In our times of social media, I don’t need to lecture you about how you are handling your social media presence. There are some good practices and some bad practices of growing your community and audience, but to be honest, just doing your thing and staying yourself will out-run all other types of strategy. This would count for Twitter as much it would count for Instagram, or any other social media platform really. You name it.
I assume you are familiar with the theory of buying followers by now. And if you’re not, it’s basically a digital transaction, of a shady sort, in which you will never get what you’re truly after. Even if the dealer does an excellent job of providing you the follower headcount you want, they are just empty accounts or bots that will not read what you have to say and won’t like or share anything either.
Engagement not raw follower count
Modern metrics for social media performance are, for instance, impression count divided by engagements, or “interactions,” as some would say. The amount of your followers does not guarantee any sort of engagement whatsoever no matter if it’s bots or actual people. So when one would buy followers for themselves, they’d basically break their own performance scores because they have a massive number of potential audience which is divided by, well, nothing or a little bit perhaps. Not a pretty result if you’re in for metrics.
Okay but this is known and understood. You’re not buying followers, because of this reason and because it’s very likely that you’d be flagged by the social networking platform and then they could strip you from all these fake followers, or maybe even suspend your account as well as a consequence to not playing nicely and not contributing positively to the platform’s experience.
Social media warfare and weapons of digital anti-marketing
Now, what if I told you that some people don’t buy followers for themselves? There are practices, which are fortunately not popular among professionals, that use all these adverse effects of purchasing fake followers against their competitors. Now that’s a little twisted, is it? A company could buy fake followers for the account of their rivals, and the same could happen with one influencer to the next.
As one needs only the username and not the account access to buy followers, this can be weaponized in a way to discredit the competition, and the platforms have no means of preventing this or cleaning your followers up even if you noticed and reported it. At least for a long while until their regular bot purges happen – if they occur. The social media business does not easily forgive. Trust as well as authenticity is everything, and if you’re called out for buying followers, you might lose your business altogether.
Please consider this information as a pointer to prepare for this risk. If your followers are rising quickly, is that good because those are all your human supporters? Or is it bad, because those are bots that make you look as if you bought followers for yourself or worse – for the company that you represent?
What do you think about weaponized anti-marketing? Is this social media warfare? Have you had similar experiences, or have you got a good tip for others? Make sure to share your thoughts with us below in the comments. Many thanks and stay organic – stay you! 🙂
Photo credit: The feature image has been done by Pawel Janiak. The photo “stunning piece of graffiti in Soho” has been taken by Mark Sayer.