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Why You Shouldn't Buy Fake Followers On Social Media

Luca Gasparri
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Anyone reading this who would buy fake followers or is thinking about buying fake followers, should think again.

Yes, buying fake followers is extremely common, but that doesn't mean it's smart. There are currently over 284,000,000 search results on Google for ‘fake likes on Facebook’, and 50,000,000 results for “buy fake followers”. That shows you how many people think this is a good idea.

While it's clear that the desire to buy fake followers is extremely popular, it's also clear that it can be bad for business. Are fake followers worth being banned from social media platforms that help you advertise your business? Facebook has recently announced that they will not tolerate this sort of fraudulent activity on their platform. They're cracking down on brands that have a fake following.

Why do business owners want a fake following? They're often too impatient to grow their following organically. They want to boost their social proof or improve their brand's reputation. By getting more like on their pages, they would appear more popular and therefore get more customers.

It's obvious why the desire to buy fake followers is so high. A strong following does look good for your brand, and can lead to more sales. However, buying fake followers can do more harm than good, as a fake following can harm your business in many different ways.

Fake Followers are like a Bar or Restaurant's Fake Line-Up

Have you ever seen a bar or restaurant with a line-up outside? Did that line-up result in you having very high expectations of what the experience at that venue would be like? But what if the line-up was orchestrated to make the venue look good? What if the inside of that venue would not actually live up to your expectations?

Have you ever seen a long line in front of a restaurant? You probably think the food must be good, since so many people are waiting in the queue. What if the line-up at the restaurant was only because the service was extremely slow? And what if the line-up outside the bar was fake in that the bouncers were purposely not letting people inside, to get the allure of a line-up.

I live in Malaysia and last December I went to Batu Ferringhi with my family for Christmas Holidays. One night we had dinner in one of those popular restaurants along the promenade where you can select the fish yourselves. We ordered prawns and we ended up overspending - but that’s not the point.

What bothered me the most was that the prawns were so terrible, we couldn’t eat them. None of us. For the first time in my life I had to waste big fresh prawns - I was shocked. I remember that day so vividly and I am still very disappointed.

Do you think I will ever go to that restaurant again or recommend it to someone I know?

No. I will never go back. And this is what happen when expectations aren’t met.

You might be wondering, how is this relevant to buying fake followers? The answer is simple: In both cases, the problem lies in the value proposition. Value is in what you offer in your product or service, and in the content of your message. Never set people up to have high expectations.

You should build trust and nurture long-lasting relationships by being authentic and providing real value.

Below are some more reasons why it's not a smart business decision to buy fake followers:

1. You Miss All Of The Heavenly Glory

Don't think. Feeeeeeel! It's like a finger pointing away to the moon. Do not concentrate on the finger or you will miss all of the heavenly glory! - Bruce Lee

Buying fake followers is exactly like missing all of the heavenly glory.

In fact as soon as you ask yourself if it’s worth it, you’re already losing ground - you don’t see the big picture anymore. You start focusing on your following and forgetting the most important thing which is why you are doing this and what your real goals are.

Value comes first. Followers come later. So don't focus on the wrong thing.

2. Trust is Not On Sale

If you buy fake followers, your page will look more popular, but you're forgetting that fake followers can erode your brand's credibility.

You will also erode the trust between you and your prospects. Plus, the more followers you buy, the faster you damage relationships with your real followers.

Remember that trust is a powerful buying force for clients. They often only buy from companies they trust. Trust can easily be tarnished with a fake following.

3. You'll Ruin Your Brand's Reputation

If you buy fake followers, you’ll soon have the likes of a celebrity, but with the engagement dryer than the entire Sahara. When your engagement doesn't match your following, everyone will know your following is fake, and your reputation is ruined.

The thing is, everyone knows how many likes, views, or comments your posts would get if your following was legitimate, and not fraudulent. So you're not fooling anyone.

So if you’re buying fake followers, be prepared to damage your brand's reputation and credibility.

4. Audience Roulette: Distorted Data

As soon as you have real followers mixed with fake followers, you're a gambler playing roulette. Since they’re all mixed together, you won’t be able to filter out the fake ones during your data analysis. And that could lead to improper strategies and unwise decisions.

Understanding your customers or your audience's behavior becomes impossible if more than half of your followers are fake.

Fake followers leads to distorted data. You might be in an absurd situation when you’re creating content for your fake followers, driven by distorted data. Your re targeted ads are targeting your fake following, did you know that?

Advertising becomes a gamble because you don't know your true audience anymore.

5. If You Buy Fake Followers, You're Barking Up The Wrong Tree

Soon many of your original customers will be gone, because they don’t trust you anymore.

And do you know how hard it is to convert fake followers into real customers? Converting the real followers generated with organic reach is much more promising. That is purely because of the long-term, authentic relationship that you’ve built. This is where trust works its magic and helps you monetize all the effort you’ve made.

The fake following is just a cold audience, and converting them isn't going to happen. Those fake followers are never going to become your clients.

6. The EdgeRank

When you buy fake followers be aware that there’s a new sheriff in town - Facebook’s EdgeRank Algorithm. Facebook has reestablished the rules by changing its algorithm.

EdgeRank is a complex math algorithm that ranks and selects the stories for the newsfeed. It operates based on the content and the interest generated in the audience. It considers several factors including the affinity with the user, the type of content, the interactions, time factor, and variety.

As you can see the selection criteria are broader than just simple following. And the lower you score, the less chance you have to see your post in the newsfeed.

Imagine that you’ve just invested in buying fake followers. But you ended up scoring low in the ranking and you’re kicked out from the newsfeed. How much will your investment be worth now?

Your might consider switching over a different platform...let’s say Instagram...If you’ll be caught with fake followers, Instagram will remove them from your post- the trend is not different here . . . so will the investment be worth it once again?

And what if you’re a serial buyer of fake followers? Your account could get shutdown, banned or even permanently blocked.

7. Who’s Gonna Show Up To The Party?

Is buying fake followers really increasing your number of leads? Just think about that. You have invested money, hoping to attract more leads in your pipeline. But now your content is not reaching your targeted audience anymore. Your reputation is also impacted, and so is the organic reach.

You end up with poor engagement. It's embarrassing. So you’re losing your audience - they’re becoming colder and colder every single day. And now you have now less chance to convert them into clients.

And with poor engagement comes low EdgeRanking, until one day the score is so affected that now it’s even difficult to reach the newsfeed. And now you’re also impacting your ability to drive traffic through paid ads.

If you buy fake followers you might watch your business self-destruct and if you throw a party, nobody will show up.

8. What is This Really Costing You?

Let’s talk about money for a moment, because you’ll be shocked!

Those fake followers set you up to lose money. Let me explain:

  • You’ve ruined the trust with your audience and soon you’re selling less to fewer customers.

  • Your average cost per acquisition increases - you’re spending more to get clients onboard!

  • You’re your cost per click increases as well - fewer people are taking action while you’re spending more…!

  • The lifetime value of your customers (LTV) drops - the colder audience is purchasing less frequently. And most likely spending a smaller amount each time they buy!

  • Your ROI keeps dropping - you’re making less sales and spending more money.

The bottom line is this: buying fake followers could screw up your entire business. Your relationship with your audience becomes tarnished, and your social media marketing efforts become a lost cause.

Do you still believe that buying fake followers is a good idea?

Summary

If you buy followers on Facebook, Instagram, or any other platform, you have to be aware of all the risks.

Understanding your customer would become impossible. Data becomes impossible to analyze. You end up having low engagement and lower organic reach, and more difficulty in converting leads into clients.

Your reputation will certainly be negatively impacted with a fake following. Less engagement, less interest, less customers and less money in your pocket.

You bought fake followers to help your business grow, but what you got instead is literally the opposite. Your ROI drops!

Don't forget to bring value to the marketplace first, and be patient while you grow an organic and authentic following.

You just have to keep your focus on high-quality content. Creating value continually to your audience, engaging them day by day. Forming a genuine and trustworthy relationship.

So how do you generate a real following?

Hiring a social media copywriter can help you gain real and organic followers. If that is your goal, you can easily hire a professional social media copywriter here.

Luca Gasparri

Luca Gasparri is a business expert with 10 years of combined experience in multiple disciplines and markets, from Engineering and R&D to Business Development and Copywriting. In copywriting, he leverages his creativity and deep knowledge in data analysis and strategy, to create customized solutions through compelling copy. He holds a master’s degree with honours in Mechanical Engineering and an executive Master’s in Project Management.

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