Last Updated on August 1, 2020
Why It’s a No No
Imagine monitoring your online presence and noticing that your competition’s Twitter is abuzz with replies from other users? Or that their content on Pinterest is being repined faster than you can refresh the page? Or their Instagram has just hit 100k followers! If your focus is on numbers, you might consider purchasing social media followers (e.g., buying fans/friends or “Likes”). But is that really a good idea? We don’t think so.Ready to Talk?
Quality Over Quantity
Of course, no discussion about purchasing social media followers is complete without discussing the obvious downside: numbers don’t equate to quality. Many of those purchased fans may be fake accounts! Wouldn’t you want real followers you interact with your brand? Why would you spend money on followers if they’re going to disappear in a few months, anyway?
As Facebook continues to tweak its algorithm — and Google defends against spammers — you’re only going to be hurt by having fans who don’t interact with the content that you post. So while you might have 5,000 fans, only a few hundred might see your latest link or status update. Buying low-quality “Likes”, or using bots to artificially interact with your brand, is only going to decrease this number. However, organic fans who like what you have to offer tend to engage with brands more.
If Facebook, or Instagram, find that you have been purchasing “Likes”, or manipulating their system, they will delete your page. Many businesses have seen their pages disappear overnight because of purchased likes. Is the ego boost of having lots of fans who don’t interact with your page worth the risk?
There are plenty of other options for brands that want to build their online presence without purchasing social media followers. It’s an unethical practice that goes against the terms of service set forth by networks like Facebook and Twitter. As an alternative, you can offer an incentive such as a coupon or giveaway to attract to social media followers. If you’re busy populating your profiles and Timelines with interesting stories and engaging with your followers, you’re doing exactly what will help you get new fans.
Strategic Ads on Social Media
This isn’t to say that there aren’t smart investments when it comes to social media and online marketing — but buying Twitter or Pinterest followers isn’t smart. What is? Sites like Facebook provide ways for you to legally purchase ads to expand your reach outside of your network. In fact, you can hone your advertising options to people from certain countries, with a specific relationship status or who are interested in topics such as “Beauty.”
Because you’re probably using social media to drive traffic to your site, purchasing ads directly on search engines or through a reputable ad network will also help to that end without using social media as a middle man at all.
Make no mistake, there are services that can multiply your number of fans in a matter of hours. But you might spend more time and money trying to repair your brand’s reputation and encouraging engagement if you purchase social media follows. Is keeping up with the Joneses worth risking your reputation?
What are your thoughts about purchasing social media followers? Good idea or deceptive marketing?