Looking to buy social media followers? Let me ask you… What’s more important, 10,000 fans or followers, or 100 who will actually engage with you?
It seems this question isn’t asked too often by a number of people running social media channels who opt to buy their followers in order to boost their numbers.Let’s be honest for minute, who hasn’t wanted to boost the number of followers or fans they have? Silicon Valley marketing executive, Guy Kawasaki, famously said…
"There are 2 types of people on social media: those who want more followers, and those who are lying!" Guy kawasaki
I’d love to disagree with him, but I honestly believe he’s right. Who doesn’t want to have more followers? I remember taking the decision to create a new Twitter account solely for my business, and having to start from scratch. It was easy to try and compare the number of followers I had with others in my field and get depressed.
Numbers Aren’t Everything.But… not all metrics are the same. In the social media/marketing/IT world we are very fond of data. I’ve said numbers aren’t everything, but more true to the point is that some numbers are important and some numbers are not. While I do agree having a large number of followers looks good (and I’d be lying if I wasn’t proud by the fact that I’ve grown my following to over 50,000 on Twitter), there are other metrics that I feel are more useful and important. How about…
How many people engage with you on a regular basis
How many Twitter lists people have added you to
Shock horror- how many leads and sales social media is driving!
How much traffic to your website your social efforts are driving
Let’s stop looking at the number of fans and followers and look at the things that matter!
Why is Buying Followers so Bad? Low Engagement - When you buy followers or fans, you aren’t getting people who are interested or willing to engage with you. You are merely buying numbers. After paying for followers/fans or engaging in aggressive follower churn, you are likely to get a large number of fake accounts amongst your number. Blogger, Zach Bussey, decided to do an experiment and create a new Twitter account and buy some followers. Over night the number of followers of his new Twitter account increased to a whopping 26,000! It got interesting when he analysed the results and looked at the Twitter accounts that these fake accounts followed. Doing this enabled him to have a good guess on other people who had paid for followers!
Loss of Integrity and Reputation - In this post-modern (or post-post-modern!) world we live in, morality is perhaps more difficult to define since everyone has a different view of what morality is. However, it is fair to say that people see buying followers as a rather immoral thing to do. People view it as you trying to appear more popular than you are and doing it by dodgy means. People may not know that you’ve bought followers, but going from 30 followers or likes to 30,000 in the space of a couple of days is bound to get people suspicious, and then your integrity and reputation could well be in tatters.
Measure Engagement Not Follower Count So what is the moral of this story? Well apart from it not being moral to buy your followers and having the possibility of having your account suspended or deleted, the number of followers you have really isn’t that important. Let’s make an effort not to play the numbers game and be impressed with the number of followers or likes some business has. Work on building a community of people who are interested in you or your product/service. You will most certainly reap the benefits if you do.
How to Grow your Followers the Right Way I’ve explained why buying followers is bad (unless you are paying for Facebook or Twitter advertising to boost your followers), so how can you grow your followers the right way? By providing value to people, that’s how! And… by finding relevant people to follow or are likely to follow you back and engage with you.
Article by Ian Anderson Gray
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