The true cost of buying social followers | DMA

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The true cost of buying social followers


Why do brands buy social media followers?

Gaining followers is a key metric for measuring the success of your social media profiles. Every follower and fan is an endorsement of your brand, and being well-liked establishes your credibility and reputation.

If you’re a well-known, popular brand, you probably already have a large follower base. For smaller businesses that aren’t household names, however, gaining authentic followers can be trickier – and that’s why the notion of buying social followers can seem so appealing.

How and where could I buy social media followers?

You’ve probably seen ads or been spammed on your Facebook or Twitter page with the offers along the lines of ‘GAIN 5,000 FOLLOWERS NOW!’ It’s certainly not best practice (so we won’t be sharing any specific links here!) but a quick Google search for ‘buy Twitter followers’ shows dozens of sites where it seems followers can be bought from just £2.89! And these sites aren’t lying – thousands of likes or followers will indeed be delivered overnight.

Why shouldn’t I buy social followers?

In case we haven’t made it obvious: buying ‘followers’ is a terrible idea. They’re generally dummy accounts, often created by low-wage workers overseas whose whole job it is to create them. Their interest in your brand will be minimal at best, and what good are followers, likes, or fans if they don’t engage with your brand?

Buying fake followers will fundamentally defeat the purpose of your social media marketing strategy. To convert your social content into sales, you need to build genuine B2B and B2C relationships. If you have followers that aren’t sincerely engaged with your brand, they won’t have any value to your company. And even though fake accounts can make it appear that you have a large following, there are plenty of free online tools that can quickly tell you how many of the followers are fake – which will immediately make you look untrustworthy.

Why is buying followers different from paying for social advertising?

Don’t confuse buying fake Facebook likes or bot Twitter followers with paid social media advertising. The latter allows you to amplify your content in a targeted manner: you’re able to reach followers who are relevant to your brand and ensure that (genuine) fans of your Facebook page will actually see your content. Paid social can actually work extremely well!

So what’s the best way to genuinely grow my social media presence?

To get more real followers, focus on patience, consistency, and authenticity; take the time to follow the right people and engage with them on a consistent basis. Social media marketing is a marathon, not a race, and quality should always trump quantity.

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