It’s probably one of the worst kept marketing secrets. But, purchasing social media followers is a lucrative business that has been used by a wide range of public figures and organizations like Kim Kardashian, Newt Gingrich, Lady Gaga, Sean Combs, Pepsi, Mercedes-Benz, and even President Obama. Each of these entities have either been caught red-handed or have fake or inactive followers.
If established individuals and brands are purchasing followers, then you can only imagine the what it’s like for bloggers, entrepreneurs, and small business owners who are just starting out. As Dale Janee, an LA-based blogger, states on Racked, “I could understand the temptation to buy followers, especially for bloggers starting out. Everyone’s thought about it at some point or another.” Janeee adds, “There’s an immense pressure to get as many followers as possible.”
While this blackhat technique is frequently frowned upon, the sad truth is that it can actually work if you want to accumulate a large amount of followers in a short period of time- which is why it’s a multi-million dollar business. However, is purchasing more followers really worth it in the end?
The Pros and Cons of Purchasing Social Media Followers
If you’ve been on the fence about buying social media followers, here the benefits and drawbacks of embarking on this shady journey.
- A large social media following gives the impression that you’re important.
- Even though these are fake accounts, the amount of followers or fans that you have are real.
- A larger following will make others want to jump onto your bandwagon.
- Purchasing followers is a whole lot easier and cheaper than organically building a following.
- As mentioned earlier, a lot of other people and companies are doing it, so why can’t you?
- Buying followers harms your credibility.
- Fake followers don’t engage with your content.
- Fake followers won’t purchase your product or service.
- Actual reviews can be more important than the amount of followers you have.
- Blackhat territory is a breeding ground for hackers and cyber criminals.
- Social media channels like Facebook and Twitter have been cracking down on this practice.
To be perfectly honest, purchasing followers may seem like a great if you want to boost your social media presence, but in the long run, it’s just not worth the time and money.
Where to Buy Social Media Followers
So. You’ve decided to go down this road, huh? If you think that this is necessary, here are a couple of places where you can purchase social media followers.
- eBay: Inc.com did an investigative piece that discovered for $35 you could purchase an existing Twitter page with 3,700 followers, must of whom were real people.
- Fast Followerz: This service makes the claim that you’re actually purchasing real and active social media accounts, or just likes if you want. It will cost you $4 for 100 Twitter followers.
- Buzzoid: This service allows you to purchase followers or likes on Instagram starting at $3.
- Fiverr: If search for “buy Twitter followers,” for example, you have hundreds of options to purchase a couple of hundred to a couple of thousand followers for just five bucks.
- Hypez: This is another site where you can purchase Instagram likes or followers.
- FollowerSale: The site makes the claim that you’re purchasing real and active Twitter followers.
- Buy Instagram Followers: Another service that promises likes and follows from actual Instagram accounts.
- Devumi: While known for delivering real Twitter followers, you can use this service to give your YouTube, Pinterest, Vine, Vimeo, or SoundCloud accounts a boost.
Even though these sites claim that they’ll deliver real followers, proceed at your own risk. While you may land some actual social media followers, there’s a very good chance that you’ll receive a number of fake accounts.
If this doesn’t concern you, at least do not grant anyone access to your social media accounts. If they ask for your login information, proceed elsewhere. That’s just common sense.
Organic Ways to Get More Social Media Followers
If you really want to gain more social media followers, and avoid the damage that goes with purchasing followers, then follow these tried and trusted techniques.
For starters, Buffer’s Kevan Lee suggests that you practice general strategies like:
- Completely filling out your profile.
- Sharing a link to your profile via your other networks and via email.
- Including follow links and widgets on your blog or website.
- Adding your new social profile to your email signature.
Other organic strategies to attract new social media followers include:
- Reaching out to influencers using tools like Buzzsumo.
- Finding social media followers in your industry or niche.
- Sharing original and relevant content.
- Resharing or liking other people’s content.
- Responding and interacting with your audience.
- Hosting giveaways or contests.
- Being active. For example, you should share 1 to 2 posts per day on Facebook.
- Guest blogging on leading industry websites or blogs.
- Having your own voice to prove that you’re an actual person.
Gaining followers doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and little bit of hard work. But, it’s worth it if you want to protect your brand’s reputation. Purchasing social media followers may seem like a sound idea at first, but there are too many situations where it can backfire and do more harm than good.