In December, Instagram announced that Selena Gomez was the most-followed celebrity on the platform, with 103 million followers. As a small business owner, I could only imagine having a following that large on my business’s social platforms, and what it could mean for awareness of my brand. Social media, as we have been led to believe, is a numbers game.
Recently, I became aware of the existence of websites that promise to generate fake social media followers. I can see the appeal. Who doesn’t want to have more followers? Having more followers generally means you have a popular account, and in turn, a popular product or service. However, using a website to generate or purchase fake followers is a faux pas in the marketing world, and here’s why.
Buying fake followers violates social media rules
First and foremost, using a third-party source to gain followers is against the code of conduct of most social media services, whether you pay for the service or not. For example, Twitter outlines in their rules and regulations that any accounts found to have used a third-party source with the intention of gaining fake followers will be shut down. One particular problem associated with these websites is that they have access to your account and therefore can easily compromise it at any time. These websites have the ability to spam your account and your followers, which just happens to be another practice that will get you suspended from a social media channel.
Rules against these websites have been around as long as these fake-follower generators have, and they’re becoming especially necessary today. Social media platforms are cracking down on the amount of fake content shared on their channels, and one way to do that is by eliminating accounts that appear to have purchased followers or spread spam-related content....
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