What to Expect from Buying Social Media Followers
Since the dawn of social media, brands and businesses have found ways to make the most use of it. While initially designed for individuals, it didn’t take long before social media platforms embraced the concept of brand pages and profiles, allowing companies and entities direct ability to represent themselves on these networks.
Since then, countless instances of buying fans, followers and even direct forms of engagement (such as likes and shares) have occurred. While the practice is popular, does it actually produce the results desired?
Today, we’ll take a closer look at just what you can expect if you decide to buy followers on social media.
The Risk of Banishment
Virtually every major social media network frowns upon the use of commercialized fan purchasing in order to augment your reach or appear more credible. In fact, many platforms may outright delete your presence if it is definitively determined you are buying followers. Facebook (and therefore Instagram as well) adhere to this process, as just one prominent example.
While inflating follower count may not immediately – or ever – expose your brand as a rule-breaker, pinging users who aren’t actually engaged with your content won’t likely produce results beyond a simple inflation of your follower count. Combine that with the risk of at least potentially having your content deleted, and it’s no surprise why many avoid the practice.
Effects on Engagement
Ultimately, purchasing followers – whether for sheer follower count or specifically for forms of engagement – cannot compare to organic engagement rates in an apples-to-apples scenario.
Plenty of research exists which shows that purchasing simple followers does nothing for a brand except inflate its follower count. While this may in a handful of situations persuade select individuals to organically follow you (assuming they stumble across your page), there is little else to be gained.
Even in situations where brands are purchasing social media engagement rather than simple followers, it cannot compare to organic engagement. The measured value of engagement on social media from a person paid to do so is anywhere from one-third to one-half that of someone who organically engages with your brand.
In the end, while select forms of value may be possibly obtained, it is nowhere close to the value earned from organic followers.
Benefits of Buying Followers
Surely there has to be at least a couple of benefits from buying followers: after all, why would people continue to do it?
As it turns out, there can be limited benefits from such practices.
As already mentioned, organic visitors who peruse your profile may be more inclined to follow your content than that of a competitor with a much lower follower count; more followers often indicates more authority in the world of social media.
Additionally, it can – at least on some social media platforms – make it more likely that you’re pinging users with your latest posts and updates in prominent fashion. For various trend or keyword-based social media results, your content can float to the proverbial top more easily than content from brands with far fewer followers.
In the end, nobody can say for sure whether buying social media followers is an entirely negative or positive experience. There are pros, cons and neutral factors to all consider, ultimately making the use of such practices very difficult to quantify for any one particular brand. At least now, you are aware of the potential gains and drawbacks that exist with the practice.