Invest Your Time and Money Into Actual Marketing That Will Benefit Your Company
New businesses understand (or we can only hope they understand) the importance of building and gaining a following. This helps bring in valuable traffic and leads – not to mention that you need people to know about you in order to succeed. Brands like Coca Cola (who has over 3.11 million followers on Twitter) and Apple (who has over 9.2 million likes on Facebook) have the power to garner these insanely huge followings.
For small businesses who aren’t at a household- name level, this means they have a pretty tricky road ahead of them before they can establish such a significant following. While it might take longer for smaller businesses to reach this level of exposure, the effort must still be made in order to grow.
Some new businesses like to take shortcuts in this department. They think that having an immediately large following or a large number of “likes” on certain social medias is the end-all for their brand, so they create a fake audience to hype up their image. These businesses go as far as purchasing fake “likes” and followers on various social media accounts to show just how “popular” their brand is. Sure, any business would jump for joy at the idea of gaining a large following in a short amount of time, but the reality is that these “followers” and “likes” bring zero value to your business and brand. They’re essentially a waste of time and delay your efforts of building an actual presence on the web – you know, with real people and what-not.
If you’re currently considering purchasing fake Facebook followers, likes or Twitter followers, stop what you’re doing. Take a deep breath and back away from your computer (well, maybe after you’ve read this, but you get the point). We understand that social media can be a full time job in itself, but don’t panic – a solid amount of effort can truly benefit your business in the long run.
Here’s why you should stay away from fake likes and followers.
The purpose of social media platforms aren’t just to post information about your business. They exist to help you engage with others. Engagement helps builds relationships, and these relationships are what increases your brand’s exposure. Trust us when we say that these fake followers will not engage. IF they happen to, the most they’ll do is reshare your information to other fake accounts–which brings no value to your not-so-fake business.
For example, SocialTime published an article regarding organic reach for Facebook page posts, where they analyze different types of posts, how large of an audience it reaches and subsequent engagement. Facebook shares your content with a very small portion of your followers, so fake likes and fans will dilute your audience and limit your outreach. This means the people you’re trying to target won’t even know you posted. A large number of Facebook fans doesn’t necessarily mean that your business will gain more mentions, views, click-thrus or interactions. In reality, it’s quite the opposite.
You’re sharing information in hopes of directing referral traffic back to your website, which could lead to conversions. Fake fans are not going to create these opportunities for you.
Buying Fans Will Not Equal To More Business
Aside from the businesses who purchase likes and followers for an inflated image, we’ve come across many new businesses who feel that purchasing a pseudo audience will help influence “real” people to like and follow. They operate under the idea that, essentially, their page’s “popularity” will attract the living/breathing population to follow suit. The big picture is that you’re paying to look good for people who come across your profile.
Let’s give these people the benefit of the doubt on that point; after all, image is important.
However, this “fan following” doesn’t always balance the engagement on your page, page views or mentions. Your number of followers and likes is not the sole objective in social media. It’s what you do with the following once you have gained one that will bring value to your business.
Buying fake fans is a shortcut that should be avoided at all costs. If you want the business potential that comes from social media marketing, then you’ll simply have to work for it.
When you launch your social media marketing campaign, you usually aim to invite your friends, family and colleagues to follow you – this is a safe way to jump-start your efforts. The good thing about this is that the majority of the time, these people WILL engage by liking your posts and resharing your content to their own followers (who will hopefully follow you back because they like your content). We hate to break it to you, but fake fans don’t care about your business. They don’t care about your product or growth of your business. To them, you’re just another paying customer, and their job ends as soon they’ve created that “like” or “follow”.
The Bot Bubble said it best when they uncovered the reality of “click farms” (businesses who are paid to boost your internet following). “Click farms jeopardize the existential foundation of social media: the idea that the interactions on it are between real people.”
Where These Fake Followers Are Based
These click farms can produce fake followers from anywhere in the world, but how exactly will this benefit your company? Let’s say that your business only ships products or services to the United States, but 90% of your “followers” are from “Asia”. You’ve just wasted effort and your ROI is nonexistent. For small businesses who focus on specific local services – like dentists or accountants – it’s important make an effort when marketing to your target audience. While it can take time and a lot of work to keep up with, the benefits can potentially outweigh your efforts by a long shot.
So remember, it’s not the number of followers and likes that locks in success for your business; it’s how you engage your audience that will turn them into paying customers. In order for your business and brand to stand the test of time, it takes effort. Take the time to not only post on your profiles, but engage on posts that your followers have published as well. Show interest in what others have to say, and many will extend that same courtesy.