A few weeks ago, a lady called me to ask for help with her social media. She was finding it hard to grow a following and wanted advice. We chatted and then the dreaded question came. You know the one, don’t you? ‘What about buying followers, is that a good idea?’. I get asked this a lot and my answer is always the same. Always. And here I’ll explain why buying followers is a bad idea.
Why buying followers is a bad idea
Having lots of followers on any platform is nice. It’s nice for our egos, let’s be honest. We don’t know each and every person that follows us (I mean, you might do, but I don’t), but the numbers keep increasing and that makes us happy. So could we shortcut this process by throwing a bit of money at the issue and buying a load of followers? Well yes, in theory we could, but it would completely defeat the whole object of growing a following for me. And if you’re using social media properly, it would kill it for you too…
But buying followers gets more followers… isn’t that what it’s all about?
Nope. Getting more ENGAGED followers is very much what it’s all about. Getting more followers who don’t care about you, your product, your service, your industry and will never ever be a customer or interested in your content? Nope. That’s just feeding your ego. And I don’t mean to be boring here, but I don’t have a huge amount of time for that.
See, I do work hard on my following on all platforms. Could I grow my following more quickly? Absolutely. If that was the sole objective, my followings would be much higher because there are lots of ways to do this. But I don’t want to do this. I want to grow my following on all my platforms, but I want to grow them with genuine followers.
Why do genuine followers matter?
I put a LOT of time into creating content online for my social media platforms. One of the aims of my social media activity is to increase my visibility to people who are a) interested in me and my services or b) interested in my PR and coaching clients (because I share a lot of pics and content from them too) c) interesting or inspirational to me. If I want to achieve any of the objectives above, I need to make sure what I am putting out into the world appeals to these people and gets seen by them. One way to do this is through social media. And that’s why the genuine follower thing is key. As you probably know by now, I’m very into anything country and equestrian. So if I have thousands of followers who are into, I don’t know, baseball, we are probably going to have a disconnect. And although they’re following me, they’re never going to show a real interest in what I’m doing, be interested in me or my clients, will never read a blog or mine (I mean, why would they)… you see what I mean. So the numbers look good BUT the engagement rates would be horrible. And any conversion would be a flipping miracle.
If you buy followers, the chance of you getting followers who have any interest in your business at all is slim. Your ego will like it (well, depending on how your ego works, mine would also feel a bit embarrassed, but that’s just me!), but your following won’t do any more than that. Follow. Withoit any true connection.
Most of us use social media as a way to help promote our businesses. And if the following you have gathered, the audience you are promoting to, couldn’t care less, is there really any point in creating the content and putting in the effort?