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Just Say No: Why Your Business Should Not Buy Social Media Likes or Followers

If you’re on social media, you’ve likely seen comments in posts or ads in your feed touting the benefits of buying likes or followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other platforms. “Grow your following instantly!” “Get 1,000 real followers affordably!” As the old saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And this is no exception. While the lure of a higher follower count with the click of a mouse can be tempting, we’re here with six reasons why your business should not buy social media likes or followers:

1. Your Engagement Rate Will Suffer

At the end of the day, it’s not your follower count that matters most. Rather it’s the quality of engagement with your followers that’s critical. If you purchase followers, yes, your follower number will rise, but the vast majority will be fake or bot accounts. Social media is meant to be a two-way street. Genuine engagement helps your business determine what your potential and current customers need and want, what their interests are, and how you can be of service. Lots of followers but little engagement skews your data. And if your data isn’t reliable, how can you tell what your real followers are doing or what they need?

Fake accounts will not interact authentically with your brand. They will not share posts with their networks, they won’t leave meaningful comments on your feed for you to respond too. Offline they won’t be telling friends or family about your brand because they are in fact fake. There are services that offer to connect you with real followers. But what good is “real” follower if they have no interest in your brand and its offerings? They still won’t engage with your posts, which means your overall engagement rate lowers and your posts risk not showing up on newsfeeds or in discovery feeds to the people you really do want to reach. The takeaway: lots of followers but no interactions can mean the platform algorithm will actually penalize your future content, limiting organic reach.

2. It Lowers Credibility

Social media users today are savvy and want to know they are interacting with a business who has their best interests in mind. Many followers are quick to notice an account with thousands of followers but little to no engagement on posts (or lots of spam…more on that below). Organic growth happens because of trust, credibility and a belief that your content is valuable. If followers can tell you buy social media likes and follows, your once loyal followers may jump ship for another brand’s social accounts.

3. Your Account Could Be Banned

All social media platforms have terms of service agreements, and as a business/user, you agreed to those terms when you set up your account(s). If you buy social media likes and followers, you are likely in violation of their community rules. Facebook, Instagram and others are cracking down on fake accounts. According to Statista, Facebook took action against 1.7 billion fake accounts (yes, read that again…1.7 billion fake accounts in one quarter alone). If they feel your site has broken its rules, real consequences, like your account being suspended or even banned, can occur. It’s simply not worth the risk.

4. No One Likes Spam

We’ve all seen the spam comments that flood social posts, leading to a very irritating scroll if you’re genuinely interested in the real comments. In many cases, these are bot comments from fake accounts. If your actual followers continually see nothing but a bunch of statements like “The first five people to message me wins $5,000!” or “I’m paying $100 to the first 10 people to DM me,” you may just lose them. If you buy social media likes or followers, be prepared for the spam that comes with it.

5. Think about Account Safety

This is an important consideration that should not be overlooked. When you buy social media likes or followers, you have no idea who is behind the actual accounts or their intentions, leaving your social media handles open to hacking or viruses. Having an account hacked is the nightmare that keeps any social media manager awake at night. It can take weeks, even months, to reclaim an account and in the meantime, your real followers might be seeing fake content with your brand name and image or perhaps nothing at all, as your account may just go dark.

6. It’s a Waste of Marketing Dollars

While follower services will promise big returns for very little money, in the end it’s a waste of money if those new “followers” bring no value to your community. There are far better ways to earmark your marketing budget for social media, such as targeted paid ads, strategic content marketing and more, that will pay dividends in engagement, brand loyalty and yes, organic growth. When you work with a social media marketing agency like Stifel Marcin, you can leverage the full capabilities of different platforms to connect with customers, growing your influence and your sales.

Grow Your Following the Right Way

Organic growth takes time. And that’s okay! It’s better to have 500 truly interested and engaged followers than 50,000 who don’t care about your business and its products/services at all. Don’t focus just on vanity metrics. Instead of buying followers, think first about how you can provide value to your potential audience. What solutions can you offer to help solve their problems? Engage and then engage again. Check out our posts about B2B social media best practices and 4 tips to leverage social media to increase your sales pipeline and brand loyalty for more ideas about how to grow your social media presence.

Connect with Customers

As a B2B social media marketing agency, we’ll work with you to develop comprehensive social media plans that tell your unique story, offering value to your customers and growing loyal brand followers. Contact us and see how we can power up your social media strategy.

Stifel Marcin – The B2B Marketing Agency

Unlike many advertising and marketing agencies, B2B isn’t just something that we do, it’s all we do. We’ll work to help your brand achieve its goals through the strategic combination of creativity, communication and technology. Our focused client intake processes give us the ability to thoroughly understand your business, products and objectives, working to identify the competitive advantages and opportunities that will grow awareness, leads and sales. We develop innovative marketing plans with strategic, data-driven processes, presenting complex ideas and compelling messages that position your business ahead of the competition. As your cooperative partner, our integrated B2B marketing agency is dedicated to your success. If you have questions about social media marketing, we want to talk. Reach out and let’s get started.

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