Buying followers is bad for business

So many companies have gone down the road to buying followers on social media. Most do it because they believe social popularity appeals to customers. Some bloggers do it to make more money when they try and sell posts based on their following. I’ve even spoken to clients who thought buying more followers on social media would lead to better SEO and Google ranking. In reality, quality trumps quantity and buying followers is damaging your social and content marketing.

First things first, the amount of followers you have on social media does not affect your Google Search Rank. Google’s search engine is built to consistently serve relevant websites based on search terms. They are constantly making updates to make sure rankings aren’t being manipulated. If they did rank companies better with more social followers, anyone could simply buy their way up Google’s, which is the exact opposite of what Google want. Currently Google don’t use social media to rank at all, that’s not to say that won’t change in the future, but it won’t be based simply on the number of followers you have on social media.

Fake Accounts Don't Enage

When you're buying followers you’re buying fake accounts and robots. These accounts don’t read, share, like or engage in any way with your posts. Who cares, right? As long as you look good with all your fans.

Problem is, social media platforms like facebook and instagram don’t share your posts with every follower you have. They have an algorithm that scores posts based on how much engagement you have amongst your followers. Fake followers never engage, which means the algorithm will think your page is boring and many of your real followers will never see your posts. This means when you have something important to share, like an upcoming sale, the only way to get your followers to see your posts is to pay to promote "Boost" to your existing followers.

Buying followers is also seen as dishonest. More and more people are becoming aware of the tell-tale signs of bought followers. For example, a small florist with 100,000 followers or a company with 30,000 followers with an average of 30 likes per post. If customers feel your company is being dishonest, well that reflects poorly on your brand.

Spot the fakes

Before realizing the the negative side of fake followers, what if you already bought some. Even if you haven’t, there are bots that randomly go around following users and chances are you have a few fake followers. Well unfortunately there’s only a little bit of good news.

For Twitter
Your in luck as there is a few options out there. You can use services like http://fakers.statuspeople.com/ and https://www.twitteraudit.com/.

For instagram
Instagram did remove a majority of its fake users, but there are still a lot being created. There was a tool called IGExorcist, unfortunately due to changes to instagram, the service is no longer available. Will be keeping an eye you for a new one.

For Facebook
Unfortunately there is no easy way to remove fake fans from a facebook page. You literally have to do it manually 1 by 1. If a fan has no friends, posts, likes and follows a lot of other pages, chances are they are fake. If you find them you can block or report them to facebook.

The best way is to grow your followers organically.  This means knowing your audience and posting content they would want to see, start up conversations with them and engaging with other bloggers.

 

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