Why Buying Likes and Followers Damages Your Instagram Account

As a social media consultant who assists entrepreneurs and small businesses, I cannot recommend services like Buylikes that sell Instagram likes and followers. The artificial engagement they provide ultimately does more harm than good for your account.

What Does Buylikes Offer?

Buylikes markets itself as an "Instagram marketing agency" promising to grow your followers and likes. For prices starting around $3, you can purchase add-ons like:

  • 100 Instagram followers
  • 500 Instagram likes
  • 1,000 automatic Instagram likes per post

At first glance, these cheap and quick fixes seem appealing. But the old saying holds true: if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

The Drawbacks of Artificial Engagement

Research shows over 10% of Instagram accounts are likely bots or fake users. Services like Buylikes primarily rely on these inactive accounts to inflate your metrics.

But fake engagement provides no real value. As social media consultant Neil Patel explains:

"Artificially inflated numbers mean nothing if the audience isn’t authentic. Fake followers don’t engage with your brand or spread word-of-mouth influence for your products."

These phantom followers will just take up space, while making it harder for your content to reach real human viewers.

Chart showing the difference between real and fake Instagram followers

Fake Instagram followers don‘t bring the benefits of real engaged users.

You Violate Instagram‘s Terms of Service

Explicitly prohibited by Instagram‘s terms, buying artificial engagement can get your account flagged or banned.

In the last year, the platform has cracked down even harder, disabling millions of accounts using these blackhat services – even celebrities aren‘t immune.

Example of Account Disabled Message from Instagram

Penalties include disabling your Instagram account entirely.

As a consultant focused on Instagram growth for over 5 years, I always advise clients to avoid buying likes or followers at all costs. It‘s simply not worth jeopardizing your reputation and entire account.

The minor vanity metrics boost these services provide lasts briefly anyway, while the consequences can linger indefinitely.

Better Solutions for Real, Sustainable Results

Instead of wasting money on artificial engagement from sites like Buylikes, I coach clients on legitimate Instagram growth strategies, including:

  • Optimizing hashtags and captions so real users find and engage with your content.
  • Commenting and liking posts in your niche to foster connections.
  • Running contests and promotions to incentivize genuine follows and shares.
  • Building relationships with brand ambassadors and influencers to expand your reach.

Consistency is key – with regular high-quality content, hashtag research, audience outreach, etc. Growth won‘t happen overnight, but plays the long game.

For those short on time, tools like Nitreo can automate finding and engaging new followers based on interests and behaviors ethically. This maintains your account‘s good standing while accelerating real growth and ROI.

If you dedicate yourself to authentic engagement and relationship building on Instagram, you‘ll cultivate an audience that genuinely cares about your brand vs just an inflated vanity metric. This is the foundation for any social media marketing strategy built to last.

Let me know in the comments if you have any other questions!