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4 reasons why you shouldn't buy followers
- AuthorLaura Morris
As the saying goes, if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is.
As a Social Media Manager, I long for the days before the introduction of elaborate algorithms that have made getting your voice to cut through the ever-increasing noise on social media, an uphill struggle. But, for better or worse, they’re here to stay.
It’s not hard to understand why some people have opted to take the easy route and buy their followers to boost their numbers. But that is exactly what it is – a number. You may be lured by the promise of 1000s of ‘quality’ followers for the price of your morning cup of coffee, but I’m here to tell you that it’s not worth bothering with. Save your money and go for that extra fancy mochaccino with extra whipped cream that you’ve had your eye on.
There are many reasons why buying followers is a bad idea, but here are the main ones:
- They’re usually bot or zombie accounts
Type into google ‘buy Instagram followers’ – and you’ll see a whole host of companies promising to deliver ‘100% real’ Instagram followers, cheap and fast, ‘guaranteed’. You can pay these companies a small fee for a set number of followers, usually starting at around 100 followers for the cheapest package, and once set up, the followers almost immediately start appearing. But quite often these accounts are bot accounts which are automated accounts with no posts, bio or profile images, purely set up for this sort of purpose, or zombie accounts which are inactive accounts that have been taken over by a bot. The trouble with this is, that while your follower number grows rapidly, your engagement rate remains static. After a year of scandals and drop in public trust in social media channels in 2018, algorithms have changed to favour accounts and content that get engagement from real people with real accounts.
- More followers doesn’t mean more reach
The selling point for the companies who sell followers is that, the more followers you have, the greater your reach will be, and you will find more people who fit your target audience profile. For the same reasons as mentioned above, this is not necessarily true. While there is some merit to having thousands of followers, as it can attract genuine new followers, this in no way puts your posts higher up the ranking than someone with only 100 followers.
- They don’t look good for your firm’s image
Buying followers comes with a very big risk of being caught out. If a genuine person comes across your profile and looks through your follower list, it will quickly become apparent that you’ve bought followers if all they’re seeing is bot accounts. Many genuine users take this sort of thing seriously (as they should) and will often report accounts they suspect have bought followers. Not to mention, there are a now a myriad of free tools online which can help people detect how many of an account’s followers are genuine. Instagram and Twitter are getting hotter on this and have started mass culling bot accounts to prevent the spread of spam content and fake news, which means you run the risk of losing 1000s of followers in a matter of seconds, which is also an alarm bell for genuine followers.
- It’s all about quality over quantity
As I’ve already mentioned, the number of followers you have is just that: a number. Instagram’s latest algorithm prioritises content from accounts that their followers and other users engage with a lot. So, having lots of bot accounts following you is doing you no favours in terms of reach. As the old saying goes it’s ‘quality over quantity’ when it comes to followers on Twitter or Instagram. Would you rather have 10,000 followers who never engage with any of your content and never convert, or 100 genuine followers who regularly interact with your content, click through to your website and may even end up converting into clients? Something to think about.
Building your following on any social media channel takes time (and sometimes even sweat and tears!), but by earning genuine followers, you’ll also be earning brand advocates and the halo above your head can stay squeaky clean! If you’re interested in how we can help you build your audience on social media, check out our social media packages and get in touch with us today by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.