Last month I discussed the very controversial follow/unfollow marketing method. This method is used by many in an attempt to gain followers. Another shady act that some social media users carry out is to buy followers or page likes. Yes, you read that correctly. Some people actually spend money on followers. Now you might be thinking “Maybe it’s a good investment?” Well, let me explain why it’s not a good idea.
1. You should never buy followers or page likes because it’s unethical
Gaining followers or page likes on any platform whether it be on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or TikTok for many is a sign of trust and success. Often people think the more followers or likes you have, the more famous, liked and trusted you are. Because of this many will go to great lengths to gain a following on social media. As I mentioned above, many people use the follow/unfollow method. This unethical method is free but time-consuming. That being said, it will lead to an increase in followers. However, you’re unlikely to gain followers who actually want to interact with you.
Another shady method people use to gain followers is by simply buying followers. Yes, there are actual sites that you can purchase followers from to inflate your social media numbers. To buy followers you simply exchange cash for a set amount of followers and then hey presto, your number is increased.
Here’s the thing, the reason why people follow you is that you engage and put out great content. Followers are earnt and building a following takes time and effort. Buying followers takes no effort, only money and a small amount of your time. But newsflash, just because you’re buying followers does not mean you’re buying an audience. Also, in a way, you could say that buying followers is hugely deceptive because you’re essentially faking your numbers so that people think you’ve earnt and gained a bigger audience than you actually have.
2. Buying followers goes against the terms and conditions of most social media platforms
For those thinking about purchasing followers, think before you make your next move. Why? Well, buying followers goes against the terms and conditions of most social media platforms. Take Twitter for example. If you check out their Twitter platform manipulation and spam policy you’ll see that they state selling or purchasing followers goes against their rules. How about Instagram? Well according to the Instagram community guidelines page they state “Help us stay spam-free by not artificially collecting likes, followers, or shares, posting repetitive comments or content, or repeatedly contacting people for commercial purposes without their consent.”
And as for TikTok? Well on the TikTok community guidelines page they state that you should not “Attempt to or engage in selling or buying views, likes, followers, shares, or comments” Is the case different for Facebook page likes? Nope. Facebook state on their Facebook keeping activity authentic page that they are against like buying. They also say “We write rules and use machine-learning to catch suspicious behaviour. When we catch fraudulent activity, we work to counter and prevent it – including blocking accounts and removing fake likes.” So it’s pretty clear that the platforms don’t want you buying fake followers.
Don’t risk your account for fake followers
Some people might be thinking “Ah the social media sites are just trying to make it harder to gain followers so they’re obviously going to say we can’t buy followers!” The thing is, buying followers puts your account at risk. Not only do you run the risk of being suspended entirely, if you somehow dodge suspension, you still run the risk of ruining your engagement. This is because often on many social media sites an algorithm is triggered when an account is spammy and goes against T&Cs. This algorithm could potentially stop your content from reaching your real, authentic audience. Thus making your content even harder to discover.
And it’s not just that, when you’re using these third-party apps and sites to purchase followers from you have no idea how legit they are. I mean for a start you’re using sites that actively go against the social media site’s terms. Add in the fact that most of the time you have to give them access to your account should be a clear warning that it’s a cocktail for disaster. These fraudsters could do whatever they like with your account. Before you know it you could entirely lose access to your own account. Seriously, buying followers is not worth the risk.
3. You should never buy followers or page likes because it’s a waste of money
Perhaps you’re still thinking about purchasing some followers or likes because you might want to increase your engagement and follower count? Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but these accounts tend to be fake bots. This means that in terms of engagement they aren’t beneficial to you in the slightest. Whilst you may increase your follower or like count, your engagement will not increase as a result.
So if you’re thinking of purchasing some followers to increase your engagement, don’t bother. Save your time and money. If you’re wanting to increase your social media engagement perhaps you should review your strategy. If you don’t have a strategy in place, create one! By having a top-notch strategy in place you can outline the goals you want to achieve and set measurable objectives as well as the outcomes that you want to achieve. Having a social media strategy in place is kinda like having a big detailed plan that allows you to identify which activities to prioritise.
Focus on social media engagement
If engagement is something you’re struggling with, take a step back. Learn about your audience, understand the platform that you’re using and do some research. Struggling on the bird app? Give why your Twitter engagement really sucks a read. Finding it difficult on Facebook and Instagram? Try posting video content and do some good old hashtag research. Increasing your engagement might seem like an impossible task at first but it’s easier than you might think. Knowing your audience is absolutely key because if you know your audience, you can give them what they want in terms of social media posts. If you give the people what they want, in theory you should see an increase in engagement.
Obviously there’s a little more to it than just sharing good content. You’ve also got to be clued up on other things like your best posting times and the latest marketing tactics and techniques. One thing about social media is that it’s forever changing. What might work today, may not work next month. Education is key to staying at the top of your game and achieving great results. Improving your social media game definitely keeps you learning and your brain active. That’s all part of the fun!
If you’re really struggling to come up with ways to increase your engagement or you just simply don’t have the time, fear not. The Canny Social team would absolutely love to help you. If you’d like to work with us to increase your social media presence and engagement drop an email over to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you.
Further reading on why you shouldn’t buy social media followers or page likes:
If you’re interested in learning more about why you really should steer clear of spending your hard-earned cash on fake bot followers and likes, check out these awesome articles:
- Does Buying Instagram Followers Work? by Gary Henderson
- 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Buy Fake Followers by Allison Lips
- Why Buying Facebook Likes Will Destroy Your Business In 2020 by Sophie Krokida