Why We Value Fake Followers


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There was a Reuters article by Jim Finkle in the Chicago Tribune (though you can read it online at the Toronto Sun’s website) about how you can buy followers on social media. This is not new news, but what surprised me was that fake followers now sell for a higher price than stolen credit card numbers. How has this happened? There is a belief online that the more followers or fans a person or company has, the more credible and influential they are. Unfortunately, this does work. Some companies feel they have to fake it until they make it.

This is nonsense because:

1. You need to know who your followers are, and interact with them because it’s about communication and building relationships with current and potential customers. It’s impressive when you have thousands of followers, but the numbers don’t have any meaning or real potential, other than just window-dressing. Real people do business with you, and having fake followers makes your social media strategy shallow and hollow.

2. If you fake it, even if you think you’re doing a good job at hiding your number-building scheme, people will probably find out, and it will damage your reputation, which in the end can also ruin your business. Nowadays, it’s very difficult to scrub away negative publicity online, so even if just one blogger knows your secret, that information can be repeated all over the Internet and eventually affect your offline activities, too.

3. You are opening up your real human followers to spam and stalkers online, and they’ll quickly remove themselves from your social media accounts and emails. Why risk turning away your loyal customers just to make yourself look good? It’s too risky and dangerous.

When marketing through social media, quality is more important than quantity. Of course, it’s best to have both, but if you’re trying to chase after big numbers in a dishonest way, it’s going to backfire. So don’t do it. Instead, create content that people will want to read and look at, and focus on building a strong client base that will stay with you for the long haul.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Barry Moltz
Barry Moltz Group
Barry Moltz has founded and run small businesses with a great deal of success and failure for more than 15 years. Barry is a nationally recognized expert on entrepreneurship who has given hundreds of presentations to audiences ranging from 2 to 2,. His third book, BAM! Delivering Customer Service in a Self-Service World shows how customer service is the new marketing.


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