Social Media Mistakes 101: ‘Buying’ fake followers

Written by Missy Burrell on 22 June 2018

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Vanity metrics on social media are easy to understand. We’re humans – it’s natural for us to want to be liked, to have our achievements recognised, to have our feathers get a’fluffed every now and then.

So it’s not hard to see why many social media users and brands may have been tempted in the past to spend their hard-earned dollarydoos on giving their Facebook likes a hitch, or to add a few thou’ to their Insta followers list.

But, essentially? They are doing themselves a MAJOR disservice. You see, the thing about vanity metrics is – they are just that. Worthless. Futile. They do nothing to measure the *actual* traction you or your brand are getting on social and, in the case of buying fake followers, are actually doing more harm than good.

From the perspective of this social media nerd, ‘real’ social media insights come from figures that outline the customer or follower experience. Namely? Engagement. Are your Facebook posts getting real traction, attracting organic sharing, stimulating debate/discussion/interest in the comment thread (and – yes – getting post likes)? Do your Instagram posts get a high percentage of likes in comparison to your follower numbers?

If you’ve been buying followers, I’d bet a cool fifty your answer to the above is ‘no’. Because when followers are fake, they’re not interacting with content and boosting your page reach across their hypothetical network. Cue tumbleweeds rolling through your account.

And those in the industry can smell it from a mile away. Got 100k followers, but all your comments are generic ‘awesome pic’, ‘I like your feed’ or [INSERT EMOJI HERE]? Don’t expect a social influencer agent to be knocking down your door. In fact, the real power these days lies within small – but super-engaged audiences – where your messages hold more weight.

From the angle of users and customers, fake followers aren’t a good look either. People may think a ‘yuge’ follower list grants some kind of instant authority on the platforms, but every user is looking for a tribe. If your tribe consists of accounts with no real name or even profile photo – the jig will be up preeetty quickly. And the only genuine followers you have will be taking their swiping business elsewhere.

So now we’re on the level – fake reviews, fake comments, fake followers – it all stinks. So how can you boost your personal or brand profile using the interwebs? Network, post genuine content, offer advice (and ask advice!) and foster genuine relationships and interactions online. Basically, use the same ‘real-world’ guiles you have in the social setting and you’ll be head honcho of your own social group in no time. Need help? Give us a call.