When businesses hire me to help grow their followers on Instagram or Facebook they are doing this because they understand the value of having the eyeballs of quality potential clients or customers view their posts. They correctly understand that it’s not the quantity but the quality of their followers that will ultimately translate to dollar signs and make their investment worthwhile. However, having a large number of followers is never a bad thing, which is why websites like Socialfollow® can be so important for people looking for a larger following.

Once in a while a client asks me if it’s worth it to buy followers.
The ones who ask me that question generally fall into the following three categories:
1) They are impatient and want fast results.
2) They are concerned about their competitors who have more followers than them and want to appear more successful.
3) They believe the higher the number the more important and relevant they look and this will lead to more business.

My answer to those clients asking whether to buy or not to buy is always an unequivocal no. It’s a very bad idea to buy followers and here’s why.

#1 Low Engagement / Low Results

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 you are likely to get a large number of fake accounts amongst your number. This means that while you appear to have a lot of fans, very few people will like and comment. More importantly none of your non quality (mostly fake) followers will translate to business. In fact, adding in followers that don’t interact with your account reduces the percentage of engagement you will get. On some platforms, like Facebook, this will work against you. Facebook has a fancy algorithm it uses to decide what brand content it will filter to the news feed. Having a dwindling engagement rate tells this algorithm that your followers aren’t interested in your posts. So they will allow fewer of your posts into the news feed organically. Which means you have to buy more ads to reach your followers. If you’re looking for real and natural engagement with your posts then you’ll want to look towards organic follower growth – not fake followers! You need real followers for Instagram (or any social media platform for that matter) if you hope to have any meaningful engagement and grow your influence online. Plus, fake followers are pretty noticeable to the savvy user and just isn’t a professional look.

#2 SPAM!

Some services you buy followers from are extra shady beyond just selling you fake followers. Since they have access to your account, they can spam your followers with ads for their service, or anything really. Great for them! Not so much for you or your followers.

#3 Loss of Reputation.

It’s 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. In business your reputation is everything. It isn’t worth it to ruin it over attempting to look more successful than you are. But how, you may ask, can people even know you bought followers? Most new customers/clients won’t analyze your Instagram or Facebook and investigate. Most likely they’ll believe your followers are legit…well not so…

#4 You’ll get caught!

In fact a lot of people are currently getting found out. A new tool on the block is making it even easier. The Fake Followers Check check from Status people analyses your followers to see how many are fake. The interesting thing is you can do the analysis on other accounts too. In addition people are smart. When they see 30,000 followers but under 100 likes on a post, they know something is fishy. When they see most of your followers are foreigners or dodgy, they know something is up. And the moment they suspect that you inflated your numbers, you are back to issue #2…loss of reputation. Sometimes, you only have legitimate followers and have never bought any before, someone may still accuse you of buying them. If that happens and you find that your reputation is being damaged (and by extension, your business) by someone making false claims about your followers, you may need to consult with a defamation lawyer to discuss your options.

So what is the main lesson? Well apart from it being immoral to buy your followers, the number of followers you have really isn’t that important. Work on building a community of people who are interested in you or your product/service. If you follow this formula you will most certainly succeed.

You can start by hiring a professional with a proven track record to get you started. There are many incredible tips and tricks that legitimately attract people who want to follow you. Be it contests, boosting posts, hashtags, providing quality posts, being active on social media and engaging with customers etc. At MLWDESIGN, I prefer to get you started and train you to run your own social media because I firmly believe there is no one who can do a better job representing you, then you. Be wary of companies who claim they can boost your followers fast…they are often getting you fake followers too! Building a brand on social media isn’t about getting more followers than everyone else, it’s about getting into a niche market and building connections with real people that appreciate your product and-most importantly-are willing to spend money on it. Interaction with your followers is the best way to learn about your audience as well. Creating a quality follower base takes hard work-work that will pay off in actual dollars and cents if you give it the time it needs. One way of creating a great follower base is through using personalized marketing to try and target people that you think would visit your website or purchase your products. It makes sense to target those individuals, as they are your target market. By learning about personalized marketing, your business should be able to attract the people that are most likely to engage with your business. Websites like SheerID (see here) could be useful for businesses who are looking to improve their marketing, so make sure to visit a website like that if you need help reaching your target market. As you start producing content directed at your target market, you’ll be more likely to grow a follower base and your sales. It may seem daunting at first, but with a little planning, and some elbow grease you will get you the followers-and customers-of your dreams and maintain your integrity.

Jan 1, 2017 / Blog / Musings

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