The Cons of Paying for Followers

Autumn St. Martin, January 26, 2021

You feel like you’re doing everything right. You’re creating content rich social media posts with captivating graphics and visual assets to really draw in your audience. You’re posting frequently, and yet, even still, the follower number on your Instagram profile is barely picking up momentum. Your business’ Facebook Page is barely growing in likes, and you just can’t seem to up your Twitter followers from 150 to that 500 mark. It may feel like an easy solution, but paying for followers on your social media platforms shouldn’t be your immediate go-to solution, and we’re here to help you understand why!

There are a lot of moving parts and variables we all take into consideration when it comes to growing our social media presence for our businesses, and at the end of the day, we know it’s hard work! Whether you’re a business owner managing your social media in-house, or you’re a social media manager handling the needs of multiple clients, the task of creating engaging content that will grow your business takes a lot of time, blood, sweat, and sometimes even tears. 

Growing your following on social media platforms takes time and dedication; after all, more followers means our content gets seen more, right? Well – it isn’t that simple. Let’s dive into why purchasing followers and page likes may not be the best idea, and we’ll give some examples of things you can do to garner those organic, quality followers on your social media platforms.

Paying for Followers – Why Purchasing Those Page Likes Might Actually Hurt Your Business

The muddy waters surrounding purchasing followers for your Instagram and other social media accounts takes several variables into account. From disingenuous representation to bot accounts, including skewed engagement metrics and did you know, purchasing followers is actually against some social media platform’s terms of services? Check out some of the cons of paying for followers and how these purchases can hurt rather than help your social media platform growth.

  • Violation of Terms and Services – While purchasing page likes on Facebook isn’t a direct violation of the terms of services, it definitely is on Instagram. Instagram has taken action on accounts who have purchased fake followers in the past, so don’t put yourself at risk! You can get banned for purchasing followers on Instagram.
  • Fake followers are often fake accounts – So what does that mean for your engagement metrics? First – it’s important to understand that every social media platform out there removes fake or bot accounts – if they’re following your profile, when they get removed from the platform they’re removed from your likes. 
  • Skewed metrics – Purchasing page likes or followers results in the possibility that your followers are not genuine quality accounts – if they’re bots, you’re lucky if you get engagement at all from them, and if you do, it’s probably going to be spam or comments that don’t actually bring value. When you up your followers, if they aren’t actively engaging with your brand, it reduces your engagement rates. Engagement rates absolutely count when it comes to social media platform algorithms. The less engagement you get in comparison to your follower count, the lower your visibility. When we’re analyzing our strategies and campaign success or pitfalls, it’s important our data most accurately reflects genuine engagement and reach.
using social analytics

Using social analytics to drive your methods and strategy is the best, most efficient way to pinpoint the kind of content you should be posting and when. Explore the analytics and insights dashboards of all your existing social media platforms to help dial in on the best kind of messaging for your business.

  • Fake followers don’t actually purchase products or services – You may have purchased 1,000 new followers for $10, but how many of those accounts are fake? And how many of them will actually purchase your product or utilize your services? Fake accounts don’t contribute to your ROI, and the benefits to upping your page likes doesn’t make the cons of paying for followers worth it in the long run.
  • Your reputation – We’ve entered an age where transparency and brand awareness are just as important to your brand’s success as providing your customers with a quality product or service. The current climate surrounding brand transparency is one that encompasses honesty, and reassuring your audience that you’ve come by your success honestly can be a big deal. 

How do I Increase My Followers Organically?!

Social media management is a job in and of itself – sometimes upping your game requires some serious dedication. Understanding the metrics, algorithms, and trends for each platform can be an overwhelming task. For some business owners, it makes sense to keep your virtual management in house, but if growth needs to happen while you’re focusing on the operations of your business, sometimes getting help from a virtual assistant or marketing firm that can manage your social content might be a good route for you.

Here are a few tips to help grow your social media presence without using paid methods:

  • Be consistent – Being active on social impacts your brand’s visibility in more than one way. Did you know search engines actually value social media activity when ranking your website? This is especially true for Bing, but your overall web presence impacts your visibility when people search for services or products you may offer. This ties in to quality SEO value in regards to your website. 
  • Post when your followers are online – The beauty of most social media platforms is that they offer insights and analytics. These insights include data pertaining to when your followers are online, and the types of content they engage with. Focus on pushing your content when your people are around to engage in the moment!
  • Use the right assets – Video is king right now, but visual assets are statistically significant when it comes to garnering those quality engagements. Remember, engagement should be your top priority when creating your social content. If you can’t do video, make sure your graphics and supportive content are at the ready to pull your audience in.
visual assets for social

Your users want to see YOU! They want to know how your operations work, office photos, tips in video. Find visual assets for social media content that supports your brand and run with it!

  • Get rid of your fake followers – There are a variety of tools on the market that audit your social media platforms and can help point out followers who might be fake – trust us when we say you don’t want, and you don’t need those accounts to be successful.
  • Cater to your audience and USE YOUR DATA! – Oftentimes it’s easy for us to fall into patterns that push the content that we want to address; while you might be pushing your brand voice and values, you’re not catering to the demographics you want to purchase your services or products. Dive into your analytics and really understand your target audience. At Capacity Marketing, evaluating market research and data analyzing is one of the pivotal key elements to elevating our clients to success. That data is integral to creating fluid and efficient strategies that can pivot at the drop of a hat to ensure our messaging is driving leads, sales, or donations. 
  • Understand the ins and outs of scheduling content – Scheduled content won’t ever perform as well as organic, in the moment posts. Social platforms have been built to support organic, genuine material. But your post frequency matters – support your frequency with scheduled posts, but set aside time to push those organic posts, too. The compounding effect will pay off in the end, we promise.
  • Invest in a content manager – Small businesses and big entities alike can benefit from outsourcing their social content needs. In fact, for a pretty affordable cost, your small business can invest in hiring an individual or firm to handle a majority of their social media needs. Invest in graphic creator tools like Canva, or hire a firm that can handle your strategy and really help you understand your metrics to make them work for you.
  • Create content that motivates engagement – Ask questions, create polls, use hashtags – the goal on your social media profiles is to get people to see your brand values, and to engage with your content. Those organic engagements are priceless in the marketing arena.
  • Identify what works – This goes hand in hand with analyzing your metrics. Did your holiday post perform better than your direct links to your site? Did your office photo celebrating someone’s birthday get more comments, likes and shares? Does a fancy graphic featuring your hottest item bring in the sales? It’s best to pay close attention to the posts that perform best for you and mimic that style in future posts.

At the end of the day, we know all of these variables can seem overwhelming to take on all on your own. It’s not impossible however to elevate your presence online and create an active and engaging social media feed. Of course, Capacity Marketing is always here to help you develop your strategies and put them into action. If you’re ready to outsource your social media management, Capacity is here to help. Our collective of brilliant minds, in conjunction with our knowledgeable content staff can help drive more engagements, higher visibility, and in the end, a bigger ROI is what we aim to do! Give us a call at 845-430-5277 or head to our contact page to fill out a form