Every week, I invariably get at least two new Twitter followers whose profile description promises me 15K FOLLOWERS INSTANTLY, or TRIPLE YOUR FOLLOWERS (like that, all caps) if I whip out my credit card and part with my hard-earned cash.
And, every week, I ask myself the same question. Invariably without an answer.
Why would I pay good money to have thousands of people I don’t know (and who probably don’t really give much of a shit about me and what I do) follow me on Twitter?
I don’t get it.
Sadly, given how this business seems to be booming, it’s starting to look like I’m one of the very few who doesn’t.
The thing is, when you turn to these sort of tricks, you’re not just needlessly spending a lot of money, you’re also doing your business more harm than good.
In fact, you’re downright damaging your brand.
It’s All About Engagement
Many businesses make the mistake of gauging their social media success by the number of likes or followers they have.
With that mindset, it’s easy to be tempted into buying followers. But in reality, the number of likes by itself is completely meaningless.
It’s not about how many people like your page or follow your social media account. It’s about how many of those followers actually engage with your brand.
Are they interacting with you?
Are they sharing your content?
Are they buying what you’re selling?
More importantly, do they even care about your message?
If you’ve answered “No” to at least one of these questions, you seriously need to re-think your social media strategy.
Fake Likes Damage Your Credibility
Let’s face it.
Most of the time, you can spot a fake follower from a mile off.
It could be subtle, like a location that doesn’t make sense for your business, or a profile with a bunch of completely unrelated likes. Or it could be blatantly obvious, such as a badly photoshopped profile picture or an incomplete profile. Either way, someone’s going to notice; and most of the time it’s going to be sooner rather than later.
Now, picture 15,000 of these profiles, and put yourself in a legitimate follower’s shoes.
I hate to break it to you, but they’re going to be on to you faster than you can say Jack Robinson. And they’re going to be put off. After all, if you’ve had to pay for people to like your page, you probably aren’t too good at what you do, right?
Even if they don’t notice your followers are fake, all they’ll see is a lot of followers connected to a profile page or account that looks like a desert wasteland. Either you’re so terrible you’ve alienated them all, or you’ve gone out of business.
In any case, it’s not going to look too good.
So How Do I Succeed On Social Media?
Ah, that’s the million dollar question, isn’t it?
Of course, social media is a long and complex topic; and I won’t presume to give you the secret of success in just a few paragraphs.
I can – and will – tell you though, that there are three golden rules you should stick to at all times if you want to get social media right.
1. Quality Always Trumps Quantity
It’s better to have 200 active followers than 15,000 inactive ones who don’t even care.
Active followers are more than just prospective customers. They’re your brand’s ambassadors.
Fake followers, on the other hand, are never ever going to become customers.
2. Be Patient
At the end of the day, social media is about building relationships, and this takes time.
It’s not going to happen overnight. But then again, which relationship worth keeping does?
It’s a long game. Stick with it and be patient. It will happen.
3. Be Consistent
Like any other relationship, social media requires commitment and perseverance in order to bear fruit. You need to post quality content and interact with your followers regularly over a long period of time.
This can be hard, especially in the beginning, because you’re putting in a lot of time and effort for what seems like very little reward. There’s even a name for it – the dip – or “the long slog between starting and mastery.”
But, you know what? That’s where everyone else has started. If others can do it, without buying fake followers, you’ll get there too.
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