4 reasons why you should not buy followers


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What’s more important, 10,000 fans or followers, or 100 who will actually engage with you?
This document explores the dark world of buying followers and likes for Twitter and Facebook and why it is so bad and won't get you anywhere.

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4 reasons why you should not buy followers

  1. 1. 4 Reasons Why You Should Not Buy Followers By Ian Anderson GrayWhat’s more important, 10,000 fans or followers, or 100 who will actually engage with you?It seems this question isn’t asked too often by a number of people running social media chan-nels who opt to buy their followers in order to boost their numbers.Let’s be honest for minute, who hasn’t wanted to boost the number of followers or fans theyhave? I remember taking the decision to create a new Twitter account solely for my business,and having to start from scratch. It was easy to try and compare the number of followers I hadwith others in my field and get depressed.Numbers aren’t everything.In the social media/marketing/IT world we are very fond of data. I’ve said numbers aren’teverything, but more true to the point is that some numbers are important and some num-bers are not. Let’s stop looking at the number of fans and followers– lets look at the numberof people who actually engage with you. In a way we could blame the social network compan-ies themselves for putting the number of followers or likes in such a prominent place. Itwould be more interesting to list the number of people who actually engage with the page oraccount.
  2. 2. How to Buy your FollowersThere are plenty of websites out there which claim to boost your numbers for you and manysay they can boost your numbers quickly. Some will enable you to do it for free, and some willdo it for a fee. There are a number of different methods that they can employ.1. Aggressive Following Technique. (Twitter Only) By following a large number of people each day, waiting for them to follow you, then unfollow those who don’t follow you back it is possible to artificially increase your followers very quickly. This goes against Twitter’s terms and conditions and so is definitely to be avoided. There is nothing wrong with following or unfollowing a large number of people every now and again, but if Twitter think you are aggressively trying to increase your followers by follower/unfollower churn methods, you are likely to get your account suspended.2. Zombie Account Following. (Facebook & Twitter) By paying a 3rd party you can get 100s, 1000s of even 10,000s of followers or likes. Generally each supplier has a database of twitter or Facebook “zombie” accounts that they can use to follow or like you. These are usually completely inactive accounts, sometimes with random names with jumbled up let- ters and numbers.Why is Buying Followers so Bad?1. Low Engagement / Low Edgerank Score.When you buy followers or fans, you aren’t getting people who are interested or willing toengage with you. You are merely buying numbers. After paying for followers/fans or engagingin aggressive follower churn, you are likely to get a large number of fake accounts amongstyour number. Blogger, Zach Bussey, decided to do an experiment and create a new Twitteraccount and buy some followers. Over night the number of followers of his new Twitteraccount increased to a whopping 26,000! It got interesting when he analysed the results andlooked at the Twitter accounts that these fake accounts followed. Doing this enabled him tohave a good guess on other people who had paid for followers!2. You end up spamming your followers.This isn’t always the case, but some even more evil Twitter Follower services ask to accessyour Twitter account to send out multiple messages advertising their way of increasingpeople’s followers. This is just going to annoy your followers and give you a bad name, whichbrings me on to…
  3. 3. 3. Loss of Integrity and Reputation.In this post-modern (or post-post-modern!) world we live in, morality is perhaps more diffi-cult to define since everyone has a different view of what morality is. However, it is fair to saythat people see buying followers as a rather immoral thing to do. People view it as you tryingto appear more popular than you are and doing it by dodgy means. People may not know thatyou’ve bought followers, but going from 30 followers or likes to 30,000 in the space of acouple of days is bound to get people suspicious, and then your integrity and reputation couldwell be in tatters.4. You’ll get found out!In fact a lot of people are currently getting found out. It is fairly easy to find out the names ofpeople who are being followed by fake accounts as I mentioned in the first point. However, anew tool on the block is making it even easier. The Fake Followercheck from Status peopleanalyses your followers to see how many are fake. The interesting thing is you can do the ana-lysis on other accounts too.There are some VictimsIt is an important point that not everyone who has a large number of fake followers has paidfor them. Ryan Tracey commented on a post I wrote last year called “Do you know the TwitterLimits” to say that he was the victim of 24,000 fake accounts following him. To read more onthe subject you can read his blog post about him “being bot-bombed”. Unfortunately thereisn’t a huge amount you can do about this apart from blocking or reporting each account indi-vidually or using a 3rd party tool such as TwitBlock. TwitBlock analyses your account for
  4. 4. spam, zombie or bot accounts and lets you block or report them. Unfortunately it doesn’t letyou do this in bulk, but this is rather unsurprising since I am pretty sure it goes againstTwitter’s terms and conditions. There are tools that allow you to bulk unfollow, such as Man-ageFlitter, but none that I know of that allow you to bulk block. If you know of any, please letme know in the comments.How about Facebook?Although I have mentioned Facebook, I have mainly being referring to Twitter throughoutthis post. The issue of fake followers is still an issue on Facebook, it is just a little more diffi-cult to analyse. To be fair, Facebook came clean recently and claimed that over 83 millionFacebook accounts are fake which confirmed what a lot of people were already thinking. Atthe end of August on the Facebook Security blog, Facebook announced they were going toremove fake likes from pages.Measure Engagement Not Follower CountSo what is the moral of this story? Well apart from it not being moral to buy your followersand having the possibility of having your account suspended or deleted, the number of follow-ers you have really isn’t that important. Let’s make an effort not to play the numbers gameand be impressed with the number of followers or likes some business has. Work on buildinga community of people who are interested in you or your product/service. You will most cer-tainly reap the benefits if you do. There are lots of ways to help you do this, and I will be blog-ging about one such tool very soon– Commun.it.