Buying twitter or facebook followers has become a huge problem for social media and also a big pet peeve of mine. I have been noticing startups and twitter users who claim to be “twitter celebrities” by having hundreds of thousands of fake followers. Before buying them, think for a second. Its not worth it:

  • They are fake: The followers are not humans, duh. They are purely accounts made by a bot.
  • No engagement: A big part of twitter’s value proposition is interaction and engagement. Fake accounts don’t engage with you! They won’t retweet you or reply to you.
  • Doesn’t help the bottom line: If you are trying to leverage social media to bring in leads or conversions, the fake followers will not become a lead or buy your product.
  • No, its not social proof: When your *real* followers see that you have hundreds of thousands of followers but there’s only two people who are engaging with you, they will be smart to realize that something is fishy. And the people who are buying fake twitter followers for personal branding, it is very easy to align your follower count with your actual achievements by a simple google search. Don’t underestimate the smartness of people on the internet.
  • Hurts your brand: If your *real* followers find out that you buy fake twitter followers, it will hurt your brand reputation and you might even end up losing the real ones. Mitt Romney got huge backlash for buying followers and inevitably hurt his brand.
  • It’s illegal: The last thing you want to happen is to get your twitter account suspended. Buying followers is very much against Twitter’s terms of service. Play by the rules.
  • Waste of money: Why spend money on being fake? How about using that money to buy better tools/services or hiring someone to write and tweet good content that can attract *real* followers?

At the end of the day, buying fake twitter followers boils down to how ethical you are and the way you do business or build a personal brand.

It’s better to have a thousand real followers whom you can actually interact with. If you really impact them via your tweets or content, they will have trust in you. That’s what will really get you that lead/conversion or establish a personal brand.

Play the long game, your follower count will not jump overnight (unless you become famous overnight). Whether you want to gain customers or build a personal brand, if you start engaging and use the best practices, it will grow organically.