Are Friends Electric?? – Paying For Twitter Followers

Paying For Twitter Followers

So…  You’ve been put in charge of your company’s social media account OR you’re looking after brand social media activities…  You want to make an immediate impact…  So you spend £50 and bump up the company Twitter following by 20,000!!

Great job??  Nope!  Bad move junior!  In short, this is a completely false economy.  You buy fake followers because you think it makes your campaign or profile stronger, all power to you.  You are of course an idiot.  What is your company’s or client’s perception of you when they discover your campaign is a complete lie.  Well you could get your wrist slapped or in very extreme cases, lose your client and their trust altogether.

You’ll be happy to know that you’re not the only internet marketer or social media manager that has had that same idea, heck! Even celebrities are getting in on this.  Let’s use pop megastar Lady Gaga as an example.  In 2012 a report was put together by the Daily Mail and it covered stars that had paid for followers or used fake profiles to boost their ‘brand’ perception.  The report showed that, out of Gaga’s 29million followers on Twitter, a massive 71% of these accounts were fake and in fact paid for.  She has a great profile, but the need to compete and exceed other stars forced PR to kick in.  Before we look at the sins of paying for followers, let’s take a look at the current ‘fake follower’ figures and check out a few other superstars and brands.

Information correct as of 13.00 - 29/03/13
Information correct as of 13.00 – 29/03/13

“Well, if they’re doing it, why shouldn’t I?” – Good question, but chances are, you’re not multi-platinum selling music star or a brand that is recognised the world over.  This still doesn’t make it right by the way.  The thing is, you are probably using social media to try and grow brand awareness, get feedback or even generate leads and sales for a business.  You cannot do this by ‘promoting’ to dead accounts.  Social media for many people, is all about vanity.  Let’s face it, its one big popularity contest, so the only way to get ahead in this game is by being popular, right?  Wrong again!  If you take only one thing away from this post, please let it be the next section.

Your Customers, Guests or Clients Don’t Care About How Many Followers a Twitter Account Has

If I talk to a brand on-line, I care about one thing and one thing only…  ME!!  I want to see that a brand has seen and actioned or acknowledged my message.  I want to know if a brand cares about my ‘Follow’ or ‘Like’ by responding, especially if this is a genuine customer service issue.  OK, I’ll also follow brands that I have an interest in, but very quickly un-follow those that do nothing but spam.  Many marketers look at social media and channels like Twitter as being a promotional tool.  It is, but it’s also the opportunity to provide some excellent customer service for your brand. I cannot stress enough that social media is a two-way-street and these on-line channels should be used as much for seeking out info to make your brand, product or service BETTER.  The key word once again is “ENGAGE”…  Fact is, if I see a twitter profile that has 100,000 Followers, Following 10 and tweeted twice, I smell a rat! If you have paid for followers and these are ‘dead’ or fake profiles, there is no possible way for you to engage, poll, promote or even generate a sale.  In fact, all you’ve actually done is waste money.  Your client or boss is always asking “what’s the ROI on your social media activity?” Well, by being an idiot and paying for followers, you’ve just created a negative ROI and a great reason for a boss or a client to claim that social media is of no use or a fad… Nice work, genius! Creating a good on-line experience is about posting great content, engaging with followers and taking your brand’s social media accounts to the next level.  Followers and Likes will grow over time, so will your brand’s reputation.  Just be consistently awesome!

Simple Twitter Rules to Remember

  • The Power Of “Thank You” – If I were to print out all of my tweets (ones where I’ve managed company accounts or even my own) I would bet that a good 70% of them would be me saying “thank you”…  Thanking for follows, RT’s, Shares or just shout-outs.  People still care about those two words.  Plus, it takes a few seconds to type “Thanks”.  That politeness alone could grow a following.
  • Follow Back – If you get a follow by someone in your line of work or a genuine guest (keep an eye out for fake profiles still) Follow Back.  Obviously, avoid these #TeamFollowBack chains, they are no value to what you do (unless you’re 12 years old and want more pointless followers) but it doesn’t hurt to click the follow button too.
  • Post Regular – Tweet things that are relevant to your profile or brand, post out industry articles with a view to starting a conversation.  Heck, even break up the seriousness with a funny post or picture from time to time (if appropriate to the brand) People like to know that they are talking (Tweeting) with a human.  If someone responds to a post, ENGAGE!!  Keep the conversation going.
  • Get Involved – Search for guests, potential clients or people involved in the same line of work and (You guessed it) ENGAGE!  Social Media and doing it right, is all about getting involved in conversations.  This will grow your status as being an influencer in this field.  You can gain new ‘fans’ and certainly educate people more about your brand by simply getting involved.
  • Be Open and Transparent – I’ve known marketers and PR experts that would rather “Climb a tree and tell a lie, than stand on the ground and tell the truth”  A lie through social media is there for all to see, if you were to ever get called on it, prepare for the fall out.  Brands deal with customer dissatisfaction on a daily basis.  If a guest, customer or client wants to rant…  Don’t delete the post or respond with a flippant lie…  Address the post and take it to a private forum, email, telephone.  But always make a move quickly.  By dealing with a problem in a transparent way, you show others that you are serious about your customers/followers/brand and may even turn the complainer in to a serious brand advocate.

Make those things the basis of your brand’s social media journey and you may not get 100,000 followers over-night.  But you will build a network of active, engaged and valuable followers!  Look forward to seeing you on-line soon!  Oh for the record…


Are Paying For Twitter Followers

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