To quote K-Pop supergroup BTS, we’re so sick of this fake love, and especially on social media, where people LOVE to buy fake followers. In an online world that’s full of fake news, photoshopped selfies and ‘catfishing,‘ it’s no surprise that brands and influencers are turning to fake accounts to increase their following.
We understand; having a big following on social media looks impressive. Especially if you’re growing frustrated with the lack of followers, engagement or likes your page is getting. So it’s understandable that you’d be tempted to pay for fake followers. Bots and fake accounts are becoming a common thing on social, and there’s no way to remove every fake account that follows your brand. Surely it’d be stupid not take advantage of this?
The problem is, there’s a question that is not being asked enough by social media managers who decide to purchase fake followers. What is more important? 20,000 followers or 200 that will actively engage with your page? Unfortunately, follows and likes mean less than what they used to. We all love gaining these, but engagement is what you should be focusing on. It’s more important to have a reasonable amount of engaged followers than thousands that you purchased from a click farm.
Fake followers can also have a negative effect on your page’s analytics – If you have 100,000 followers on Instagram, but only 500 of those respond to your posts and are real profiles, that means you only have an engagement rate of 0.5% percent. That’s pretty unimpressive and shows the uselessness in bragging about a following size.
Many social media users will go through your followers to see if your brand is the real deal. They’ll become suspicious if you have too many fake followers that are obviously bots set up for the purpose of sharing other people’s content or to increase your numbers. Of course you could gamble on the fact that some people don’t care enough to go through a brand’s list of followers, but be careful, it doesn’t take much for word to spread around that your brand following and engagement looks sketchy.
Another problem that arises is the possibility of getting banned. Earlier this year Facebook reported it had closed down 583 million fake profiles, and it’s only a matter of time before they and the other main social media platforms start to crack down on brands and users with suspiciously high numbers of fake followers. Is this temporary and unnecessary large following worth the risk of getting your brand’s page suspended? Feigning ignorance or saying that ‘everyone else is doing it’ will only make things worse – it doesn’t work when someone breaks the law and it doesn’t work in winning you any fans.
Lastly, but certainly not least, it’s a waste of your money! It might seem enticing to spend £50 for 1,000 followers, but it’s £50 that you’re wasting on a temporary victory. That money could be put to better use, for example, boosting a post on Facebook or putting it towards an Instagram advert. Both of which would gain you plenty of real followers and generate your brand’s engagement.
There’s no reason to buy fake followers; they’re nothing more than buying an award to show off essentially. Instead, post quality content, photos and interact with people regularly and follower growth will happen organically. It’s more important to focus on how many people engage with your social media on a regular basis, how many leads and sales you are bringing in through social media and how much traffic social media is bringing to your website. These factors are much more valuable than the number of followers your page has.
If you’re struggling with your social media, it’s best to seek external help – an audit is the best way to see how you can stay on top of your brand’s online presence, so get in touch with DMT! Email email@example.com.