I can’t believe I have to even say this in 2017. But — don’t buy followers!
Seriously, why buy followers? Buying followers doesn’t get you very far if you are trying to improve your/your clients following online. It’s not going to turn your social media profiles into viral works of art. It’s not going to make social media easier for you because you have a “huge following”. If you are trying to make a viable business off of it, it’s not going to make you successful. At least in my opinion. For the long run.
If you are just looking for a great big number to look at then you are on the right track, because that’s about all you’ll get. When I see advertisements floating around like “Get 10,000 (or whatever) followers for just $20! That’s cheaper than you’ll find online anywhere!” I have to just shake my head. Mostly because it’s ridiculous and the other part because people are paying for it.
To be honest, who knew you could even buy followers on Ebay and places like that?! Can you really?! I’ve never had a desire to even look into this so this was such a head scratcher for me.
I say all of this because it’s true. You’ll have no value in those followers. From what I know, they are very likely to be ghost followers who are inactive. You will have no way to ever scale or target people for actual sales because you have no proper data. This will ultimately hurt your cause. Why? Well, for starters, this is frowned upon by the algorithms and the companies who make them. Especially on Instagram. Your company page/clients page will coincidentally look worse in my opinion simply because it just is so easy to spot these days. All you have to do is scroll the profile and you can tell almost immediately who has bought followers.
Seriously, if someone has an account with 20,000 followers and you go and click on their posts and they have 10-15 likes (or less) on each of them, what would your first reaction be? They either have a really..really terrible post, or they have bought those followers. Or, how about when you go to a page and they have 40,000 followers and 5 total posts, like..come on. Unless you’re some sort of celebrity that just started a new account or something, I find that very hard to believe.
If it’s true and you can actually do that with real engaged people, email me because I would be very interested in learning your process.
Bots and Automation
I’m still seeing a lot of people asking what they can do to keep from doing this task, doing that task, or whatever on social media because it’s a lot of work but still want to continue to grow their following. All the time, actually. People are looking for ways to automate and take less time but unfortunately, you just can’t do that with things like Instagram. Sure you can use a lot of helpful tools online to help schedule your content, structure your content and save it for a later date, etc.
But really, do some searching on automating Instagram tools and you’ll see that most of them have been shutdown. Especially the ones that follow, unfollow, comment, etc. Social Media can be fun, and it is fun for most of us..but it’s a lot of work.
Instagram doesn’t like automation (bots) and I like that..a lot. Because, in my opinion the point of a social media community is to engage with people and build a community of people that love the same things or are interested in the same things. It’s not just to build a mass of people you can sell to right away and that’s the only reason you need them. Is that bad business on my part? I don’t really think it is–so stop trying to use bots and get out of the work. Because that’s what it is.
You’re trying to avoid the work but make the money. Like, “I need to sell to as many people as possible so I need to do the least amount of work as possible because how else will I ever do all that? There’s just not enough hours in the day.” Much like buying followers, in my opinion bots are super easy to spot as well. I’ve even seen that if you post the same comment on multiple posts, you could actually get flagged by Instagram because you end up looking like spam.
Social Media Managers
So, if you ask me, it’s bad enough if you do this for your own profiles, but if you are a Social Media Manager and are looking to do this for your clients because they are wanting a big growth in followers and activity, then shame on you. I feel like you know better. Or at least you should. This is the part that is concerning, at least to me. I feel like marketers already get a bad enough rap, but lying to the clients and purchasing followers doesn’t help the cause. Also, if your clients ask you to buy followers, I feel it is part our job to explain why this is such a bad idea.
It’s our job to explain these things out when they come to you asking why this company has 25,000 followers and they only have 2,000. It’s our job to explain the idea of researching their profiles and seeing their engagement. Right? Like, would you rather have 2,000 super engaged and active followers who respect your company and enjoy your brand as opposed to 25,000 “followers” who never see your content? Or even if they do see it for some reason, they couldn’t care less about it? I’ll take the first option all day!
Personally, I love building the followings, connecting with people, etc. That’s part of the challenge. It’s part of what makes it cool. Honestly, it’s part of why I love doing it. Not only that, you can say that you have a loyal follower base that you’ve built from nothing. You’ll have a group of people that actually want to see your content. They’ll want to hear from you every day, and want to know what you are doing next. That is sufficient data for your company. This is data you can actually use for your company. That is a number you can look at and make good decisions for your company, for yourself, and for your clients.