How to Gain Instagram Followers Without Running into Trouble

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Search engine optimization pundits have long asserted that Google and other search engines take your social media follower quantity into account when they decide where to display links to your website. That means the more followers you have, the more likely Google is to display links to your pages at the top of its search results pages. Although these algorithms that determine where you show up are kept secret, tests and analysis have given us some rules of thumb. SEO isn't the only reason businesses look for followers, though. Businesses want to directly engage with fans, as well. It's clear that followers can be beneficial to businesses. However, it's also clear that you want the correct followers; not just any followers.

Just as the quantity of followers is assumed to affect your prominence on SERPs (search engine results pages), the legitimacy of your followers is also assumed to affect it. An account with thousands of followers and only a couple of posts may have "fake" followers. The account manager could have purchased them or used a free tool, such as Incentafan, to gain them. There are a few reasons we advise against this.

Search Engine Algorithms

You can't be certain how much these fake followers will benefit or harm your SERP prominence because you don't know how search engines will assess your followers' legitimacy. Accounts that are tied to "gain followers quickly" businesses can easily be flagged by Google and other search engines. A statistical anomaly resulting from purchased or unnaturally gained followers could lead to a penalty.

Those Finicky Real Followers

It's uncertain how real followers will react to your fake followers. Auto-generated replies to real comments (often, irrelevant emoticons and other nonsense) or auto-generated follows could turn them off. On the other hand, genuine comments from real fans can be a real brand booster. You want those genuine followers to interact with each other and your account. Fake followers just get in the way.

You Could be Shadowbanned

As Matt Smith points out, a big surge in followers who are fake can trigger a shadowban on your account. Being shadowbanned prevents your posts from showing up under the hashtags you entered and in the Search and Explore area. That will be trouble. You don't want that. By the way, using software that violates Instagram's terms of service and using bots to automatically like or comment can also lead to being shadowbanned.

For these reasons, getting followers through Incentafan or by purchasing them is a gamble we don't recommend.

How to Gain Followers the Right Way

It's really not that hard to manage Instagram the right way, it just takes time. A little creativity helps, too. Use hashtags in each post. Come up with your own hashtag. If it catches on, you could gain lots of followers. Share it on your website and in other places. Like and comment on posts that relate to the things you share on your account. Tag users who like to repost and use calls to action to get people to engage. For example, in each post, you can ask users to tag you if they want you to repost their stuff. Or ask them to see your bio for more information on a particular post. Then link to a blog post from your bio. Check out the accounts that have lots of followers and mimic what they do but beware of the pitfalls we discussed in this article. Think twice before you Incentafan it up. 

If you're looking for a quicker boost, you can always turn to pay per click advertising. It's our specialty. Let's talk.

David Kalla