Should you buy social media followers?
Monday, August 21, 2017
With the simple click of a button, your social page can get hundreds or even thousands of social media followers.
More accounts than you think are chock-full of fake followers. The biggest names on Twitter, like Katy Perry and Justin Bieber, both have more than 58 million fake followers. If you're curious, spend a few minutes on Twitter Audit analyzing your own account or influencers you work with.
But while it sounds good to skyrocket your social following, is it too good to be true?
Let's look at how buying social followers works (including the cost) and see if there’s ever a time you should buy followers.
How does it work?
There are a variety of different sites out there that each handle this in a variety of ways. Most of the time you purchase fake followers, they'll be dummy accounts with no profile pictures or posts. Other times, a site will create a bot to automatically follow (and then unfollow) a page after a certain amount of time.
If you search, you can find ways and sites to buy followers who are actual people. Sometimes you'll even be able to purchase targeted followers who match some basic demographics or keywords. Other times, you simply buy an account that already has an established following and take it over.
How much does it cost?
Prices range. Generally, you can buy 100 Twitter followers for around $10, 100 Facebook followers for $10 to $20, and 100 Instagram followers for $2. When you snag followers for prices like these, they'll typically be lower-quality, fake profiles.
If there are real people behind those accounts, the prices will obviously increase because they're more valuable to you and your company.
Or if you pay for engagement on each post, you'll likely pay a monthly fee of about $100.
What are the pros and cons of buying social media followers?
Buying social followers is crazy easy and cheap — especially if you compare it to the time and money you invest to gain authentic followers. And while it can be tempting to do, you should probably avoid this practice.
The one exception? If you have a new page, it could be in your favor to buy a few followers to jump start your account. Otherwise, people may be skeptical to like a new page with three followers.
Other than that, buying social media followers probably isn't a good move for your business. It's a shortcut that offers little to no payoff. Yes, you'll get a nice boost at the beginning or even consistent engagement (if you shell out the big bucks).
But that increase in numbers is where it begins and ends. Those fake followers will never convert, buy anything or become brand advocates. They're just numbers without the power of the social community behind them. Gaining followers through tried-and-true methods will be better for your brand.
Accounts with real followers got double the average likes and engagement rates, compared to accounts with fake followers. The conversion rate was also remarkable — 3.89 percent compared to 0.23 percent, according to Adspresso data.
Plus, it's sketchy if you have thousands and thousands of "followers," but your posts only get a handful of likes. People will take notice, which may cause you to hemorrhage existing real followers or deter others from following at all.
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