Written by: Tori Jakpa
Social media platforms play a huge role for most people in their daily lives. Most spend hours just scrolling through content; some spend time making content to put out there for their viewers, while others try to keep up with their favorite celebs, influencers, and many more. Since the use of social media has increased, influencers and brands have made it their goal to use these platforms to either get customer support or build a loyal fan base to increase their engagement with the audience.
With the increased use of social media, especially within Gen Z, it has become their top source for entertainment, shopping, news, info about trends, etc. With this generation, we see a rise in affiliate marketing or what we know as influencing. Taking your social media platforms more seriously has indeed become “a thing.” People started getting obsessed with their follower counts, began to look out for how many likes they get, wanting to look a particular type of way because that’s what people were attracted to, and looking for powerful ways to gain popularity.
Apps for buying followers get a lot of profit from people who feel like they need a boost on their page, making them seem popular to others when they’re actually not. People are persuaded to buy followers to gain partnerships or be an influencer for other brands or get customers, but they don’t realize that they’re doing more harm than good. Everyone strives to be the next big thing or take off as Charli D’Amelio did for herself through dancing on Tikitok. The rate at which she gained popularity was so fast that people accused her of buying followers on Tiktok, but not everyone can be as lucky as her. So here are some significant reasons to think twice before you do something detrimental to your business or profile.
The first disadvantage would be fake engagement and lack of customers. Running a business page needs real engagement to get customers, and with buying fake followers, you’re not attracting anyone’s attention but the fake bots you purchased. This means you indirectly scammed yourself and wasted your money on something that didn’t bring you any profit. Realizing there’s no easy way to build an online presence is the first step in getting an effective engagement strategy for your business. It takes hard work and time, and if you’re not ready for that, there’s no point in running a social media page for your business.
Another considerable risk is when the secret is revealed. No one wants to work with a brand built on fake followers because it shows you lied about your audience, engagement, and overall brand. This reduces your credibility and drives away partnerships and customers because they don’t want to waste their time and effort with a brand that cannot be truthful. It also reflects on you as a business owner; even if the business goes south after the reveal, people might not trust you either in another business venture because of the character you’ve made for yourself from your previous businesses.
Lastly, depending on the platform, some might decide to take away your account or, even worse, ban you. Instagram, in particular, is strict when it comes to fake followers and spamming. They’re quick to notice specific odd changes like a sudden spike in followers, spamming in comments, and many more. They immediately take action by deleting these accounts when they find them. This can harm your brand in many ways and lead to you losing content that you’ve worked hard for, losing real customers you might have been able to attract, and forcing you to rebrand by creating a new account for your business.
The best way to gain a loyal and larger following is to work hard and determine strategies to draw in your target audience. It may take hard work, but you have to remember all the big brands started small to reach the level they’re at now. It’s not an easy journey, but you can get there. If things get too hard, working with a digital marketing agency can always help ease the workload and help you achieve goals you’ve set for your business, and with time, results will show.