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Why Buying Social Media Followers is a Bad Idea

Reaching out to our potential customers today is not as simple as handing out flyers or placing ads in the printed media. With the emergence of the internet, social networks have become a unique and efficient way to keep in touch with our audience - and most importantly receive valuable feedback from them. There are several ways people consume social content, but probably the most widespread is through mobile devices.

People use their smartphones to pay, to shop, to keep in touch with their friends and family in ways we wouldn't even have imagined a few years ago. Besides, mobile devices of today are excellent platforms for gaming. Millions of people play and win millions at Royal Vegas online casino each month, which offers them high class entertainment on the go. Their hundreds of games keep people entertained for hours, offering them the chance to win big money every day, often enough to fulfill one of their long time dreams - like switch to a newer, more powerful or exciting car. One of their players has recently been favored by Lady Luck to win over $7.5 million with one lucky spin. And, as the developer does not believe in annuities, he will take the amount home in one lump sum.

But the most widespread use today's people have found for smartphones is keeping up with their friends' and their favorite brands through social networks. Brands are aware of this habit, and do all they can to gather more followers around their accounts. The more followers a social account, like a brand page on Facebook, has, the more efficiently it can gather feedback and get the message out to potential customers. Some companies are using this idea to promote a product that is increasingly popular: on-demand followers. In exchange for a certain amount - low enough most of the times - they promise to increase a page's follower count by hundreds, or even thousands. This sounds quite attractive, but when it comes to efficiency, it can almost never deliver. So, the money you spend on followers is wasted - and it can even ruin the reputation of your brand.

The goal of gathering followers around your Facebook page (let's just stick to this example) is to be able to call out to people interested in your product or service. The best way to do this is through organic growth - unfortunately this is a slow process, which requires quite a lot of time and work to be invested into a social presence. But it's worth it: by letting your Facebook page grow organically, it will gather followers that are interested in your area, which will be a receptive audience for your promotions and product offers. In case of a "bought" audience, which is artificially inflated, the follower count will grow a lot in a short time, but the response rate of users will be very low. Besides, you have no guarantee that you will reach your desired audience.

Let's take a look at one example - a local car dealership from Indiana owned by one of my friends. The owner of the dealership has "heard" of social media and decided to give it a go - modern times call for modern measures, after all. Being in a hurry, he paid for increasing his follower count to a few thousand in a couple of days, and sat back relaxed afterwards, being convinced that this move will increase his audience both online and in real life. Only later has he observed - after I pointed it out to him - that most of the new followers he got for his money were far from being part of his desired audience - most of them were from outside the US, with no intention to cross the ocean to buy any of his cars.

Paying to boost follower counts is a waste of money most of the times. The best way to get more followers is to rely on the word of mouth - post relevant content on the page to attract people interested in the topic, initiate discussions on various topics connected to your own product or service, and being responsive through this medium. And followers will flow.

Views: 87

Tags: game, online


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