Hiring an agency that grows your Instagram account engagement and helps increase followers without even giving them access to your account sounds too good to be true. All this service and everything is organic and white-hat? Can this even work? We checked Path Social and their Instagram growth elite package. Here’s our Path Social review for you.
As a social media enthusiast, I was very intrigued when I stumbled over this service from Path Social to help me with my Instagram account. I wasn’t looking to buy followers like bots or automated sorts of engagement, so their marketing seemed good enough. Without giving them any sort of access over your account, they help you with the community building – so they say.
Path Social homepage doesn’t really say anything
How could this work though? Going through their website, they appear to be a legit company with awesome reference clients and case studies. They state they were featured in publications like Business Insider, Forbes, and others. Still, I have found no such feature article there about the organic Instagram growing services from Path Social. After studying all of their web pages, you’ll find out that they don’t explain anything at all about how you gain engagement, community, or followers.
They also compare their own services to competitors like Followliker, Jarvee, Nitreo, SocialCaptain, Kicksta, Instazood, Ampfluence, Combin, Everliker, Gramista, Ingramer, and Instagress. Naturally they consider themselves better than any of these. Normally, I would have seen all the red flags and abandon ship. However, as I want to show you the full picture of Path Social, I opted for their elite package for 69 USD per month. You can check the graphic below for a price and feature comparison.
So what happened after signing up? You get access to a dashboard that is not that well designed as the other areas of their website. You enter some hashtags and accounts that you find similar to your account and finally enter your own account’s handle. In theory, you could also do this for any other Instagram account since there is no validation.
What happens after you buy?
A few days after you started the subscription, your account will start receiving likes on posts and new followers. Since they clearly stated that there would be a bit of a warm-up phase, this is fine. So what’s the catch? The accounts that follow you are bots. Maybe they are bots controlled by humans, but they are certainly no proper people. The bots will have a profile picture, name, and bio text, as well as some photos in their feed, but they are still bots in my books, even if they are not super obvious bots.
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The new followers that you will get all follow the same pattern. They all have about five photos up, all posted in a similar date range, and no further hint that these could be even remotely real people. All of these facts led me to believe that they are indeed fake followers, and there’s no value in just adding followers to your account as a vanity metric. They will never enjoy any of your posts and will not exchange thoughts with you. In the best-case scenario, there is a human crew logging in and out of all those accounts to drop likes and followers to their clientele. In the worst-case scenario, it’s all just algorithms and automation.
So is Path Social a fraud for Instagram growing services? No, not exactly. They don’t truly do what you’d expect, but then say also didn’t really say what they would do. But at least one thing on their website was a lie, as far as I can tell. In their FAQ, they state: “Are the followers high quality? Definitely. We don’t mess with fake or low-quality followers, that’s bad for your brand. We only use organic promotion strategies to get you high-intent followers!” This does not seem to be the case.
How to get a refund?
Kindly also note that this is likely against the terms of service of Instagram, and these followers that you paid for can be deleted at any point in time. Taken all of that into account, I decided then to cancel my subscription and ask for a refund. They don’t make it exactly easy to cancel and get a refund, but as long as you raise the request within seven days after ordering, they will comply.
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Just sent an email in reply to your welcome mail, and they will respond, confirm, and ask you to complete this form. I got almost 100% of my money for the first month back, and I suppose that the few missing cents might have been bank transaction fees or currency exchange rates going up and down between my account in EUR and their billing in USD. So while their service is not as useful as it might appear at first, at least it’s not a scam, and you can get your money back.
What’s a better way to do social media?
So how can you grow your Instagram account, community, and follower count? As of now, I haven’t found a magical solution. Most of the services are not organic, and some are even black-hat. If you want my advice, I recommend you just to use Instagram like a normal person.
Post selfies, do funny stories, browse hashtags, leave comments on pictures that you like, and follow the people you like best to get nice photos into your timeline and feeds. You’ll need to spend time on this and not money. You can’t outsource community building like that, especially not to machines or soulless account farms. Be creative for people and not for machines. What’s the point? Just have fun, and eventually, you’ll grow.
I haven’t checked on other such IG growing services as of now, but you can check the video below by Daddy Nat to find out about his experiences with Kicksta and Trusy Social. Maybe this would also be relevant to you if you are currently checking for companies that do this sort of growth service.
YouTube: Do Instagram Promo Companies Work? (Kicksta vs. Trusy Social Review)
Photo credit: The feature image has been done by Pablo Nidam. The comparison graphic is owned by Path Social. The photo “upset man with phone” was taken by Afif Kusuma. The picture “man in suit” was shot by Antony Trivet.
Editorial notice: In January 2022, they tried to have us publish a sponsored review of their service, which we declined because it was unethical to publish an opposing new review that claims untrue things.