Let’s admit it – growing your social media following isn’t easily done and it certainly does not happen overnight. Building a quality social media following takes time, especially if you are just starting out. And of course, businesses with larger followings and engagement tend to be seen more frequently online. Because of this – it makes sense that so many people start to consider purchasing followers. Can this be done? Yes, very easily in fact and it can actually be done fairly cheap. But, should you do it? Absolutely NO – you shouldn’t. Purchasing followers can actually be more detrimental to your brand than you may think – and we are here to tell you why!
- It violates against Terms & Conditions: All major social media platforms have this in their terms & conditions – why? Well, you are affecting their bottom line. Fake accounts and followers affect advertising, investments, stock price and much more. It is no wonder that these platforms are doing as much as possible to unveil fake accounts as well as accounts with fake followers.
- You are jeopardizing your reputation: Believe it or not, people know when you purchase followers and they talk about it. It’s not hard to tell when a company has 100K followers and only 3 comments and under 100 likes on a post. If you think people don’t talk about this – you’re wrong. Your online reputation is very important – don’t risk it just to have large numbers. PLUS: there are programs out there where you can check your following – as well as check the following of others – so people will find out.
- Organic reach goes down: If tons of people engage with your posts then the social networks will consider your content quality and show your posts and any similar posts of yours to more and more people. When you buy followers who simply don’t engage the opposite happens, resulting in a reduced organic reach. Fake accounts can’t really engage with you, because they are not real people – just robots. Because of that you are not going to have any real engagement. Any fake accounts that do engage – are usually spammy comments. Low engagement, may lead to less views from real followers or potentially new followers.
- Ruins your metrics: Let’s be real – if you have 100k followers and you know that a large portion of those are purchased – could you point out which ones are real accounts? Probably not! Therefore, all of your marketing and post metrics are going to completely get jumbled. You won’t know what marketing plan is really working for you and which one is not, because your reports are a mix of REAL users who love your product and FAKE users who will never convert into a real sale. Wouldn’t you rather be able to have accurate metrics and therefore know what’s working for you?
- They will cost you more in the long run: Purchasing followers is fairly cheap – which is why it is so tempting. However, take the example above regarding your metrics. Now think about it – If you have poured money into your marketing, whether it be $50 or $1000 – You are no longer able to work out what aspects of your strategy are getting you the biggest return and invest in them.
- You may be marked as spam: Along with buying followers – there is similar option to have your account like and comment on pictures/status’ with certain hashtags. People usually purchase this option in hopes that the accounts they (generically) comment on or like will turn around and follow them back. Keep in mind, you never see what photos you are “liking” and leaving comments on, unless you look at your own history on your social media platforms. Let us tell you now, people get super annoyed by these auto comments! They are usually pretty obvious (you have probably seen some as well on some of your Instagram comments) These accounts tend to have their comments deleted and people report them as spam! You do NOT want to get reported for spammy activity and your accounts suspended as a result.
The safest bet is to just work a little harder at building your following organically. Take some time to think of some amazing content your audience loves and consistently engage as much as you can. Do not just respond to comments on your account – find those prospective customers and like/comment on their content. Build those relationships and you will eventually build a larger following.
What are your thoughts on social media accounts that purchase followers, just to have a high “number” of followers in order to look popular? Let us know what you think by commenting below.