Successful businesses, from local industries to big-name companies, have used social media as a platform to expand their reach and services to their customers. Though technology has made it simpler to engage with clients, it has also made it easier to fabricate a brand’s numbers through the use of buying fake followers and likes. Here, you can find the details about the dangers of faking your social media growth.
There’s a thick gray line separating “buying your success” and “spending for your success”.Business ideas are usually incorporate the use of a lengthy research process with various factors to indicate the success or failure of their ad campaigns, which leads to more customers, and eventually, to more sales. The expenses for these steps go far and wide, from hiring a team of creatives to buying ad spaces online through different digital platforms; all these steps fit in the ‘spending for your success’ category.
Unlike an authentic social media strategy that stemmed from a carefully crafted plan, underhanded ways of ‘buying your success’ such as buying fake followers and likes exists. But this can bring more harm than good to your brand’s growth, image, and even its life span.
Reasons you should never ever buy social media followers
1. Fake followers offer zero engagement
One of the substantial drawbacks when it comes to buying fake followers is the lack of engagement. The number of page clicks, shares, and comments makes up the bulk of your customer engagement on social media. Losing the ability to track which is real by filling your subscribers with fake followers can do more harm than good in terms of tracking the activity on your posts. However, you could argue that paid likes and shares could also work with organic posts, but, you have to remember that you’re constantly shaving off money from your account by having those likes instead of earning potential customers from them.
2. Your content won’t grow to your customers’ preferences
An evaluative aspect of engaging with your audience is getting invaluable feedback. A solid social media strategy employs not just the use of promoting your brand through various mediums and platforms, it also requires the back and forth between customer and service provider. A key element of gaining more followers is keeping your service worthy enough to be shared by your already growing community. Personal referrals from dedicated customers are one of the oldest and most effective ways to build a strong following. Having a real and genuine back and forth of criticism and feedback allows you to improve the conversion rate of your marketing efforts, nudging your prospects from window shoppers to actual customers.
3. You could lose your authentic followers
Watch out for the internet mob as they are as ruthless as they are unforgiving. Once your genuine followers hear about you buying followers, you might find that you’ve dug yourself in a deep hole of your own doing once they start rallying for you to fail. Social media mobs are fickle and can be one of the most aggressive and viral PR disasters you could face. Not only will you lose your current following, but you’ll face an account suspension at best or blacklisted for life at worst.
4. Buying fake followers will get you banned
Speaking of getting blacklisted, you might be enjoying the weekend of high page likes to boast on your social media platforms, but you should be careful before you flaunt your statistics. Channels such as Facebook and Instagram have seen the dangers of fake and duplicate accounts and have been battling to delete those accounts and ban their followed pages. “But I can always make a new account” you might say, to which an industry veteran will tell you: it’ll take more than filling up a form to get back up from tarnishing your brand’s reputation and its means of building customer relationships. And on that note…
5. Fake followers will burn your reputation
Social media has bridged the gap between customer and brand. An integrated mobile-driven business builds upon the versatility of today’s times to utilize various types of communication channels across multiple devices. Though this has been a huge boon for brands, it can also manifest through how quickly damaging words can go around. If you think you can pack up your things and move elsewhere, you might consider thinking twice about your migration plans. Getting burned in one platform can lead to you being blacklisted in other social media platforms as well.
6. It dilutes the accuracy of your analytics
Besides incapacitating your capacity to gather valuable insight, fake followers can mess up your analytics big time. You won’t be able to measure your social media campaign’s performance as fake followers will do nothing but muddle up your numbers. Since essential KPIs will prove to be meaningless, often showing a huge discrepancy between each other, you’ll be going through a lot of sifting and sorting if you want to make sense out of your uneven social media analytics.
7. It’s a dangerous waste of money
BBC reports that one out of 10 Instagram influencers partakes in buying followers in the UK; this trend brings to light a massive amount of over 10 million fake Instagram accounts just for this purpose. Though Instagram has made a commitment to ensure the purge of millions of accounts linked with fake followers every day, the estimated 10 million fake accounts are reportedly way lower than what anyone can assume.
Devumi, an American company selling likes, followers, and retweets, was found by the New York Attorney General earlier this year to be guilty of fraud. Amassing a huge force of over 3.5 million fake accounts at their disposal, they’ve admitted to being in service of not just local influencers and businesses, but also Hollywood celebrities. Having closed down since August 2018 amidst the controversy, they were still reported to have earned over $15 million.
There are numerous ways to gain a following besides tricking the system with fake followers. Employing strategies such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can help you in gaining authentic and organic followers to your pages. Instead of pandering to ‘get rich quick’ schemes for growing your business, you should always rely on long-term solutions and investments that can be translated to a more productive growth of your skills as an entrepreneur and a better development of your quality as a service provider.
What’s the worst experience you’ve had with fake followers? Let us know in the comments below.
Gabby Roxas is a writer and content manager. Her mission is to help start-up businesses to community companies to generate more leads. You can follower her on Twitter @GabbyRoxas2
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