A business owner managing their social media profile on their cellphone. Follower, likes, and comment counts show in little talk bubbles.

Whether you’re wanting to build your brand’s social platform or want to grow your personal social network, gaining followers on any social platform is an important and valuable goal. The more followers you have, the more individuals you are able to deliver your content to, building your brand awareness, trust, and industry authority. If a potential follower or prospect visits your social profile and sees that you have a significant number of followers, they’re more likely to be interested in your content and your brand because they can see that others trust and enjoy your content.

Followers are valuable and a vital part of your success on social media. Because of this, many startups and young entrepreneurs seek to gain followers instantly and rapidly instead of earning them overtime. At first glance, purchasing followers looks like the fast track to success, but it can actually have long term negative effects on your social media efforts and initiatives.

Purchased followers aren’t always real accounts.

Depending on how you purchase these followers, they may not be real accounts. You might be buying follows from several accounts that are all managed by the same individual or by bots. These accounts often get created with the goal of “gaining” followers in return on a certain account, or to monetize the platform by receiving payment for follows.

While your follower count may be high, the value of those followers is little to none. They aren’t real individuals with real interest in your brand, which means:

  • They can’t truly endorse your content (to show trustworthiness and value to other real followers)
  • They aren’t likely to engage with your content in a genuine or organic way
  • They aren’t going to purchase your product or service, or even become a valid lead for your business

Tons of followers + little engagement = poor metrics.

As we said before, purchased accounts aren’t likely to engage with your content. Whether there is a real human managing these accounts or a bot, you might get some likes and comments on a few initial posts, but any engagement you receive will be ingenuine and will inevitably trickle off. If they comment on your posts, the comments are typically generic and vague—they don’t offer real insight, endorsement, or feedback on your content. You can’t build a customer relationship with them through these comments, and other genuine followers can’t build an informed opinion of your brand based on that engagement.

If the individual accounts are managed by individual humans, but are only following you because they were paid to, they might engage more often but it will still be ingenuine. They aren’t actually interested in your content and are only engaging out of obligation. And even if they make an attempt to feign interest, they aren’t going to become legitimate customers who purchase your product or service.

While that high follower count might look impressive at first glance, if you have a lot of followers but little to no engagement, this negatively affects your social media metrics, which can have effects on your digital marketing efforts overall. It’s difficult to measure how your content is performing with your audience if a portion of that audience is fake or purchased. And if you can’t measure the performance of your content, you can’t improve your content or continue to produce the right content, which could cost you valuable leads and conversions over time.

Gain followers that are real, genuine, and valuable.

Instead of purchasing fake or ingenuine followers to boost your follower count instantly, focus your time, budget, and efforts on creating valuable content that encourages engagement with the followers you currently have. Build relationships with your current followers by interacting with them and engaging with them on your posts, and create content that they are most likely to share with their own followers and friends. When the engagement on your content is genuine and consistent, this pays off in the long run by showing potential followers you have a positive social presence and a trustworthy reputation.

Many social platforms have evolved their algorithms to reward engagement over follower counts, and displaying relevant content for users based on their own engagement. So focusing your efforts on your content and your interactions with current followers will not only help you build customer loyalty, but it will help your content reach the right individuals—people who have real accounts and have a real interest in your brand, product, or service.

Grow your social media presence.

If you want to increase your brand’s social media presence and gain real followers and genuine engagement, contact us today. Our digital marketing experts will discuss social media branding, campaigns, and initiatives that will best benefit your business and help you build your social following.