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The Wrong (and Right) Way to Pay for Your Followers

In a January article from the New York Times, reporters highlighted a sneaky social media tactic being used by celebrities, businesses, and anyone who wants to appear more popular online. In this trend, parties seeking online popularity pay shady companies to create fake follower accounts, giving them the appearance of a significant online presence. According to the article, Facebook, despite its rules against the practice, may be home to nearly 60 million fake accounts.

There are numerous problems with this tactic. For starters, these fraudulent account-producing businesses often steal real people’s profile pictures and personal information to give life to their fake accounts. If your company was caught funding this kind of identity theft, the legal reciprocations would be detrimental to business. While social media platforms strictly prohibit fake accounts, this doesn’t stop the trend from rolling.

In addition to the legal issues, paying for fake followers won’t help your business grow. While a high number of followers can help give your account the appearance of popularity, you’ll lack meaningful interaction with your audiences. Fake followers can’t promote your products and services to other people, so it’s best to stick to gaining a real following of people who can!

While a high follower number may look good online, paying for fake followers will also harm your company’s ability to track growth. You won’t be able to discern your real fans from the created ones, making it difficult to determine how much your audiences have truly increased. You’ll also harm your abilities to project future growth patterns, receive feedback, and make product/service improvements.

Now that we’ve covered a few reasons why paying for fake followers is a bad idea, here are some other paid tactics for expanding your audiences legally and efficiently.

man with magnetPPC Advertising
If you’re still interested in buying your business a bigger online presence, try some pay-per-click, or PPC, advertising. For each click your advertisement receives on a website, you pay the site owner a small fee. However, the payoff comes from the larger audiences who will view your ad, click on it, and then purchase your product or use your service.

Custom Website Design
If you’re using a premade website template for your business, consider spending some extra cash on having a custom design developed. This will help your company’s website stand out from the crowd, giving it a more professional appearance and easier navigation.

Contest Materials
People like to win stuff! If you’re looking to spend funds on your customers and clients, consider creating a social media contest. Offer up coupons for free services, company T-shirts or mugs, or even non-brand-related awards like a new iPad or local concert tickets. Make sure you require contestants to share your posts, follow your accounts, and tag a friend. We’d call that “money well spent.”

Looking for more ways to expand your following? Contact our professional marketing team.