It seems appealing to gain hundreds to thousands of followers for just a small price and a short waiting period. We all want more followers, right? But buying followers is not the smartest (or most beneficial) way to build your brand. Websites that sell these so-called “followers” are sketchy and aren't worth the trouble.
Thousands of followers right at your fingertips may seem tempting, but here’s why you should never pay for your followers.
It's Not Personal
When someone decides to follow you, it’s for a reason. They like you and your content, or your brand and what it stands for. Bought followers are just there to make up numbers and won't become active, loyal customers. Your real followers are your customers and clients, but bought followers are just a number and will not add value to your company.
Ask yourself this question: Why is your business using social media? Chances are it's to increase your brand awareness and sell your product or service, and fake followers aren't interested in your brand.
You won't make sales to fake followers, so why bother?
You'll Receive Little to No Engagement
The point of social media is not to have the most followers, but to engage and connect with people and expand your brand.
Would you rather have an abundance of followers just sitting there, or a smaller number of followers who actually engage you? Let’s be honest, everyone wants more followers, but it's best to have real followers that are interested in your brand and will bring you likes, comments, and shares. Real engagement will always be more important than follower count.
Basically, when you buy illegitimate followers, you're buying numbers, not engagement. Bought followers won't give you any engagement and will cause your overall engagement rate to go down, decreasing the likelihood of your posts appearing on newsfeeds. On Facebook, reduced engagement will cause the algorithm to put fewer of your posts on your (real) followers’ newsfeeds. The more engagement your post has, the more it will show up on the newsfeed.
Having lots of followers might seem enticing, but what’s the point if they don't actually give your posts any likes, comments, or shares?
It Could Tarnish Your Reputation
Remember that awkward moment when celebs and accounts with large followings lost huge percentages of their followers over night? Yes, the notorious Instapurge of 2014. Celebrities like Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian lost millions of followers that were most likely fraudulent or false accounts.
An account by the name of chiragchirag78 (which has since been deleted) had the largest defeat, going from a whopping 3.66 million followers to just 8. Buying followers might seem harmless, but it can end up being pretty embarrassing when the social network gets wise to your acts and puts an end to it.
Another memorable following fraud is that of politician, Newt Gingrich, who boasted about his 1+ million followers, but 92% of them were found to be fake.
If people find out you have purchased fake followers, you’ll lose credibility, trust, and respect. It will appear to others that you are not able to bring in real followers and are trying to appear more popular than you really are. It might seem simple, but fake followers can actually destroy your brand. Buying followers is seen by many as a distasteful act, so why jeopardize your reputation over numbers?
Follower Fraud is Easy to Spot
Chances are, if you purchase followers, you'll get found out. Believe it or not, it only takes a small investigation for other people to take notice of your false following. Your real followers won't trust you if you're caught buying your followers. To them, it just proves you can't get real people to follow your brand, so you took a last resort in hopes of making your business look more popular - but it will backfire.
It’s particularly easy for other people to see through your bought followers because, you guessed it, they look fake.
Buying followers is also against the terms and conditions of almost all social media platforms, so you risk your account being suspended or even deleted.
You Can Find Better Solutions
You can't expect cheap shortcuts to produce quality results. It is best to grow an honest and genuine following, so try legitimate ways to naturally grow your social media following.
Follower count doesn't guarantee success. While it's great to try to grow your following organically, it's best to focus on the content you're putting out. When you put out great content, people will engage with it, and more people will want to follow you.
Here, Gina Homolka’s Skinnytaste Instagram not only boasts delicious images, but she fosters engagement by sharing the recipe link and replying to comments from her followers. 17 hours from the initial post, and she already has 5,112 likes and a ton of comments from real people.
Remember that numbers aren't everything, so don't settle for a quick fix. Produce quality content and your numbers will follow.
The more the better? Not necessarily. When it comes to followers, It's best to grow your following organically instead of taking shortcuts. While it may seem appealing to rack up thousands of followers overnight, buying fake followers is never a good idea.
Buying followers should not be part of your strategy. Instead, use solutions to increase your following organically instead of settling for a quick fix. When you put out quality content and provide value to people, your following will naturally build.