The majority of us love a good bit of Instagram, some of us more than others due to the nature of our work & the importance of having a good presence on the platform. Followers & subsequent engagement are difficult to grow, keeping that engagement up & keeping those followers flooding in can become hard. Organic engagement is harder to come by now Instagram is owned by Facebook & has features such as ‘promoted posts’, where you PAY for your posts to be promoted to people who aren’t following you.

Cheating Your Way To The Top | Faking An Instagram Presence

This isn’t a post promoting cheating your way to the top of Instagram, quite the opposite, its to bring light to the situation. Whilst in a way I do get why people falsify their following and engagement it is in turn pulling work away from people with genuine followers & engagement who just happen to have lower numbers, all be it GENUINE engagement.
I will be more than honest with you in this post as I don’t feel I need to hide anything.

I started using Instagram a few years ago, around the time I was reviewing games. It was a great tool to appeal to a different audience who didn’t cruise Twitter or Youtube. I started my Little B account & realised it was actually quite difficult to appeal to an already swamped market. I was getting lost between a whole host of other ‘parenting bloggers’, I couldn’t really find my place or my niche in the parenting blogger field. I was unaware at the time there was any way to ‘cheat’ on Instagram.
My followers stalled & my engagement stayed ‘average’.

I started using Instagram based pods, groups of similar accounts who would go to like & comment on each post we uploaded on the hopes that their followers would see the engagement & follow suit. Don’t get me wrong that worked for some time but not everyone would play fair & you would comment genuinely on their content & they would leave an emoji as a comment or at some points not even bother to interact at all. I soon left them & was told about ‘instant like’ groups.

There are lots of different ‘instant style’ groups but now only two decent ones remain. Turn back the clocks a year or so & there were numerous groups they all offered different things. Mainly INSTANTS, which were threads where you would post your image to be liked by ALL others in the thread you would in turn like theirs too. Other threads would be follow threads or comment threads which speak for themselves. The follow threads I found TOO false, I would follow 500 people only for them to be of NO interest to me whatsoever & I would never interact with their content.
These groups offered me help when I most needed them & I met some AMAZING people on them. I stopped using them this year to concentrate on a organic following.

So there is my honesty on how I’ve cheated my way on Instagram, some wouldn’t even call it cheating but I do feel it is in a sense. My engagement & following is gained now entirely organically through interaction with other people & via the use of hashtags.

How Else Do They Cheat?

I’m sure you’ve had odd looking empty accounts follow you? The usernames make no sense, a random string of numbers & letters. Only to be followed by another account with the subsequent username to the previous name. These are the types of accounts people make to follow people who BUY followers.

Yes thats right you can buy followers now, these aren’t accounts that are going to engage with you they are purely there to increase numbers. Follower numbers can be the difference between being paid £20 for an instagram post to being paid £2000 for exactly the same post. So you can see why people want to have as many followers as possible because followers CAN mean you get paid a large amount for just using your instagram.
Huge bloggers have been found to have bought their followers.

Buying followers can cost you as little as a few pounds, I’m assuming the amount you spend correlates to the ‘quality’ of the false followers or the quality of the false interaction, please note you can also pay for likes & comments too.
People are caught out when people notice huge increases in followers in a short time or they search through the followers & find the bulk of them are false, empty accounts.
I have to say I’m completely against the buying of followers or engagement on a personal level & especially on a business level. It does, regardless of what anyone thinks, take money out of other peoples pockets.

If you don’t use Instagram on a business sense then you probably won’t see how that could happen or how it matters. Companies who are looking for ‘influencers’ or people to promote their content or products will of course look for the accounts that suit them the most with the highest following & engagement. I know for a fact they don’t look because I’ve had them come to me & admit so, which is becoming exceptionally frustrating for those people who work hard at their natural following and engagement.

Lately though SOME companies have become aware of this & have investigated influencers further before choosing them for work.
This is making the game a little fairer. Should the game be fair, heck I don’t know but I can see why people get angry when its money being taken out of their pockets by people who have next to no natural following at all.

Just One Last Thing

This idea of growing falsely gaining followers & engagement has to be the one that annoys people the MOST.
FOLLOW/UNFOLLOW.

The bain of our lives, people who follows us to gain a follow or interaction back only to unfollow. This is a free but dirty method of growing, its a way to lose friends in the business. People don’t remember who they’ve followed & unfollowed which means they end up doing it numerous times to the same people. I know of 4 or 5 prolific people & it got so bad I called them out on it because I found it so annoying. The rude attitude behind it is what annoys me so much.
I’d almost prefer people to pay for their following rather than doing this.

So if you fake it you can potentially grow large enough to earn good money from Instagram, just be aware times are changing on Instagram & they are coming down hard & fast on the practices listed above.
Get organic before its too late, people HAVE had their accounts closed for utilising certain methods listed above.

Good luck!

Remember to read my post on growing Organically here:

https://littlebandme.co.uk/advice/how-to-use-instagram-organically/