Is buying friends, likes, followers – good or bad?
A certain website claimed that an anonymous ex-staff member to a certain presidential hopeful said that the politicians staff hired a social-media firm to inflate a Twitter account with fake followers. This was all strongly denied so the scandal died down relatively quickly, but not before raising the idea of buying a ready-made online fan-club.
Just how easy is it to bulk-up your account with paid followers? One quick search through your Ebay account will answer that question. £30 will buy you 5,000 followers, £3- buys you 200! May-be the question shouldn’t be “how easy”… but, ”How is having an extra 200, or 5,000 followers on Twitter going to help me?”
A lot of the answer is covered by what the account you are planning to bulk-up is all about. If you are a company selling ‘specific widgets’, you are in a ‘specific market’ and are seeking vey ‘specific followers’. 5,000 random new followers isn’t going to help you sell those ‘specific widgets’. On the other hand; if you sell something we all need, use, want – like clothes, food, trainers – might you be onto something?
Another pastime now is to sell complete Twitter accounts. The seller having set up an account on Twitter, used it lightly but having followed many accounts and so the account will have some followers – then the seller offers the whole account, username, password and all for sale. The up-side of that is you get a ready made, ready-running Twitter account, with a history. The down-side is that you get a ready made, ready running Twitter account with a history!
But what are you buying, who are you buying it from? Why are you using a social media site like Twitter in the first place? Are you simply wasting your money or could it go deeper than that? What has the seller been saying about people on the account prior to you buying it? A Twitter account has a history and it might not be one you want your company associated with.
Facebook hasn’t escaped this pastime. A quick search on Ebay uncovers 1,000 Facebook likes for £18 but let’s think it through. Are bought followers/likes going to read your tweets/status updates, interact with your account or retweet you? Bought followers haven’t a clue who you are and they might not even be people! Bought likes will never be clients or customers and they will not click your links.