So, you’ve set up your company’s Facebook or Twitter page and, so far, you have one fan: you. Faced with the roaring silence, you might be tempted to buy a readymade fan base. Here’s why you shouldn’t.
Firstly, ask yourself: why have I set up a social media page? Presumably, it’s to help you connect with your ideal audience, to help you reach more people and sell more of your stuff. The followers that you’ve just bought are almost certainly fake accounts, not real people. They won’t comment, they won’t buy and they don’t have friends.
Whilst vanity might tell you that the higher the number of fans the better your page looks, really those numbers are meaningless. Your brand isn’t any more popular, the “buzz” you’ve created is contained within a small number of imaginary friends and you’ve just spent a chunk of your marketing budget on something with zero ROI.
In fact, having a huge number of people that follow you but never engage with your content creates a very bad impression and is likely to put real followers off sharing or engaging too. It’s actually much more effective to start with a small, tight-knit community of people who love what you’re doing and keep talking about it, drawing in their friends in the process, than it is to have 10,000 people ignoring everything you say.
Plus, if anyone does decide to have a nose through your follower list, a cursory glance will probably make it obvious how they got there. If people realise you’ve had to resort to buying fans, the damage to your brand will be far greater than simply taking more time to build interest in your page.