Social networks are powerful tools for promoting your brand and attracting new readers for your blog or customers for your products. But if you have no followers, you have no audience, and your presence has no impact.
Building a large following on social networks like Twitter and Facebook take time, just like building the subscribers on your blog. However, shortcuts exist. If you want to grow your list of followers in a hurry, you can do so with just the click of a mouse — and a few dollars.
Hundreds and thousands of followers can be purchased on a number of sites for a relatively small amount of money. The question is: Should you buy them? Does purchasing followers actually help your social media strategy? Here are some of the pros and cons of buying followers for your Facebook and Twitter profiles:
You Appear In Demand
Social media is all about popularity. Who has the most followers? Who has the most likes? Who has the most retweets? If you have a large following, you will seem more popular to other users, and they may feel more compelled to also follow you. Like breeds like.
If nothing else, a large following makes other users notice you. When you have thousands of followers, other users have to ask, “What’s all the fuss about?”
You Increase Your Ranking
Google also notices your popularity — as do Twitter and Facebook. The more followers you have, the higher you appear in search results for Google, Twitter, and Facebook. Whenever someone searches for terms related to your product or service, they are more likely to stumble on to your page.
You Expand Your Network
Even if your followers aren’t real, their followers may be. The more people who follow you — real or fake — the greater your network and the further your reach. Followers of followers may discover your page or your posts and lead back to your products or services, leading to greater conversion rates.
Your Audience Isn’t Targeted
When you pay for people to follow you, you aren’t also paying for them to care. You only know one thing about your audience: They like getting money to do simple things. You don’t know how old they are. You don’t know what kind of products they like. You don’t know any of their interests. Therefore, you don’t know whether they have any interest in your product or service.
Seeing conversion from purchased followers is unlikely. Any conversion you do get is likely a result of coincidence.
They Aren’t “Real”
When you buy followers, you don’t know how many of them are real profiles for real people and how many of them are dummy profiles. If they are dummy profiles, they are likely not connected to anyone else, limiting the reach of your network and your potential to leverage search results.
You Risk Negative Exposure
If any of your followers are real, they may be tempted to try to connect with the other paid followers through your Facebook wall or Twitter feed. For example, they may ask “Who else here is a paid follower?” or “What other profiles are looking for paid followers?” Any comments like this could expose you to the real followers you have earned and embarrass you.
Whether or not to purchase followers is a controversial issue that usually comes down to personal preference and overall brand strategy. If you are just starting out and are struggling to attract new followers, then purchasing a few to give your profile a jump start may be helpful. However, you should be careful not to fill your profile with fake followers, thereby defeating the true purpose of your social media presence, which is to increase your conversion rates.