Dec 09 2019

Buying Followers: Does it Work?

Posted by Lou Valenzuela , , ,

Today, almost everything can already be seen on social media. These platforms, with your followers and other users, have been witnesses of different milestones in your life. Every time something special happens, be it small or big, a snapshot always awaits, only to be posted with a string of captions before you parade it for your family and friends to see. Social media has truly done much in bridging people, especially in today’s buzzing society.

On top of this, social media has proved time and time again its strategic role in promoting your brand because of the many followers that a good account can reach. What some brands do is they partner up with influencers who can show off their brand to the public. While this proves to also be a good idea, some companies opt to just establish their own accounts and build up their online presence. They would post content, engage with followers, and in a few times, they buy followers.

For some, especially for those who only have personal social media accounts, this might have sounded absurd but for some businesses, this is no longer actually a big deal. However, in spite of the great numbers and all, does buying followers really work?

Why do businesses buy followers?

An account that holds a lot of followers will look more credible and more famous. Usually, celebrities and influencers buy followers for fame. This can be a way for them to become more popular. For businesses, buying followers will enhance their brand visibility. This is supposed to open up more markets for the said businesses. Buying followers is not really difficult, really. There are a lot of bots, tools, and other applications for that. However, if you are to go back on why you even put up your social media account, which is to seek more engagements and traffic, some have expressed doubts about buying followers.

What happens when you buy followers?

The great numbers can be quite tempting. Some have tried what happens when you buy followers. Paige Cooper in her article in Hootsuite tried out how it is to buy followers on Instagram. Of course, her followers grew steadily. Cooper said that the notifications coming in were quite exciting. Eventually, she has found that buying followers on Instagram were a bit grim because the fake followers were quite evident. More than this, they are just simply there—they don’t engage. They are just simply numbers.

Why some would not buy followers

Buying followers might be effective for some, but if you are aiming at maximising engagement with your customers and target consumers, you might as well just focus on creating exciting content. For Cooper, here are a few reasons why she would not recommend buying followers:

1. Causes dry feed

For one, buying followers will give you followers who do not engage at all. Most of them are not even real people. With this, it will not really look good on your social media account to see that you have a lot of followers, but very, very few engagements. Cooper received thousands of new follows, but neither of them liked or commented on any of her posts, even when she knew her posts of her dog are just irresistible. More often than not, these following for sale accounts are not even real.

2. Less credibility

Just anyone would know how followers that are bought look like. Usually, they don’t even have pictures as their icons or if not, they would surely choose a celebrity or any character. These followers for sale have the most random names and usernames with an unarbitrary combination of numbers and letters. Some are even named in different languages. These followers that you have bought will also be evident because none hint the slightest similarity with your brand industry.

3. Causes you to become blacklisted

Some brands will blacklist you because you have bought a lot of followers. There are audit tools that allow you to know the state of your Instagram account. Surely, there might be available ones like these for other social media platforms. Because Cooper has bought followers, potential partners have cut her off. They could not even use the Instagram audit tool. Any brand that wants to partner up with you would want if you really hold that much credibility, which falls flat once you buy followers.

4. Might become suspended by Instagram

The same way Google improved its algorithm for user experience, social media platforms also enhance their user experience. Twitter started with suspending inactive accounts which can pass as bots. With Instagram, they will also make sure that their platform is one that people will have a great time. Bot accounts become one of the things that annoy most users which is why Instagram, like most social media platforms, purge all fake accounts, including those that you have bought as a new follower.

It actually makes sense how for most businesses and influencers, buying followers just won’t do. It will make your account look less organic and the platform might even bar you from using the site again. Since for most, buying followers do not really work, it is now only up to you to just cook up great posts and optimise your account well for you to gain real followers.


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