AffiliateINSIDER CEO Lee-Ann Johnstone assesses whether to use growth services.

Instagram has over one billion monthly active users which makes it a vital tool for affiliate marketers who want to grow their audience and increase traffic to their portal. For many businesses, growing an account and getting a large enough following to compete can be tricky, especially when you are just starting out.

Many people utilise growth services that allow them to get more engagement and get their brand name out there – but is this worth it?

Should you purchase followers?

While growth services can be very helpful in helping to grow a following, it is important to understand the difference between this and simply purchasing followers. In the past, businesses and influencers utilised a service called Instagress that used automation to artificially engage users.  

In affiliate marketing, I would advise that you don’t simply purchase followers as it is extremely easy to see through and you risk affecting the reputation of your brand. In the long-term, your engagement will not increase and so it is better to avoid tools like Instagress.

Which tools can you use?

If you do want to grow your Instagram following without artificially engaging users, there are some alternatives to Instagress that you can use. SocialSteeze is a great service that targets accounts using hashtags, usernames and locations relevant to your brand. This service comes with a dedicated account manager and will help you to gain real followers.

For those who want to organically boost their following on Instagram, I suggest that you use Combin, an app which not only focuses on increasing your followers but also fostering those relationships. If you have some spare time to put into this app then you could really grow your following organically.

Alternatives to using growth services

When you have spent time and money building your brand on Instagram already, it can be risky to use some of these services. For this reason, you might want to think about changing the way that you use Instagram in order to increase your following and the awareness of your brand.

Some alternatives to growth services include experimenting with types of content and your posting schedule. You can also increase your follower engagement by interacting with them and grow your account organically that way.

Instagram Stories are another important tool that Instagram has implemented in recent years. When it comes to businesses on Instagram, you’ll find that one-third of the most viewed Stories come from business accounts. Establish your Instagram Story strategy and you’ll be able to boost your followers.

Conclusion

If you are thinking about using an Instagram growth service to increase your following, you need to approach this with an air of caution. Using a service that breaches Instagram’s terms and conditions can put your account at risk and you could end up losing your current following.

In affiliate marketing, Instagram is incredibly important so make sure to organically grow your following and only utilise tools that are safe to use.