Social Media 101: Be Authentic. Don’t Buy Likes and Followers.

Attract fans organically & engage authentically.

Attract fans organically & engage authentically.

Buying Likes and Followers Has No ROI.

Many of our clients want large social media followings and they want them immediately.

They want to buy likes and followers.

When we’re approached about this, the first thing we ask is:

What do you want these followers to do?

The answer is always “Buy my product.”

Bought Followers Never Purchase Products.

Yep, you read that right. If you buy likes and followers, you won’t get any return on investment.

This is for two reasons:

  1. Bought followers and fans aren’t real people. When you buy likes and followers, you aren’t being connected to real people. You are connecting to vacant accounts created for the sole purpose of liking and following various brands. These accounts have zero purchasing power. There is no human being behind them.
  2. Your bought followers are real, and they hate you. Have you ever installed a Facebook or Twitter application and noticed the fine print says that you are granting the app permission to “follow people for you?” Sometimes, when you buy likes and followers, you are connecting to people who have granted various apps such permissions. The problem is, when your posts start showing up in their social media feeds, they get angry and they unlike/unfollow you.

 

Buying Likes and Followers Damages Your Reputation.

When your posts show up in the feed of someone who didn’t intentionally follow your brand, you’ll get two reactions:

“What the hell is this?”

Followed by this action:

dislikebutton

I’ve experienced this in my personal feed and seen my friends tweet about how they find themselves randomly following small businesses.  It makes people feel used and they won’t want to do business with you.

It’s also not too difficult for people to discover if you buy likes and followers – as many a politician has found out! There are apps that can uncover this unsavory practice. Of course, apps aren’t necessary. One quick scroll through these vacant follower accounts will set your potential customers on notice that you aren’t genuine.

If potential customers discover that you aren’t genuine in your social media practices, they’ll wonder what else you’re lying about.

Other bad things happen when you buy likes and followers. The practice makes your social media accounts primer hacker targets. You also run the risk of having your authentic fans being spammed with scams.

It’s about Quality Over Quantity.

Ultimately, when you buy followers and likes, all you are doing is lining someone else’s pockets. You’ll never see that money again. It will never return to you in the form of loyal customers.

When you buy likes and followers all you do is make your brand look good on paper. On closer inspection or in real life, you make your brand look fake.

People respond to other people. The best way to build a social following and gain loyal customers is to be real. This may only get you 300 followers, but those followers genuinely like your brand. They chose to follow you. They want what you are selling!

You Can’t Buy Relationships.

Ted Rubin, Chief Social Marketing Officer at Collective Bias, says that social media is all about relationships. You don’t look for ROI (return on investment) you look for RonR (return on relationship).

Through relationships, you gain customers that will stay with you for their entire lives. Dedication like this is hardly measurable. Someone may only follow and interact with your brand online for a year before they purchase any of your products or services. But in between the time they first click the “follow” button on Twitter or “like” button on Facebook, they’ll be recommending your brand to their friends and family.

 To learn what social media strategies are right for your small business, contact us.