Every single Twitter user knows having a huge following is a big deal. Celebrities take a lot of pride in it, and so do businesses that use the social media site as a way of building brand recognition, search engine rankings and of course, a customer base.
Getting that huge following, however, isn’t the easiest thing to do on Twitter. That’s why a lot of Twitter marketers resort to black-hat practices like buying Twitter followers. Sure, buying Twitter followers has certain benefits, like getting the clout that always comes with having a huge following—fake or not—and it does make you feel important.
We at Sharper Edge, however, have reasons why we think buying Twitter followers is probably not a good idea, especially when you’re doing it to further your goals toward building brand recognition, among other things. Here are some of them.
They’re not real followers
At best, all that buying Twitter followers will get you are spam bots, and mindless ones at that. These robots won’t engage or interact with you. Considering that engagement or interaction is a huge factor in the success or failure of any social media marketing campaign, that kind of negates the act of buying Twitter followers, doesn’t it? Plus, you don’t really want to be tagged as someone who only has friends because he paid for them, do you?
Buying Twitter followers can bring some real risks
Many of the sites that offer to sell you Twitter followers are nothing more than scams. You could pour a lot of money into them and still end up with nothing. You won’t really be building brand recognition or anything you thought you’d get if you got into bed with these people. With so many businesses seemingly desperate enough to raise their number of Twitter followers, these groups are certainly having a field day. Worse, it also gives them the opportunity to make your real followers’ lives miserable through hacking, phishing and spamming.
Buying Twitter followers won’t boost Klout score
You’ve probably heard of Klout, that website and mobile app that uses social media analytics to rank its users according to online social influence via the “Klout Score”. It’s an important score to have for social media marketers, but buying Twitter followers won’t really raise your Klout score. That’s because social media influence scores like that offered by Klout are not really that impressed by sheer numbers. What they tend to look at are interaction and Twitter engagement, which you won’t really get much of from fake followers that you bought.
Your reputation will be at stake
Considering how easy it is these days to find out who actually cheated when it comes to followers, you are essentially risking your reputation when you’re buying Twitter followers. Once your real followers discover you had to buy people to follow you, they are going to lose whatever respect they had for you and your brand. You could even be the laughingstock of the Twitterverse. If you are actually trying to establish a reputation as an industry expert and you got caught buying Twitter followers, you can kiss that goal goodbye.
The main point here is that buying Twitter followers does not help you get traffic from Twitter, does not help with SEO and Twitter may at any point take them all away when it finally decides to mount a serious campaign to get rid of all spam accounts, which many of the “followers” you bought most likely are. A huge number of followers only looks impressive on your Twitter profile page.
The same goes for buying Facebook fans
Incidentally, this gets worse if you’re buying Facebook fans in the same way. Buying Facebook fans means you will have a very non-interactive fan page, which in turn means Facebook will think all your posts are very uninteresting since so few, if any, of your fans are interacting with them. Buying Facebook fans, in the end, makes finding real fans much more expensive and tedious. My advice: stick to real fans and followers, right from the start. Building brand recognition and all that may take some time, but at least everything will be organic, and that’s the best possible result you can hope to have.