To buy or not to buy .. fans and followers..
One of my absolute pet peeves is seeing profiles on Facebook and Twitter that have clearly purchased their extensive following. Not only is it misleading to potential customers but it can be damaging for the company’s reputation. There was a documentary on Channel 4’s Dispatches programme in the UK recently (Celebs, brands and fake fans), that highlighted the problem that this causes, not just for the business involved but also on an ethical level. Media firms use the services of “click farms” to a make a profile go from 0 followers to 100k in a matter of hours. These click farms often employ workers on a very low wage and expect them to work incredibly long shifts, the digital version of a sweat shop, and any reputable company would not want to be seen to endorse such a thing.
If the issue of ethics isn’t enough to put you off buying followers then how about the fact that it will affect your integrity as a professional business? The product or service offered should be enough to grow your brand image organically.. or at least you should have the belief it does. If you don’t believe in your brand image then why should anyone else? Buying followers will say to people “ we have to pay people to like us because we don’t have the time to tell you why we are good and we don’t care enough”. People make the false assumption that high following/likes gives them credibility, well” NEWSFLASH” .. it doesn’t. The general public are much more switched on to the wily ways of the media world these days and are very quick to jump on anyone they feel is misleading them in any way. You will find yourself the victim of online trolls if they so much as suspect that you are trying to pull the wool over their eyes!!
So, how can people tell if a profile has fake followers or likes? It’s easy! There are several giveaways
- Incredibly high amounts of followers/likes in a short space of time
- An uninteresting and boring profile with little insight into the business but a very high following
- Little or no engagement on a profile with a high ratio of likes/followers
- Websites such as SocialBakers.com and Fakers.statuspeople.com have apps that show amounts of fake followers on a profile ( neither of these are means tested or proven to be 100% accurate however)
The best way to increase your followers and likes organically is to have a strong, sound social media strategy in place. It takes time and patience for it to work and you cannot expect results over night. Employ a social media management company to give you guidance if you are unable to dedicate yourself to making it work – the results will outweigh the investment! Don’t waste your time, money or effort on hiking your likes, invest that money into hiring a professional (like me) to oversee a campaign or devise a strategy to grow a true and REAL client base for you.