Perhaps I’m being somewhat naive but I thought building up your brand via social media took some effort and involved providing relevant content, engaging with existing and future followers?
Then I discover this known practice of ‘buying followers’, giving the illusion that a social page is more popular than it actually is. What’s that all about?
I have seen articles flying around recently regarding the twitter profile of Mitt Romney. Analysis carried out by security firm Barracuda Networks ‘noticed that Mitt Romney in particular had recently hugely increased his following, which rose from 673,002 to 789,924 followers on a single day, 21 July, an odd-looking 17 percent rise.’ via http://news.techworld.com
According to Barracuda’s investigations being able to purchase followers regardless of whether those accounts are real or fake is not that difficult to do. I decided to have a look online and see for myself.
Companies that offer this service have different methods of ‘selecting’ the right followers for you. Take this website for example, buyactivefans, their selling point is that they target only those people ‘who already fit your idea of ideal consumers’.
From buyrealfollowers you could buy up to 1,000 followers for as little as $17, that increase could (not always) make a difference to the attention your profile receives. However there is no mention as to the ‘type’ of followers you would receive.
Then we have Barracuda’s finding who were ‘able to purchase between 20,000 and 70,000 bogus accounts for the three profiles from one a clutch of eBay sellers and third-party websites offering them for around $18 per thousand.’
It seems with the right website you could buy a relatively large number of ‘followers’ at a reasonable price.
Is it worth going down this route?
Through the power of Google I came across the article ‘Should you Buy Twitter Followers? One Business Woman’s Story’ written by Kelly Kautz. In her own investigation Ms Kautz purchased 3,000 followers at a cost of $39 ($15 for 1,000 followers, to improve her Twitter search ranking decided to purchase a further 2,000 at $24 )
Overall Ms Kautz findings were ‘if engagement is what you are looking for, buying Twitter followers is probably not the best solution’.
In the short run you will increase your followers but at what cost? Mentioned in Ms Kautz article was the lack of control she had over the type of followers she received, resulting in her tweet feed being ‘overcome by dumb tweets…’
Compared to its competitors, JobServe’s Twitter and Facebook follower numbers are low. JobServe has only been actively working on its social media campaign for the last 10 months. During this time JobServe has seen its number of followers steadily increase, this has only been achieved by working on JobServe’s social networks and seeing what works for its followers and what doesn’t.
In a nutshell, if you want to create a successful social media campaign then put in the required hard work and effort and the followers will come, if they don’t then re-evaluate what you’re doing.
Don’t cheat, it’s just not nice!
Websites & LinkedIn Groups I’ve found useful