16 Dec Don’t Buy Followers [Social Media Tip]
Social media marketing isn’t a simple game of Likes if you plan on being taken seriously as a business, build relationships with your customers, generate more leads and see real ROI and results. There are tons of websites offering thousands of followers for a low cost, but high numbers in following mean nothing if your audience doesn’t interact with you. Buying social media followers will hurt your brand more than the illusion of popularity you think you are creating. Stay away and don’t buy followers!
I will admit that going on a business’ social media channels and seeing BIG follower numbers is impressive at first glance. It’s like those people that seem to have a fabulous life and then you realize those decadent meals are recycled photos, or that pair of red bottoms never left the dressing room- you are a joke, and everyone else knows – except you, of course. Your social media channels are a first line of contact between your customers and your brand, and who uses brands they don’t take seriously or trust? Besides creating a horrible first impression, the smoke and mirrors are a waste if you aren’t getting your audience to interact with your posts.
What buying fake followers costs you:
- Credibility. Not only will savvy professionals know what you’re up to, but consumers are getting savvier as to what adds up to an account with a purchased following. At a time where being transparent is so important, your potential audience will turn away for this insult to their intelligence. Buying your followers will cost your credibility.
- Interaction. Buying your followers will cost you your audience’s interaction. When you talk to a bunch of fake or inactive users guess what happens? Nothing. Your posts get no likes, or comments, and if they do it’s mostly spam. How awful does it look to have 100,000 fans and 2 likes on a post? Ouch.
- Reach. Since your newly bought following hardly interacts with you, your posts will have 0 reach. What’s the point in that? Why waste your time creating content that will not go anywhere past your fan page?
- Metrics. A slew of purchased followers will absolutely muddy your metrics. Although if you are spending money on your audience (in this way) then maybe metrics don’t matter to you- but they do to any serious marketer, who wants results. With reach affected by the bought members, any trace of a real audience behavior is clouded.
- Customers and business. Without an organic audience to spread your content, no new eyes will see your brand, and no one will click on any links you put out there, so again what is the point of all this?
- Getting marked as spam. Yes, any trace organic following may not ever see your posts because the way the algorithms are set up, your channel is spam, attracting more spam and could cost your channel being removed permanently…another ouch.
All the listed above leads to a big waste of time, energy, and money. Bottom line, if you are on social media to cultivate an audience, get traffic and results stay away from buying followers. If you did buy followers, don’t wonder why your messages aren’t getting shared, or your links get no clicks. If your accounts do get deleted for being spam- consider it a blessing in disguise as you can begin to build an organic audience the right way.
Over the years social media networks have cracked down on inactive and fake users. Most recently Instagram joined the list and notified users to expect some changes in follower numbers as they clean up all the spam accounts (read more on the Instagram blog). It will be interesting to see how some numbers drop.
No good ever comes to people who pretend to be what they are not, and faking it till you make it clearly doesn’t work either. Apply this train of thought whenever paying $5.00 for 10,000 followers becomes tempting. Building an organic audience is hard work, but worth it when you start seeing your audience interact, drive traffic and build real leads.