Most people believe that the more followers or fans they have on social media, the more successful their brand appears to be. This leads a lot of them to actually buy fake followers. All this does is create the illusion of popularity, without any of the engagement that comes with having true fans. Fake followers or friends can hurt your business. Many think it is a harmless tactic, however more often than not when consumers discover that majority of your followers are fake, it will turn them away from your business.
There are accounts on Twitter that will follow you and ask you to pay a small fee, and in return they promise you “real followers.” If you buy your followers the only thing you gain is a higher follower count. These followers do not actually interact with you, which is vital to promoting your brand. If you have a high number of followers, but none of them favorite, retweet, or hold a conversation with you, your brand or business will never be a trending topic. This lack of interaction is what happens when majority of your followers aren’t real.
You can also buy fake fans for your brand or business via Facebook. However, any consumer you may have that has liked your Facebook page can easily determine the fake fans from the real ones. These accounts usually have a complex first and/or last names, along with a profile picture that usually looks like it was pulled from a Google Image search. This is usually a red flag to consumers, which could lead to a potentially damaging association to your brand’s image and reputation in the long term. If someone discovers that you’re engaging in fraudulent activities this could mean a big hit to your business. Remember that your brand’s credibility takes time and effort to build and it would be silly to ruin it by purchasing fake fans.
The downside of purchasing fake followers on Pinterest is that these followers more than likely won’t pin any of your pins. And if they do, the link leads to spam. Therefore, your brand is not appearing on any real consumer’s feed, and if it is, potential consumers are being linked to spam. Imagine a consumer being interested in your product, they click the link, and they are directed to spam. It’s safe to say that nobody will want to click on any pins related to your brand thanks to the fake followers you purchased. These fake accounts have already irritated Pinterest users so much that there has been a pin created to recognize the fake followers from the real ones. Many of these accounts still have the red pin as their avatar. Or, they have a picture and account name of a celebrity and they only have a few unrelated pins. They also might have a lot of boards with only a few pins in each of them. There really is no significance to purchasing these fake followers.
Sometimes, you can’t control fake accounts following you. Instagram has actually done users a favor by clearing out many of the fake followers on the platform. Did you ever hear about the “Instagram Purge of 2014?” Well, in case you didn’t more than 29 percent of Instagram’s followers, or 18.9 million users, disappeared within 24 hours. Almost all Instagram users lost followers because, according to Instagram spokesmen, Gabe Madway “the overall goal is we want it to be perceived that the people following you are real.” The New York Times reports that Justin Bieber lost 3.5 million, Ariana Grande lost 1.5 million, Kim Kardashian lost 1.3 million, Rihanna lost 1.2 million and Selena Gomez lost 1.1 million followers during the “Instagram Purge.” Some users were upset with Instagram for clearing out the fake accounts because users actually purchased them to try to appear “Instagram famous.”
At the end of the day, buying fake followers or fans doesn’t amount to much. You end up losing more than what you could gain by simply being smart and creative on social media.