of them.
These tricks can be the devil, enticing you to buy in and get what you want within minutes. Trust me my friends, part-taking in these methods will only harm your account in the long run.
I’ll admit that I’ve done a few of these and I’ve found that they aren’t worth it.
These are the Top 6 Instagram Growth Methods to AVOID:
1. Engagement Bots
These types of apps and services, if you don’t know already, will automatically act on your behalf on instagram. You can make them like photos for you, comment on other account’s photos, follow and then unfollow other user’s accounts to grow your following.
There are many people trying to sell these “growth” services on instagram. This is by far the WORST thing you can do to your account on instagram. In the short-term, it will increase your likes per photo, comments, and number of followers, BUT the repercussions are far greater.
This is what will happen to your account:
- You will lose your authenticity as a profile on instagram.
- People can tell when you start using one of these services.
- If you stop the service, your engagement and following will significantly drop.
- Instagram can BAN your account due to violating the rules of the gram.
Long story short folks, this one is a no go for sure. On top of all this, these bots are usually extremely pricey and ultimately obvious. They leave comments on photos that don’t make sense and will turn your authentic followers that you’ve worked so hard to get away.
2. Follow/Unfollow Method
This I have personal experience with. Being authentic is important to me and it wouldn’t be fair to you if I lied about my past on instagram. Once upon a time, I was sucked into the follow/unfollow method. My account grew at the speed of light and my engagement grew exponentially.
It took a lot to stop doing this, but my authenticity as a person and a role model means the world to me. Take it from me, this method can kill your profile. Not only do you lose authenticity, but your engagement will plummet once you stop this method.
Instagram can detect these patterns and will punish accounts for using them. Not only can it become obvious as your following number rises and decreases drastically, but you can literally look up anyone’s account and tell if they use the method.
By using this software on Influencer Marketing Hub, it will tell you the inauthentic practices an account uses. I ceased this method long ago, but my account has still been marked. If you think people don’t know about this, they do and if you have any aspirations of working with big brands I highly suggest staying far away.
3. Purchasing Likes
This one, although it seems ridiculous, many people still use. I’ve come across many accounts that use this method. How do I know? If you take 15 seconds to analyze their profile, anyone can figure this one out.
Usually accounts with extremely high engagement rates (they have 2,000 followers and get 1,000 likes on their account = 50% engagement) is a big red flag. The next sign would be if when you click on the accounts that like the photo, and they are mostly international accounts that don’t seem to be real people or spam/bot accounts (US users).
Yes purchasing likes will increase the amount of engagement you get, but none of it will be organic. Just because you have more likes on a photo, it doesn’t mean more people have seen your account or your reach has increased. Loyal followers will notice these practices and no longer be loyal. Do yourself a favor guys, save some money, and stick it out for real engagement.
4. Spammy Engagement
This method isn’t nearly as bad as the above few, but can still be harmful to your profile. Have you ever gone through and commented a baziliian times and instagram blocked you from commenting anymore? That’s spammy engagement.
That’s instagram’s way of shutting down the bot-like accounts! Over time, if you do this too much instagram will penalize you for it. You can even have your account permanently shut down.
So be careful. There is nothing wrong with commenting, liking, and following accounts you love, just be human about it!
5. Shadowbanned Hashtags
This is a silent killer. Shadowbanned hashtags are hashtags that have been banned by instagram. Seems simple enough right? They are so many hashtags that have been marked that you would never even know about. Here you can find a list of examples.
Either they are too general, have been used for the wrong reasons, or are just downright overused; but these are some of the reasons why Instagram has banned various hashtags. If you use one of these hashtags, it can also hurt your reach.
Instagram will detect the hashtags and fail to show your post to a large segment of your audience. Check your hashtags and make sure they aren’t shadowbanned through this service.
6. Engagement Pods
Last but not least are engagement pods. Once again, I fell victim to this. It was only recently when I learned the negative side effects that can come with the use of engagement pods.
With any growth tactic where you try to beat the algorithm, you risk your authenticity as a user. You can find out more on these pods here.
When you have mass amounts of people commenting on every single one of your posts AND they are the same people every single time, people can tell. More importantly, brands can tell.
Even though you are increasing your engagement through other real users, it’s still cutting curves. Engagement pods themselves won’t actually get you banned, but the consequences run far deeper than that.
Stay away from these methods, stay true to yourself, and be more social with Instagram. I promise you if you put the hard work in, you’ll get the results you want!
If you have any experience with these tactics below, please share by commenting below! I’d love to hear your experiences!