The business side of the web is so rife with hypocrisy that many everyday happenings would make a corrupt politician – in other words, every politician – blush. In no area is the hypocrisy clearer than when it comes to the issue of buying followers for your social media accounts.
The big social media sites play a rather interesting game. Most platforms prohibit the purchase of followers in their terms and conditions. If you pay a random third-party to generate 5,000 followers to your fan page on Facebook, you’re being bad and not playing by the rules.
Naturally, it is an entirely different matter if you buy the followers from Facebook. This process is, of course, called advertising. You can create a few ads, slap down your credit card, and run the campaign until you reach the desired number of likes for your page.
Is it hard to see the difference between the two approaches? It unquestionably is. In both cases, you are paying for followers. But the game is tilted in favor of the major social media sites. Again, let’s look at Facebook. If you go out and buy followers from a random supplier you run the risk of having those followers deleted by Facebook. You also run the risk of having your account completely banned. Not exactly what we’re looking for.
Now consider buying…um…”advertising” in order to gain followers through the Facebook system. You will pay more, but your risk of having Facebook penalize your account is eliminated. It may seem a fine line, but this is how the game is played now on the Facebooks and Twitters of the world.
Third Party Sites
As far as those third-party sites offering “real followers” for cheap prices go, you should view them with great skepticism, for a couple of reasons.
The first problem is the quality of the accounts which will end up following you. If the price you pay is very low, you are probably buying “followers” which were set up with bots. These accounts usually get shut down within a few months. If you pay a decent price, you are usually buying real followers, but ones who are being paid to follow you. The likelihood that they will actually engage with you in any meaningful way or buy anything from your business is so small that the angel on the head of a pin is laughing at you. Large numbers of likes and followers don’t mean anything if they don’t actually put money in your pocket.
Secondly, social media sites may ban you if they figure out that a large number of your followers have been purchased. There are a billion people on Facebook. That’s a big audience to piss away just for some fake likes. While buying thousands of followers might seem a good idea in the short term, it is almost always a terrible decision in the long run.
So should you buy followers despite what the social media sites tell you? The answer is simple if you remember the golden rule: he who has the gold makes the rules. In this case, the game is rigged – in order to stay in business on their sites, you have to buy your followers through the social sites themselves. It sucks, but they make the rules.