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Follower Fortune or Fraud, The Dark Side of Buying Followers

So you’ve set up social media for yourself and your business.  You’re excited to start sharing your brand on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. and you invite your friends and family to like your accounts.  A smile makes its way across your face each time you get a notification letting you know someone new is following your content.  This is great!  Your fresh off the press and any number of people interested in your product or service is a highlight.

Then you start seeing ads offering to multiply your following through the roof.  The sparkling promise to turn you into the most well known brand in your market overnight, for just a few bucks!  You might be off to a good start through your already existing network, but the invitation to “Trade a week of eating out for thousands of quick and easy followers supporting and highly-ranking your brand!” is an enticing offer indeed.

If you understand the basics of social media you know that having a big following means big things for you and your business.  A substantial following on social media can give you great influence over your market and has become a new type of status marker.  For some entrepreneurs, this virtual status functions as a real-world currency with follower counts determining who will hire them, how much they are paid for bookings or endorsements, even how potential customers evaluate their products or services.  

What isn’t as obvious about social media however is that how you generate your following could be the lasting strength or crippling weakness for your business and brand reputation.  While it may look and sound like the best move to make, buying followers will actually do you more of a disservice than provide the type of growth and engagement you’re really seeking for your brand.

 

Avoid the Dark Side of Social Media Marketing

 

Paying for followers means linking loads of random users to your page or profile.  These users are not your customers or clients, have no knowledge of your business or brand, and most often aren’t even real people.  Services that sell followers (not growth strategy) are able to do so because what they are really selling you is a list of inactive accounts and social bots they have either bought in bulk or created themselves.  Having a long list of bots and inactive users means none of these followers are actually going to interact with your posts or generate sales.  

Some of these services are even being investigated for “social-identity theft”, where fake accounts are being made using real people’s personal information to create a “quality” follower that can be sold for more money.  It goes without saying that one of these accounts is definitely not something you want connected with your business.   

 

Less Engagement = Lower Ranking

 

Without engagement from your followers, algorithms woven into the social media framework determine that what you are posting is not of any interest to people on the platform.  This hurts, as less engagement lowers the ranking of your content thus significantly decreasing the exposure your brand has with your audience and minimizes the chances of obtaining new followers.  

The less you appear in user’s feeds, the more you have to pay for ads in order to reach even your previously existing followers.  Having fake followers also means that paid ads and campaigns you run are in large being wasted on all those inactive and social bot accounts.

 

Don’t Ruin Your Reputation

 

One of the most important aspects of running a business is building brand equity.  Providing value and building trust with your audience so that people visiting your page or profile not only see something they need but feel good about getting it from you.  Ideally the impression one gets from your social media presence is one that will have them recommending your brand to others as well.

Even the slightest chance of your audience learning that your followers were bought could ruin your reputation as a safe and stable business, much less a leader in your industry.  If you’re willing to buy followers to fast track your influence, what other corners are you cutting in your business?  Nobody wants to give their money to someone they don’t trust and who they see as a cheater looking for the easy way to “success” without putting in the work.

 

The Best Way to Grow is to Go Organic

 

Organically growing your following through cleverly crafted content, consistent posting, and an optimized strategy means every one of the users that follow your page are genuinely interested in your product or service.  This type of follower is 100% more likely to not only engage with the content you post but also to share it with others in their network and significantly increase your sales.

The Social Sensei team has been working in the social media industry for over five years with hundreds of accounts.  Through our extensive experience with people and visions of all kinds we have figured out several safe and organic ways to best grow a strong and sustainable following on Instagram.

Increase engagement with your account and grow organically through advanced hashtag, location, and user targeting practices.  Review your analytics report with a social media growth expert and pivot your social strategy to optimize growth from month to month.  Leverage our network of influencers to bring a boost of engagement to your posts.  Social Sensei encourages real, active Instagram users that actually like the content you post to follow your page and build your reputation.

Don’t put it off, grow your follower fortune.  Take the leap and let’s get started!

 

 

 

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