Jason Squires

Why your business should never buy Facebook fans or Twitter followers

“Buy 2,500 real Facebook fans for £XX.“

“Buy 5,000 Twitter followers for £XX.“

It’s promises like these that have seen businesses across the world flock to companies selling Facebook fans and Twitter followers. It’s promises like these that have also seen businesses throw their money away.

Buying Your Social Media Following Is A Bad Idea.

A really bad idea. Want to know why? Read on.

Why do companies choose to buy fans / followers?

In a world that seems to revolve around public image it should come as no surprise that there are plenty of businesses that believe they will be judged by the number of Facebook fans or Twitter followers they have.

Sadly there’s actually a degree of truth to this belief.

There are some social media users – many some might say – that make an assumption about companies based on the number of followers a company has attracted, meaning a company with 100,000 followers is more appealing than one with 100 followers.

In a case of keeping up with the Joneses then, this has led other companies – both new companies and those new to social media – to believe it necessary to gain a large following quickly.

The easiest way to do this is of course to buy followers.

With plenty of providers out there, it’s not a tricky thing to do, but is it the right thing? The answer to that is a resounding NO and here’s why.

Reasons not to buy a social media following

Here’s a rundown of the five main reasons you shouldn’t buy Facebook fans or Twitter followers.

1. Fake Followers Provide No Interaction

A successful social media campaign is built around interaction.

By conversing, liaising and corresponding with your followers you’re able to promote your latest product, receive valuable feedback and generally improve brand awareness. The ultimate goal though is to convert followers into customers.

Fan and followers supplied on a pay basis generally fall into one of two categories: those that are fake, and those that have no interest in your company / product and have clicked ‘Like’ or ‘Follow’ because they have been paid (a minute amount) to.

In both instances, it’s highly unlikely that this new fan will provide worthwhile interaction or become a customer.

2. Fake Followers Make It Harder To Interact With Genuine Fans

While it may feel good to look at that large number, a huge following can actually hinder your attempts to reach out to potential customers, especially on Facebook.

As Facebook has grown in prominence, the social media site has continued to adapt its advertising policy. Today, in a bid to create advertising revenue, less than 5% of a company’s posts will be seen by followers.

Now imagine that that entire 5% is made up of paid for fans that are either fake or uninterested in your business. That means your post has reached nobody worthwhile, and you’ve paid for it to do so.

3. Fake Followers Will Impact YourSocial Media Ranking

Behind the scenes, social media companies love to play with algorithms, activity records and online trends. They love even more to create and adjust rankings.

The method for creating rankings is top secret but it’s known that companies that purchase fake fans and followers from third parties are hamstrung when it comes to reaching out to their following.

A spike in ‘suspect’ followers can quickly limit the audience of your post further, and again bring into question the cost effectiveness of buying fans.

4. Fake Followers Are Regularly Purged By Social Media Platforms

For social media sites to remain popular, it’s vital they meet the needs and requirements of their social users. This means limiting the amount of spam and unwanted interaction from bots and fake users.

As such, the likes of Facebook and Twitter regularly monitor behaviour, looking for inactive and suspect accounts, and responding to complaints about spam. As such, many of the fake accounts created are deleted.

If you’ve paid to have one of these accounts become a follower, you’ve paid for nothing.

5. Fake Followers Will Dent Your Credibility & Respectability

Finally and most importantly, purchasing Facebook fans and Twitter followers can actually damage your reputation and lead to genuine fans questioning your credibility.

Customers and clients can become disillusioned with your company if they discover you’ve paid to pad your stats.

The general consensus is that a company willing to deceive when it comes to the number of social media followers they have earned may be willing to cut corners and deceive in other aspects of business.

Meanwhile, if you’re competitors learn of your folly, they’re sure to let you and their own customers know about it. You can forget about prizing their customers away then.

It makes sense then to completely avoid purchasing fans and followers for the benefit of your company.

What’s the alternative?

You’re not going to want to hear this but it takes a lot of hard work and / or cash to successfully build your social media profile and, in turn, generate a productive following.

Forget about short cuts, marketing campaigns and paid advertising are stepping stones to success, while social media interaction is the skeleton key that unlocks success online.

Whether or not you opt for in-house social media management or reach out to (and pay for) an expert to guide you along the way is your decision, but rest assured, either route will lead to success quicker than buying fans and followers.

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Twitter: @JasonSquiresSM

Web: www.JasonSquiresOnline.com

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