Building an online community of people who actively support your business is a key element in many small businesses marketing strategy to build greater awareness of their company.
But online growth doesn’t happen overnight – it takes time, effort, and consistency. This can become increasingly frustrating for business owners who want to grow their business quickly and start looking for shortcuts.
One “shortcut” to increasing online followers, which has become common practice for some is buying followers (often known as fake followers).
But, is it worth it?
Our short answer is no. Fake followers are typically inactive social accounts, set up with the sole intention of mass-following other social media accounts for money.
Here are some of our reasons why we believe you should never buy fake followers:
Your engagement rates will suffer
The biggest indicator of an audience that support your business is your engagement rate.
Your engagement rate measures how much interaction you get from the total number of people you reached, and therefore shows you how effective your content is.
You may be thinking ‘the more followers you buy, the better the engagement, right?’
In most cases, when you buy followers, you’re just paying them to follow you. These accounts won’t interact with your account, which can cause huge problems for your engagement rate.
Ask yourself; how will you measure engagement with your real audience if fake followers are involved?
Strong engagement comes from real, interested people interacting with you and your content. This can be through direct messages, saving, liking, or commenting on your posts.
The more people who actively engage, the more likely your business will end up on the Instagram explore page or amongst the top posts’ hashtags section (and therefore get more reach, from more interested people who are more inclined to buy from you which is the main goal!)
So, while fake followers might seem like a good idea at the time, they’re bad for your page and for your business in the long run.
Comments left by fake followers are also often unrelated to your post, which leads us to our second reason!
Inappropriate + Spammy Comments
Receiving comments on a post is great! It gives you the opportunity to start up a genuine conversation with existing or potential customers and build relationships with your community.
With fake followers, this won’t happen.
Bot accounts make their comments as generic as possible. For example: “good one”, “pretty pic”, or “nice post!”. These types of comments lack substance, and when they’re seen frequently, your real followers might start to catch on.
As a result, your account will appear less trustworthy, and people will be less likely to follow your brand.
Fake followers can also be spammy, which you’ll want to avoid when building up your brand’s online reputation.
Their comments may try to sell and can occasionally have a link for readers to click – avoid clicking on these! Comments with links often have a sinister intent; encouraging people to leave their contact information.
Nowadays, social media platforms, particularly Instagram are taking stronger actions against fake followers. Which leads us into the next reason for not buying them!
They’re NOT REAL PEOPLE!
Fake followers aren’t real people. They may look like they’re engaging with your content, but there are no humans behind their accounts.
This is an example of a vanity metric.
While vanity metrics might make you feel good, they’re no help to you when you’re trying to understand your social media performance or grow your business.
So, after reading this blog, you’re probably wondering:
How can I gain a real social media following which benefits my business?
Work with someone who puts your business objectives first and can develop a strategy for you to use social media to help reach those objectives.
At Charlie Puffin Digital, we help our clients build their online presence to its full potential.
We don’t do geek-speak, contractual tie-ins or chase vanity metrics; we simply help you achieve real results based on your goals.
Want to take your social media to the next level? Get in contact with us today!