Three Reasons You Shouldn’t Buy Fans and Followers

Carole
Carole Billingsley Owner, Seek Social Media

Posted on July 19th 2012

Three Reasons You Shouldn’t Buy Fans and Followers

While it is important to have social media fans and followers, the number of fans shouldn’t be your main focus. Your initial focus should be on growing your community organically with fans and followers who are truly interested in the content you post, including current and potential customers or fans. Once you have fans and followers, your focus should be on engaging with them by sharing valuable content, and having genuine interactions with them.

There are hundreds of “companies” out there that claim to be able to get hundreds or thousands of fans in short order. It’s a tempting offer to be sure: grow your page to show how popular your band, brand, or local business is, but, unless you have money to burn, there are some things you should consider before investing in such a service.

1. Numbers aren’t everything. Having 10,000 fans or followers doesn’t mean much if they aren’t engaging with you. Bought fans don’t engage because most of them aren’t real people. Even if they are real people, they aren’t at all interested in what you have to say. Don’t believe me? Check out this article from practicalecommerce.com: You Can’t Buy Real Followers and Fans.
2. Low engagement = Low EdgeRank. This is Facebook specific. EdgeRank is Facebook’s algorithm that determines which posts go into users’ news feeds. It’s difficult enough to get your posts into the news feeds of fans as it is, but when your Facebook Page has little or no engagement (especially with a large number of fans), your EdgeRank will drop and no one will see your posts – including your real fans. For a complete explanation of EdgeRank, see this article from AllFacebook.com:What is EdgeRank?

 Here’s an image that explains the EdgeRank formula:

3. It’s a waste of money. Your money would be better spent by running Facebook ads or Promoted Tweets targeted to your ideal market. Granted, it will cost a bit more than buying a fiverr.com deal, but the fans you get from targeted ads will be more likely to engage with your posts and other content. Note: Recently some articles have surfaced asserting that, some “likes” from Facebook ads aren’t targeted people – and possibly even fake accounts – just like purchased “likes”. (See this article from BBC News here). I agree that this is an issue, but it’s been my experience that the vast majority of the “likes” are genuine. If you’re going to spend money to grow your page on Facebook or Twitter, the best way is through advertising.

The intention behind growing your following should be to increase brand awareness, share information with your target audience, engage with them, and ultimately create brand loyalty and gain customers. If your only focus is the number of fans and followers you have, you’re completely missing the point. What is the point of posting and tweeting to 10,000 people who could care less what you have to say; or worse, aren’t real people? What advantage does that give your brand, band, or business?

Growing your community takes time and effort – just like anything that is worthwhile. Don’t fall victim to these scams that promise hundreds or even thousands of followers in a short time – and they are scams. Social media is a marathon, not a sprint. Take the time to find people/brands that you should be following, engage with them, run some Facebook ads, promote some tweets, and remember to ask current customers to follow you. Also, ensure that your website has social connect buttons (that are readily visible), all printed materials have links to your social profiles, and that you are posting valuable content.

Have you ever paid for fans and followers? What was your experience?

 
Carole

Carole Billingsley

Owner, Seek Social Media

Carole Billingsley is a social media strategist and the owner of Seek Social Media (@YouSeekSocial), based in Houston, TX. Seek Social Media specializes in social media strategy development for bands, brands, and mom-and-pop shops. Carole brings to the table over a decade of marketing and promotions experience in the entertainment industry as well as three years' experience in social media marketing.

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Comments

When you mean paying for Fans do you mean a large amount in one short period of time or gradual paid likes from a facebook advert?

When I was talking about "buying" fans, I meant the "10,000 followers in 30 days" type of buying fans. If you'll notice in reason #3, I mentioned that Facebook ads and promoted tweets are a better choice.


Thanks for your questions, Christopher!

Carole

 

Ya the big selling point of buying Facebook ads is that you can target who sees your ads, but I believe buying those Facebook ads is important.  I do all the Social Media for a large Ski Resort and I explain it to my bosses like this. There are two things that make up a great Facebook Page; 1. the content you are posting (is it engaging) 2. The size of the audience that sees it.  I compare this to a newspaper.  Look at the National Post compared to the Calgary Herald. Both are great newspapers that give readers great content but where would you rather have an article on your business? You'd rather have it in the National Post of course because it has a much bigger distribution.  You are spending good money on me to create the content, now buy some ads to get the distribution.  And well there are a few factors I am ignoring in this comparison like who is targetted, you get the idea.  Another factor to note is almost all of those likes you buy today you will continue to have 3, 5 or 10 years from now.