Believe it or not, buying social media followers is still a thing in 2016. You'd think such a trend would have ended years ago. But sadly, it's still around and just as pointless as it has always been. I understand why some individuals (and even businesses) feel the need to buy their way up the ladder, but is doing so really worth the risks that are involved?
Below are five real-world reasons why you should never even consider buying social media followers.
1. There's no reward.
Where's the fun in buying followers if you are not going to work on earning them yourself? Sure, at first it might seem satisfying to see such a large number so early in the game, but I can guarantee you that feeling of satisfaction will not last very long.
Working for what you are earning is what it's all about. I have been a creator on YouTube for over ten years now and I am still not where I want to be. 100,000+ subscribers is a nice number to be proud of, but it doesn't quite place me at the finish line.
I am always aiming for something bigger and better. But to take shortcuts? Simply put, I am not interested in going that route.
2. It can seriously damage your reputation.
Let's say you have spent the last few years building a supportive community across several social networks. You have a few thousand followers on Twitter and Instagram combined, as well as a couple thousand YouTube subscribers. One day you decide you want a little boost in your following. What's the worse that could happen?
Not only does buying followers and subscribers make you look bad in front of those who actually support you, but it can also get you into some serious trouble with the big guys running the show. Do you really want to run the risk of receiving account cancellation emails from your favorite social networks? I didn't think so.
3. These so-called "followers" are fake.
Do you ever wonder how buying followers on social media actually works? You are essentially exchanging money for a collection of bot accounts with no real interaction skills. In other words, don't ever expect to have any intellectual conversations with these so-called "followers" of yours. They're worthless.
You are better off talking to your cat. And you know what? That's not so bad.
4. You are obviously cheating.
If your Facebook page has 30,000+ followers and only a few are interacting with your posts, then I think it's pretty safe to assume what is going on behind the scenes. This will quickly become obvious to more and more people, thus rendering your brand untrustworthy.
It's important to appear transparent to anyone who is taking an interest in your brand. Otherwise, what's the point in putting yourself out there? People enjoy authenticity. Always remember that.
Are you looking to build a genuine community? I highly recommend you act on any of the following:
- Engage in more conversations on social media.
- Join forums focused around topics that interest you.
- Host Q&A sessions with your followers and encourage interaction.
- Start an email list and seek subscribers who are interested in more engagement.
- Continue to create original content where conversations will form naturally.
If you are looking for additional advice, my inbox is always open! Just click here to get in touch with me.