Should I Ever Buy Followers for My Business?
Almost as soon as Twitter and Facebook were born, services sprung up to try to sell followers.
And when you're first starting your profiles for your small business, it can be tempting to get 1000 or 2000 instant followers to look more established on the platforms.
But is this practice really worth it?
Quality vs. Quantity
The prices can look really attractive. $25 will buy you 2000 Twitter followers on some services -- but the devil, as they say, is in the details.
You see, those followers aren't necessarily real people. Many of these services will send you a mass of bots -- which will go to work, clogging up your feed with ads for everything from pills to dating sites. Sure, your numbers will look better, but you won't have any real people to engage with on your profile.
Engagement should be your priority on your company's social media pages. If you start real conversations with real people, your follower number will go up. It may not be as quick as having a mass of bots follow you all at once, but you'll look far more legitimate to customers checking out your feed.
No Real Benefit
Before dropping any cash on batches of fake followers, stop and consider your reasoning for a moment. Why did you start your Twitter or Facebook page? Was it to engage with customers? Attract new customers? Keep people updated on new products or services -- and entice them with a tweet or Facebook update to click through to those product pages?
You'll get none of those things from purchased followers. Even if the service you use actually has real people to follow you instead of bots, those people will have no incentive to click through your links or care about your brand.
Plenty of Disadvantages
While purchasing followers is short on benefits, it's positively teeming with potential problems. First, your feed may fill up with spam, phishing scams, and potentially harmful links that can end up hurting your real followers.
You'll also look less reputable to any customer who finds these spammy links on your feed, or who finds out you've purchased followers. And having a feed packed full of useless or harmful links from fake accounts can make it more difficult for you to determine how many real followers you have -- and almost impossible to interact with them in any meaningful way.
A Better Way
The good news is, you don't have to buy followers to build a successful social media presence. It will take more time, but your efforts will result in real, engaged followers who will click on your links and share your posts.
Building a following isn't as difficult as you may think, either. Spend some time each day finding interesting people to follow, asking questions that encourage your followers to join the conversation, and sharing relevant, useful information --both yours and other people's.
By skipping the follower peddlers and making an effort to connect with real people, you will end up with more engaged fans -- and a much better online reputation.
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