We’ve all done it. You post fresh content, respond to comments and employ a good balance of organic and paid exposure, but it seems like your social media following is growing at a snail’s pace.
Growing your social media can cause headaches and take an amount of effort and time that you feel like you may not have. You’ve heard that some accounts pay to boost their followers and, at this point, it seems like a creative solution to your problem, right? Unfortunately, like all things too-good-to-be-true, that notion is a little misguided.
Buying social media followers can have more consequences than just taking a large bite out of your budget.
1) It can damage your brand reputation. While buying followers can seem harmless at first, once real followers discover that your profile numbers have been padded, they may feel as if you are no longer credible. Once your brand suffers a negative reputation, it can be difficult to regain your customers’ trust.
2) You won’t get the engagement you need. With thousands of “bot” accounts (accounts created for users that don’t exist, copycat accounts or hacked accounts), you won’t be getting the true engagement that you need for social media success. Sure, you may be paying for hundreds of likes and retweets, but when you post content, the consumer is more than likely one of your fake followers. That doesn’t help get your message out there or grow your business.
3) It can be expensive. If you still want to risk it, think about how much money you’ll be paying to potentially damage your reputation and acquire hollow engagement. Most companies that provide these follower accounts charge in bulk for followers, likes and retweets. It could cost you anywhere from $50 to a few thousand dollars regularly.
It may seem like your account will take forever to gain a hefty following, but by uploading and sharing quality content strategically, you can grow your social media accounts. Try working in some hashtag magic or become acquainted with Instagram’s new algorithm to start.
Written by intern Yasmine Evans, a senior at NC State University.