Photo: The Consumerist via Flickr
This article originally appeared on American Express Open Forum.If you type “Buy likes and followers” into the google search bar, you’ll get dozens of resulting featuring companies that specialize in this type of purchase. Each one has different rates, packages, and services that mainly appeal to new businesses looking to grow their online presence.
New businesses, or businesses that aren’t adept with the inner-workings of the social media hub, are more likely to be interested in these services.
In addition to buying likes and followers, some companies, such as LikesAndFollowers.com, offer YouTube views and web traffic.
According to a list detailing the top 20-five websites to buy fans, only one on the list was said to deliver real people. Before any purchases are made, business owners should seriously consider the drawbacks.
Purchased Fans Don’t Increase Business: Buying fans spikes your numbers, but it does nothing for engagement. What you are essentially paying for is to look good to other people who see your profile. These fans will like or follow you, but the spike in fan count will not be balanced with a spike in mentions, page views, interaction, etc.
Consider social media profiles to be the equivalent of a business’s paperwork. You wouldn’t want to inflate the amount of money you made that month or the business’s customer conversion rate. In the end, this is only hurting you. You could lie about the amount of money you made that month, but without that money you can’t do anything to benefit the business. Similarly, you can lie about the amount of followers you’ve rightfully gained, but you wouldn’t be able to back up those followers with tangible business. Fake followers don’t lead to real money.
Reviews Say Otherwise: Always read the reviews on any company you plan to do business with. On LikesAndFollowers.com, you can buy 5,000 targeted fans for $349. The site claims that these are not fake people, and they have real profiles.
However, a buying customer had a different take: “Likes And Followers delivers likes, but they’re NOT from real people as they claim,” she said. “I wouldn’t be so mad about this if they didn’t claim they got you real people, but all of their marketing suggests a great result and their prices are much more than some other companies that get you fake likes. We don’t even ship out of state and they got me people from outside of the country.”
Where Are The Fans Coming From? With most companies offering as much as 10,000 targeted fans, you might wonder where they all come from. While all companies will claim they don’t spam to deliver likes and followers, the large number is certainly questionable. Here’s one website’s vague explanation of how they pull their lists together to target fans for a specific business: “We send out invites that are related to the keywords that you provide to us helping you gain the highest quality results for your page. We use our large network of contacts, Twitter lists, and other custom marketing techniques we’ve developed in-house to deliver followers to your Twitter page.”
Considering that the same company offers a delivery of up to 50,000 targeted fans to a business, that list of contacts must be extremely long.
Scamming Your Own Business: People who purchase likes, followers, web traffic, etc. are essentially scamming themselves and their customers. It’s like studying for a test; you put in long hours so that you can get a good grade, and when you pass the test you gain genuine knowledge about the material. If you cheat, you’ll get a good grade, but you’ll have no idea what you’re doing.
People who buy fans take the easy way out, and as a result, may continually believe that there is an easy way out in other areas of the business. People who work hard for their fans naturally acquire motivation and a sincere work ethic that will drive them and their business further.
Buying Fans Is Frowned Upon, And There’s A Reason: Recently, presidential candidate Mitt Romney was believed to have bought Twitter followers due to two random large spikes in follower count. One man was startled to discover that his picture was being used for five different Twitter accounts, all created recently and all following Mitt Romney. None of them changed his profile picture when requested.
Politician Newt Gingrich had more than one million followers. After an investigation on the highly questionable number, which he proudly touted, it was discovered that 92 per cent were fake.
Not only does this give an unhealthy example of what type of people will be following you if you buy them, but it also reflects poorly on your character. Overly high follower counts and likes naturally seem fishy to people, unless you are a celebrity. People who are interested will skim through your fans and be able to tell the real from the fake.
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