Why you should never buy Instagram likes?

After Facebook, Instagram has become one of the fastest-growing social media channels. It is considered a top platform for brands to showcase their product and services through images and videos. However, Instagram now has changed its algorithm. It no longer displays posts chronologically, rather it will showcase posts of those pages that you have interacted with, the most. This means, that for a new brand its will be hard to gain likes and followers on the platform.

This can lead to brands doing dirty tactics such as buying likes. They think this will make them look more established, whereas it’s not the case.

How to buy likes on Instagram

There are two most popular methods generally used to gain likes. One is to create multiple fake accounts and make them like your page. Some services sell likes for Instagram. Another way is to subscribe to a service that provides Instagram bots access which will follow or like posts on related accounts, then bots later unfollow those accounts to maintain an ideal follower/following ratio.

The first method to artificially increase the follower count is a tad bit tedious and doesn’t help in improving interactions. Another problem with this method is, it is easy to see that most are multiple fake account followers with no photos/ videos or interactions. This is a clear sign of suspicious activity.

The second method is to buy likes for Instagram. It works to grow followers based on reciprocity – like for like, follow for following. In most cases, the new followers have no idea that in no-time the bot will unfollow them. It is a bit of deception that some may consider being unethical. If anyone calls you out it can affect your brand image.

Some bot services will leave generic one-two word comments on photos like ‘’Nice’, ‘Great Job’, ‘Extraordinary’. It may seem a real person is interacting with the posts. But in the worst cases, the Instagram bot can result in a PR disaster as its fake positive comments might end up on some contradictory post.

Reasons why buying likes is not a good idea

-Buying likes can damage a reputation rather than helping it. If by any chance, someone calls you out, this will lead to a lot of people turning against you and your brand. This can hamper you in the long run.

-If Instagram finds out, there are high chances it will deactivate it or shut it down permanently. It will soon become a ‘goodbye-account’. Instagram encourages users to engage in real-time. Anything that is fake, or using some kind of automation, is not something Instagram takes in a positive light.

-The Instagram appearance will be bad: Although it’s a known fact, that engagement rates go down the more followers the page has. But if you come across a profile that has 1 million followers, but hardly gets 2000 likes. It won’t be difficult to tell that those followers are fake. This may give a bad impression to real followers which will make them unfollow the page.

-Engagement will below: There will be no genuine engagement from the purchased likes or followers. Most of those aren’t real people at all, merely bot fake accounts.  The best engagement can from these is generally an automated comment ‘nice post’. Some of the signs of a typical fake follower include a blank profile picture and a general lack of intelligent interaction.

-No money will be earned: Brands would not like to work with the ones who buy likes or followers as they are easy to spot. Brands do not select influencers based likes or followers, they see the engagement. Many tools are available to help brands figure out. They don’t want to be stuck with unworthy accounts.

-Not a sustainable marketing strategy: Buying likes will not lead to long term goals that go around creating deep, meaningful relationships with the audience. For brands, turning this audience into real-time customers and to ensure that customers become brand advocates is necessary. None of these will come out fruitful if the likes are from fake accounts.

All to say, buying likes may seem tempting, but it does more harm than good. Instead of increasing engagement, it can decrease the engagement, destroying all the efforts. So it is better to skip the easy way out to social media marketing and go for a more sustainable plan. After all, real people are the ones who can become potential customers. Don’t buy followers or likes to fool the audience. It’s a big NO! NO! Rather build a genuine relationship with them and engage well. Be yourself, don’t sell yourself short. Grow the followers organically. Also, follow Instagram’s guidelines to avoid the potential of your account been taken down.

Knock knock. Who’s there? Democracy. Democracy who?

Democracy in layman terms is the government of the people, by the people and for the people. Media is being considered as the fourth pillar of democratic society after executive, legislature, and judiciary. One of the crowning glories of the democratic system is the freedom of expression and the space that is provided to views from different sections of the society. The last few years witnessed an enhanced interface between the media and the common man, thanks to social media

The role of Social Networking Sites in Indian politics has risen tremendously in recent years. Different Indian political parties have their websites and some of them also use other social mediums to interact with people. With every party having its website and leaders being active on different media it makes the citizens feel that they are within their reach. It feels like the leaders are a touch away. Mr. Shashi Tharoor of Congress Party was one of the first politicians to start tweeting and has a separate fan base for his tweets now. Through social media, politicians now constantly display their message through endless campaigns, see direct responses to their actions via Facebook or Twitter, and connect with the public. One of the most recent example is Bharatiya Janata Party’s ‘Main Bhi Chowkidar’ campaign with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other BJP leaders, where an auto-generated response was sent to all those who tweeted to the PM, giving the illusion that they were contributing to something large.

It is important to note that political engagement through social media is not limited to adults, but young potential voters increasingly use social media for online political participation. Especially younger people are using social networking platforms such as Twitter to develop an individualised form of activism that they connect to most. Unlike Mainstream media where narratives are indirectly controlled, influenced and favoured by the business houses and political parties that are funding the channel, Social media is comparatively a less regulated space.

Ravish Kumar on his Prime Time show on NDTV urged everyone to stop watching television back in March 2019. Why would someone who earns his living through mainstream television media tell you to do that? This shows how grave the situation was and still is. Public issues have disappeared from the channels, when Indian states were reeling under floods, the channels were still flooded by anti- Pakistan narratives, tukde-tukde gang narratives and the never-ending glorification of the honourable PM. Is TRP more important than highlighting important issues? Is selling news more important than upholding the fourth pillar? If we see the current media scenario then the answer to the latter question seems too easy.

Wouldn’t you agree if I said that the watchdog, or in other words the press and the media have a significant influence on society? Then is it fair to have corporate houses and political parties with vested interests invest in the media?

India News is owned by Karthikeya Sharma, son of a Congress leader. News 24 is controlled by Rajeev Shukla, a Congress leader and his wife Anuradha Prasad who is the sister of BJP leader, Ravi Shankar Prasad. Times Group is owned by Bennet & Coleman. The Italian, Robertio Mindo who has a share in the group is a close relative of Sonia Gandhi. CNN- News 18 is owned by Mukesh Ambani. Republic TV is owned by ARG Outlier Media Pvt Ltd and one of its biggest investors is Rajeev Chandrasekhar, a BJP leader- These are just a few examples out of the many news channels.

Editors are pulled up for putting their opinion, journalists are asked to toe the line, and media houses align themselves with different political ideologies and the interests of the owners and sponsors. Is it really possible to have a free and a fair media with this direct hold?

‘Freedom of the press is not just important to democracy, it is democracy.’

Walter Cronkite

India is the world’s largest democracy, and the media mustn’t be controlled by any political party, big corporate houses or any other sector. The Press and the media is the voice of the voiceless and should promote the rights of not just the majority but also the minority; it is the duty of the press of any country to ensure that the government is functioning properly and no section of the society is left behind.

Sources-

  1. Role of media in Indian democracy https://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/203650/11/11_chapter5.pdf
  2. https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/critic-inside-ravish-kumar-speaks-tnm-state-indian-journalism-109378
  3. Participatory Politics: New Media and Youth Political Action- University of Chicago
  4. Who owns your media?- https://www.newslaundry.com/2014/02/05/who-owns-your-media-4https://cablequest.org/index.php/news/channels-owned-by-polticians