Fake Followers: Why Buying Followers Is Bad

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Do you have fake followers on social media?

I was doing a review of a potential client the other day when I decided to do a fake follower report. I don’t know why, I just decided that the numbers didn’t add up to me. How could an account have 10,000 followers but almost no interaction?

Then I found the answer, the account that I was being asked to manage had a significant number of fake followers. We’re not talking about 10 or 20%, we are talking 60% fake followers and 20% inactive followers.

When I run the same report on TwoFeetMarketing, my 1400 followers report 0% fake followers and only 5% inactive. I consider that to be an excellent example of a well managed account. We actively block fake followers that attach themselves to our name and we try to remove those who are inactive.

However, it got me thinking about fake followers and the issues that the social media industry has with them.

Buying Fake Followers

The biggest problem is that there are numerous ‘businesses’ out there willing to sell you thousands of fake followers for as little as $5. For many this seems like a dream come true, but what often happens is that these followers aren’t real. If they aren’t real then they aren’t going to interact with you.

This completely destroys the point of being social.

Social media isn’t about communicating to a bunch of bots, it’s about connecting with real people and sharing great content. This is the only way you can grow your business’ brand image and increase awareness of what you have to offer.

However, many young businesses don’t understand this and feel that it is the number of followers they have that is important rather than the number of quality followers they have. For instance, I would rather have 250 highly engaged followers who communicated with me regularly than 10,000 inactive accounts on my following list.

Therefore, when you are buying followers from one of these individuals, you are essentially wasting your money.

The Bad Of Fake Followers

As well as being a waste of money and not gaining interaction there are other negative aspects of buying Twitter followers. Here is a quick rundown of those negative effects.

  1. Bad Reputation – other Twitter users are not taken in by profiles with lots of followers who are not following many in response. They will realise you have bought fake followers and will avoid you so your bad reputation does not to spread to them. Those who have been found with fake followers are facing greater public scrutiny.
  2. Twitter Ban – Buying followers is against the terms and conditions. This means that Twitter can delete your account without notice. There will be no time for Twitter jail in these instances; it will be straight to the executioner.
  3. They Pose A Risk – Some of these fake accounts are there to spy on your true followers. At a minimum your fake followers are collecting marketing information. The worst case scenario is that they are collecting information for nefarious deeds.

What To Do?

The simple answer is: don’t buy fake followers. However, there are other actions you should also take. If you do find yourself followed by a fake account then block them without question. This will help keep your reputation clean.

To spot a fake account look for one of these signs:

  • High following count but low follower count (they follow more than follow them).
  • Low number of tweets.
  • Been inactive for long time.
  • No profile description (not always the case but a sign).

Another point is to just create good content and reach out to other Twitter users. This will organically increase your following and avoid you considering purchasing followers.

Have you ever bought fake followers?

Let us know below in the comments.