Social media is something almost every brand, agency, or even just everyday people are trying to tackle.
We’ve all seen the influencers on our feeds, amassing thousands of followers and getting paid to do what appears to be just living a normal life. This can be frustrating, especially to marketers, which according to Hubspot, almost 83% of them are actively pursuing social media initiatives. Yet, this is why buying followers has become such a widespread practice.
Most of us probably tend to view buying followers as a negative practice, as it seems as though it’s almost cheating. And while I primarily agree with that point, I also know it can be an excellent way to give an account the jumpstart it needs to be successful. Yes, the line between the two can be hard to decipher, which is why I’m going to walk you through a few of the pros and cons of the practice. Check them out below:
Believe it or not, there are plenty of great perks to buying social media followers to up your page. The basic principle behind buying followers is to increase your perceived social proof or the authority you have over a particular subject. Plenty of folks do this, from artists and tastemakers to brands and online personalities. The biggest reason most pull the trigger on buying followers is that when they’re starting out, it can help gain credibility as more people start to follow them. Furthermore, the eventual goal in this investment boils down to eventually being able to utilize your social media as a paid influencer. However, getting carried away can be a bad look.
If you’re someone that’s just breaking into building an online brand or persona and are considering buying followers, make sure you do it in moderation. No one is going to believe an account that was started two months ago is going to have 10k plus followers, but they might consider it reasonable to have maybe 2-5,000. As your account grows from following folks, you can eventually extinguish your bought followers, leaving an authentic audience.
As you start to consider buying followers, remember that this is somewhat of a risk. After all, being called out could kill your social media career before it even begins.
When buying followers, you’re taking a big chance on your reputation. Even though this is a widespread practice, it’s one that’s constantly under watch. In fact, a recent report by CNBC stated that over 48 million twitter accounts could be bots, a staggering statistic when you factor in that engagement is a large reason that advertisers pay top-dollar for the platform. This is an ongoing thing, which means you should be careful of how many followers you buy if any at all.
The biggest reasons that buying followers is a bad idea comes down to a few different factors. First, if you’re outed, then you run the chance of burning bridges with everyone who you want to build relationships with, as well as your fans. Second, if you’re looking to have companies advertise on your page or promote their product, then you could potentially be facing legal liability if it’s found you purposely inflated your numbers. And finally, this destroys your brand’s credibility, which will only be an uphill battle to come back from.
As we weigh out the pro’s and con’s of buying followers, I’ll leave you with this question: looking at profiles of people you admire, how would you feel if you found out their following was fake? Like you got conned, right? Even if you found them funny, insightful, or even just entertaining, all of that investment you made into consuming their content feels meaningless. Which is why I’d heavily advise against buying followers. However, if you really feel the need to, then do it in a way that’s discreet and feels organic.
As there are no shortcuts to success, remember that building a quality following is something that’s going to take time regardless if you buy followers or not. As over 76% of all Americans are on some sort of social media platform, that’s a huge audience and one that even if you tapped into .0001% of, you could end up with a pretty sizable crowd. Make an effort to start following people every day that you feel would enjoy your content, and you’d be surprised at what might turn out. This is an exciting opportunity for you to learn and grow from, and one you should take pride in developing.
As there’s a lot of controversy over whether people should buy social media followers or not, how do you feel about the practice? Comment with your insights below