With social media marketing on the rise there are a lot of agencies out there with different methods to help you grow your audience. Some of them are extremely effective and others are not. When we work with companies on social media audience strategy we always focus on quality. Getting quality at scale is possible, especially if you have a decent advertising budget. Getting quality in social media marketing without a large ad budget is also possible though, if you are consistent and stick to best practices.
One of the more popular method in recent years is buying likes or followers. There are a lot of different services out there that can in fact grow your audience to be very large rather quickly. This comes at a price though and I often question whether or not that price is worth it.
The reason is that buying followers or likes is not a good long term investment. There are a few reasons for this, but in the interest of time I’ll give you the 2 most important.
- Purchased followers are typically fake accounts created by media companies. These profile farms are composed of people who are paid to click, like or follow or sometimes can be completely automated.
- Social Media platforms like Facebook, Twitter & Instagram regularly purge their systems of phony accounts. One day you might buy a couple thousand followers for a great price. Then a week later all of those accounts will be deleted by the platform.
We discussed how the fraud ecosystem works at length in our video “The Wonderful World of Fake Traffic” a lot of the principals discussed here apply to social media.
For Businesses Social Media Marketing Should Be About Relationships
“Long-term relationship building is the cornerstone of any business and brand. Here, I think more than ever, organic and authentic conversation wins out over forced social media sharing through strategic plans and content management systems.”
The above statement from Jeremy Harris Lipshultz’s recent article at Huffington Post sums up the key to great long term, effective social media marketing. We tell our clients “think like a farmer” because a farmer has to get up and do a long list of things every day to keep their crops growing and produce a good harvest. Social Media marketing & content are no different. There are key things that you should be doing each and every day to help grow your audience.
So while you can “cheat” and buy followers or likes the value in that is greatly diminished. The numbers are impressive on the surface but once you look past that you will clearly see they are not real people. For a business if you’re going to invest in real social media marketing, you will want quality over quantity. Real, genuine conversation and interaction between potential and existing customers will win the day even if it comes in small amounts.
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