Buying Likes On Social Media: Good or Bad?
Why do people buy fake likes?
Everyone with a social media account, both personal and professional, understands how difficult it can be to grow an organic following fast. In a world where “likes” are counted like currency, it is very tempting for small businesses to buy fake likes, followers, views, etc. These days, it’s very common for businesses to receive emails that promise 500 likes or followers for a small sum of money.
The problem is, the more fake followers you have, the lower your engagement goes. At the end of the day, the only number that matters is the number of individuals that actually press the like or follow button. You want the people who like your page to engage with your company and genuinely like your product.
How buying followers works
There are two top tactics fake-follower suppliers like to use.
Follow/Unfollow Churning: Instagram & Twitter
Your account will start following a large number of people each day—large meaning hundreds or even thousands. If they follow you back, great; if they don’t, your account will unfollow them. After a while, your account will also start unfollowing your followers just to get your follow ratio down. While this is a quick way to gain followers, if you are suspected of churning, Instagram and Twitter will suspend your account. This tactic needs to be done very slowly and gradually if done at all.
2) Dummy Following: Facebook & YouTube
Suppliers have large databases of “dummy” accounts they use to follow or like you on different social media platforms. Most of the time, these “dummy” accounts are completely inactive or “robot” accounts. Names are made up of random letters and numbers.
The risks of buying fake followers and likes
Buying followers doesn’t mean buying customers. You’re not getting people who are interested or willing to engage with you. You’re just using numbers. The large number of fake accounts are a useless demographic in your audience insights. Your reporting is no longer accurate or helpful.
What tends to happen, especially with the follow churning method, is your account will continuously follow and unfollow the same accounts who don’t follow you back, over and over again. Your brand can (more often than not) build a reputation as spam or fake.
Low Facebook Algorithm
Some social networks, including Facebook, use engagement-based algorithms to determine the relevance of your content and, in turn, the likelihood of your posts appearing in your fans’ feeds. When your accounts have large fake followers and likes, your engagement goes down drastically. This conditions Facebook’s algorithm to expect low performance from you, which results in your content showing up less and less, even to those who might engage.
For example: When you buy likes on Facebook, the proportion of real people engaging with your content will shrink. This conditions Facebook’s algorithm to expect low performance from you, resulting in your content showing up less frequently.
Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. pay attention to fake accounts, and will usually scam through their database and remove all fake, inactive accounts on their site. When buying fake followers, most of that following is going to be robot accounts – aka inactive, fake accounts. One day you’ll have 10,000 followers, Instagram will go through and delete all fake accounts, and now you only have 400 followers. This looks bad for not only your social media account but your brand as a whole.
So, how do you get a large following fast WITHOUT buying them?
There’s no one good answer to this question—ever. It all goes back to the nature of your business and the industry you’re in. Here are a few standard tips to get your following growing fast… the right way!
- Share useful, interesting or fun content that people can RELATE to.
- Fill your bio with relevant and informative details – not too long, though.
- Use relevant, popular and appropriate hashtags to allow new users to stumble upon your posts.
- Maintain a real relationship outside social media to strengthen the bonds you have with your followers and fans.
Has your business ever tried buying followers or likes? What do you think about it? Leave a comment below!