Why You Should Never Buy Your Followers

Many of us have played into the “game of numbers” idea that the more of something we have, the better off we are. As a child, the more toys you owned the more impressed your friends were. As a teenager the more MySpace followers or Facebook friends you had, the cooler you appeared. Now as an adult, those who are using social media as a means of marketing to your customers, the same pattern exists.

How many times have you thought to yourself, “If I just had this many followers, then my business will really be successful”? With the enormous pressure to appear popular and a true “social media expert”, the desire for a large following is natural and everyone is trying to figure out the best way to accomplish this, and fast!

As you spend time on Twitter, Instagram, or other social media outlets you’ll come across profiles with an obscene amount of followers for an account who doesn’t seem to be doing anything out of the ordinary. Sometimes, upon further inspection, you’ll find that these accounts have boosted their follower count by purchasing them.

Many people have decided to use this method to boost their numbers and there are a lot of programs online that will offer a significant amount of followers for a pretty reasonable price. But is this a smart strategy?

While being about to buy thousands of followers for the same price of a meal at a fast food joint, the repercussions of this action can do a lot more harm than good.

What Exactly Is Being Purchased?

Let’s be clear about what we mean when we talk about purchasing followers; this article is not referring to the act of buying Facebook or Twitter Ads. While, yes you are paying for impressions, it is still entirely up to the user to perform an action after seeing your advertisement, regardless of how much money you pump into the campaign. We are talking about purchasing a bundle of followers that serve no other purpose then to follow or like your account.

It’s easy enough to spot them. On Twitter, for example, if you look through someone’s followers, the fake accounts will usually still have the egg avatar (the default avatar Twitter gives to every new account). Sometimes they’ll have an actual profile picture, but will usually not have a cover photo or description. Or the username is usually just a name with a lot of numbers slapped next to it (ex: jenny10987668). These accounts will have little to no followers, posts, or pictures. The fake accounts only put in the bare minimum, just so they can fool Twitter for a little while into being real.

Why Buying Twitter Followers Is A Terrible Idea


Numbers Aren’t Everything

Ask yourself why your company or organization decided to join the social media world? Was it to make connections with people in hopes that it will generate potential business? If that is your answer, please know that all bought followers provide are an inflated follower count and nothing else. We all love to analyze data and to look at numbers to measure our progress on social media, but there comes a point where you have to realize numbers aren’t everything. Social media is all about engagement and if your thousands and thousands of followers do absolutely nothing you might as well have no followers at all.

Low Engagement

When you buy followers, you aren’t getting actual people. After you’ve bought a large number of fake accounts, you’ll never get any engagement from them. The whole point of being on social media is that through these outlets your business can engage, interact, share content, and ideas. What is the point of putting in all the effort to create and supply content to a group of people who never were and never will listen?

Easy To Spot A Fraud

All it takes is a little investigation to see if followers are fake. There are even websites on Google where you can plug in an account name and see how many of the followers are real or not. Even the social media outlet itself will eventually catch on; Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook all actively search for and delete fake accounts. Imagine going from 40k followers to 100 overnight all because Twitter finally caught wise to your plan.

Loss of Integrity

The ironic part of this whole scheme is most accounts titled “Social Media Guru”, “Expert”, or “Professor” or any other noun with a connotation of great understanding of all things social media are the ones with the fake followers. They claim expertise but never prove that they really know what they are talking about. People interact and buy from businesses they trust and seeing that you had to resort to buying your following makes you seem very untrustworthy.

The worst-case scenario of buying Twitter followers is that no one real will want to follow or interact with you, you lose the trust of all your clients, and you’ll eventually lose them once they have been discovered as fake accounts. The best-case scenario is nothing happens; you have an impressive looking follower count but, literally, nothing else changes.


So what is the right way to gain a following?

The SparkNotes is:

  1. Follow others; the law of reciprocation works here. Follow someone and chances are they’ll follow back.

  2. Engage: make sure to like, share, and comment. If you interact with others, they’ll be more likely to interact with you.

  3. Create and share content. Show others that you really do know what you’re talking about with the content you choose to provide through social media.

  4. Show that you are human. People want to know that they are engaging with a human and not just another automated robot.


For more social media marketing advice please follow CS Designworks on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn

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