In addition to being a musician, I also book shows. When I’m looking for bands to play, one of the first things I look at it is how many followers they have on social media. If they have a lot of followers, I’m more likely to book them for a good slot.
But I’ve grown privy throughout the years. I’ve learned that a lot of bands buy followers. And I realize that this presents a ‘not entirely honest’ reputation for the band.
I’ve also learned how to look for bands that buy followers, and I’m less likely to book them.
However, just because I’m not falling for bands that buy followers, other people in the industry might. There are even some that say that followers are good no matter how they are acquired as they help you get the word out about your music to that many more people.
So should you buy followers? This article will break it down so you can determine if it’s a wise move for your band or project.
How Much Does It Cost to Buy Followers?
The amount you pay for followers will vary depending on the platform and the number of followers you buy.
On average, most services will allow you to buy 1000 Instagram followers for about $10. However, those followers will mainly be bots. This is bad because they won’t engage with you, and they may even alert Instagram that you are buying followers running the risk that the platform may shut down your account.
On the other hand, there are some services that promise to grow your account organically and provide more engagement. These platforms are more expensive with prices as high as over $100 a week. However, they may be worth it as they will get you followers that engage without the spam.
There are also services that allow you to buy Spotify followers. They are a little more expensive costing anywhere from $9 for $100 followers to $149 for 5000. In addition to getting you a bigger following, they will also optimize your account so it is best suited to the Spotify algorithm.
You can also buy followers on Facebook, TikTok, Twitter and the list goes on.
Is Buying Followers a Good Idea?
If you google, “should a musician buy followers?’ on the internet, you will find a majority of articles telling you, no, absolutely not. But one article published on TuneCore states that it’s not a bad idea. Since it expresses an unpopular opinion, let’s start with that one.
The author is of the article holds the opinion that buying followers isn’t a bad thing, especially if you are starting out. They use a metaphor comparing getting followers to getting people to come to a party that no one’s at.
If you go to a party and no one’s there, you’ll want to leave. But if lots of people are at the party, you’ll want to stay.
The same goes for an Instagram account. If someone invites you to like their account and you see they only have one or two followers, it might not seem like the cool thing to do. But if they have thousands of followers, then jump right in.
The article also mentions that buying followers is a business strategy commonly used by countless popstars, record labels and more.
Now let’s look at the reasons why you shouldn’t buy followers. These include the following:
Low Engagement: The biggest problem with buying followers is low engagement. This can be due to a variety of circumstances.
If you go for a cheap service, they are likely to be getting you followers that consist largely of bots and fake accounts. Obviously, these bots aren’t going to like or comment on your posts nor are they every going to become genuine fans of your music.
If you go for a higher end service, they may attract some genuine followers, but without a real interest, they are likely to taper off in time.
They Could Hurt Your Credibility: There are ways to tell if an account buys followers. The low engagement vs. high follower ratio is the perfect example. So if you see an account with thousands of followers that are only getting 20-30 likes on your posts and not a lot of comments, it’s likely they bought their followers.
If someone determines you buy followers, it could hurt your credibility as an artist. As a promoter, I’m way less likely to book a band that buys followers. To me it’s a sign of a lack of confidence and dishonesty. It also tells me that you can’t really pack a venue.
You May Not Get Your Money’s Worth: Some services will try to get you organic traffic by following accounts they think will follow you back. However, the follow-backs aren’t always guaranteed so you might not get your money’s worth. If you do get followed back, it could be by an account that doesn’t have a genuine interest in your music which means they might not engage with you, and they could eventually unfollow you.
It Can Skew Your Performance Metrics: If you are genuinely interested in growing your following, you’ll want to pay attention to your performance metrics. This will tell you what posts are getting the most engagement, when you are getting the most engagement and more.
If you have fake followers, you won’t be able to tell what percentage of your real audience is engaging. Therefore, it’s not a great long-term solution for boosting your marketing strategy.
Instagram and Other Social Media Sites Purge Fake Followers: Instagram and other social media sites have updated their terms to identify and remove inauthentic accounts from their platform. If your following is mainly made up of bots, it will start diminishing over time due to this activity.
You May Get Your Account Taken Down: Buying followers is a violation to the policies of most social media accounts. If you are caught buying followers, they may delete your account.
How to Build a Following
Instead of buying followers, it may be better to devote your time and money to increasing your following naturally. Here are some ways you can do that.
Publish Quality Content: People will be more likely to follow you if you give them something of value. As a musician, you are mainly promoting yourself. So how do you provide value? There are a few ways to do this:
- Share Experiences: Sharing experiences is always helpful. For example, if you just found a really great piece of gear, you can recommend it to others. If you have an insider’s tip on something like, I don’t know, how to build a following, you can share it to your account.
- Be Entertaining: People like to be entertained and, as a musician, this is your forte. Instead of merely posting your fliers and videos, market yourself in a way that will make people laugh or cry. Go outside the box to connect with your following so you can give them something to talk about.
- Make Quality Marketing Materials: Always put your best foot forward in the marketing materials you use by putting your all into your music and coupling it with terrific graphics and images.
- Use Reels: Reels are an Instagram feature that has been known to be helpful in building a following. In addition to posting on your newsfeed, it will also post on a tab in your profile giving it more staying power. Reels are usually 15 to 60 seconds but can be as long as 90 seconds.
As a musician, there’s no end to what you can post in your reel. You can post a clip of yourself performing, a professional video clip, a behind the scenes look of you are working on band stuff or just you talking about upcoming happenings that involve your music.
Hashtag, Hashtag, Hashtag: Hashtags will also help you build a following.
Hashtags are used on sites like Instagram, Twitter and Tik Tok. In addition to following certain accounts, the users on these sites will also follow certain hashtags. So if you use a hashtag on your account, it will come up in the feed of all the users that follow that hashtag.
Your post will also appear on relevant hashtag pages that can be viewed outside of newsfeeds.
Follow Other People: Another way to grow your following is to follow people that you think might follow you back. The trouble with this tactic is that you run the risk of having them not follow you back and this can disrupt your ratio.
So if you follow 1000 people and 250 people follow you back, that’s great. But the problem is, people will see you follow 1000 people and only 250 follow you back which is not so great. It makes it look like you just followed a bunch of people to get followers instead of getting them organically.
A method that I use is to follow people (maybe not 1000 but start with 100 or so) and let your following build. It’s likely that you will start gaining followers including some you don’t follow back so things will even out a bit. Then start deleting people who are inactive or no longer engage.
After a while, your followers will exceed your following and your account will look more impressive.
Are There Any Good Services to Use for Growing Your Following?
While a lot of follower buying services will get you bot followers, there are some that will help you grow a following in an organic manner. Here are some to consider:
Kicksta (Instagram): Kicksta will look at your account and find other accounts similar to yours that might follow you. Then they will begin engaging these accounts through likes and comments in the hopes they follow you back. The service costs $49 a month and $99 a month for a premium plan that offers more targets and options.
Stormlikes (Spotify and more) Stormlikes will get you Spotify followers and plays from real people. Their follower plan ranges from $2 to $10 while their plays plan ranges from $4 to $40. They don’t reveal how they do what they do, but they come recommended. They also help you grow your following on Facebook, Instagram, Twitch, Soundcloud and Tik Tok.
Twicsy (Tik Tok): Countless musicians have made themselves successful by going viral on Tik Tok. If you want a shot at it, you might try out Twicsy. In addition to helping you gain views and followers, the platform also offers various social media marketing plans. By helping you get views and likes, Twicsy will make your following seem more organic. They also offer a ‘drip feed’ service that allows you to gain followers slowly, so you don’t appear spammy to Tik Tok moderators.
Social Pros (Twitter): Social Pros is a newer service, but it is quickly working its way up the ranks establishing itself as one of the best ones out there. It buys you active Twitter account followers who are instructed to engage with you regularly, so you gain followers and engagements. Social Pros has several affordable plans available.
Social-Viral (Facebook): Social-Viral gets you high quality traffic from authentic sources. They offer plans tailored to small and large accounts. They provide a variety of affordable plans. They are also known to get higher retention rates than their competitors.
UseViral (Twitch): Twitch is more of a gamer site than a music site, but there are many musicians who have launched successful accounts on the platform. If you are looking to grow your Twitch following, UseViral is the way to go. It will help you gain followers, live views, and video views. It also provides follower growing services for YouTube, TikTok and Twitter. It’s affordably priced with packages that start at just $3.
Visibility Reseller (YouTube): This platform provides instant delivery on YouTube views. It also offers packages that will help you get more subscribers. Additionally, it has other packages that help you grow your following on a variety of social media sites including Instagram and Tik Tok which can help with your YouTube following.
Viralyft (Soundcloud): This platform uses marketing plans to grow your listeners and followers organically. It offers low pricing, a variety of packages and a guaranteed number of plays, followers, likes, comments and reposts. It also provides great customers service and a money back guarantee.
Should I Buy Followers on Social Media?
After reading this article, you may still be up in the air about whether to buy followers on social media. Doing so has its share of upsides and downsides. So which path is best for you?
Here are some things to consider when trying to answer this question.
Go For an Honest Service: If you are going to take the follower buying route, use an honest service that will grow your platforms organically. Stay away from those that buy bots and could get you booted off the platform.
Do it in Moderation: Buying followers is a good way to build a following when you’re starting out. It should help you attract other followers. For example, platforms like Instagram will start referring you to people with mutual followers and the more followers you have, the more people will get referred to you.
Once you start racking up followers, you may want to cut back on ‘buy followers’ services. It’s better to get followers organically. And if you don’t really need the service, why pay for it?
See How You Feel About It: There are tons of people who buy followers, but that doesn’t make it the most honest marketing tactic. If you feel like buying followers is cheap and phony, don’t do it. If you feel better about building followers without paying for an outside service, that’s a better route for you to take.
Building followers on social media isn’t easy to do. If you feel like a paid service can give you a leg up, it’s okay to invest, but do so carefully. What route will you be taking when you launch your platforms?