How Fake Followers Are Killing Brands

We all know why we WANT followers, but the ethical ways to gain those followers are becoming blurred. Having a heap of followers can make you and your brand look boss AF.  Here is the one reason why you and your brand could consider buying followers: having tens of thousands of them makes you or your brand look like a boss.
It goes like this: the more followers you have, the more people trust you brand and perceive you as a 'tastemaker' in your field.  

Social media mimics our high-school days. Most people choose to play with the popular kid when given the choice. A large social following gives you what the marketing industry terms 'social proof'. Which basically means, proof that people like your stuff. Unlike school, it’s super easy to buy fake followers. Just Google “buy followers” and you’ll be met with an endless supply of people wanting to sell you their numbers. Around $10 for 1000 followers. 

The truth is buying followers can seriously harm your brand’s image.

Here are 4 reasons not to hit the buy button:

1. It seriously messes with Instagram's new algorithm. 

Instagram's algorithm decides if your photo deserves to be seen by your fans within the few minutes of posting. The engagement on your post in this time is vital. Though here is the clincher - it is also based on the engagement in relation to your following. If only a small percentage of your 20k following engages with your image in the first few moments, Instagram will throw that post to the bottom of the pile, and your engagement will dwindle within hours. 

2. People who know what they’re doing, can spot your fake followers from a mile away. 

All it takes is someone to take a quick glance on your account and see that you have 100,000 followers, terrible content and 100 likes per photo. Mostly, fake followers have 0-6 photos about the same amount of followers or are private accounts with none of the above.

3. These followers are not your customers.

This doesn’t need any explanation. Fake followers are not your customers nor are they ever going to be.

4. Lack of engagement

It doesn’t matter how many likes or followers you have if there’s nobody engaging with you. Purchased fans don’t engage because they’re not real people.  
Be patient. Build your authority one day at a time and remember the main social media rule. You want people to trust you.

So Don’t. Just don’t. 

What you SHOULD do is create great customer engagement. Engage in conversations with your customers, spread the word about your brand, gather customers’ feedback. Build customer loyalty and trust. And then, when people know you and know that they can trust you, they might buy your products!