Since business profiles and pages were introduced to Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus we’ve all been on a constant race to increase the amount of subscribers to our social channels. The higher the number of followers, then the more power and authority you must have over your audience, right?
Wrong. Very wrong.
Ever since this great social race began, there have been countless searches on Google from businesses looking for a quick boost to their number of business followers.
Twitter leads the online “fan buying” craze with the top three searches on Google UK last month being:
“free twitter followers”
“buy twitter followers”
and; “get more twitter followers”
This post was not written as a cheat-sheet on how to get Twitter followers, but if you arrived here whilst looking for one then you may want to finish reading this article first.
If you are ready to part with your hard earned cash for twitter followers or facebook likes then you will probably be ecstatic to see your subscriber number jump significantly almost overnight. Going from 30 Facebook fans to almost 500 may even feel like a small social networking win. But let me explain how these type of systems work.
For a start, if you pay anyone to get more twitter followers for you then they will usually be doing it via following free method; which just takes a little time.
Sign up at a website like socialmediaexplode.com. This site works like a reward system, you complete an action such as subscribe to A, B and C’s YouTube channel and you will earn 1200 coins. You can then spend your earned coins paying for X, Y and Z to like your Facebook page, follow you on Twitter, comment on a post etc.
Sounds like a fantastic way to raise your business social profile doesn’t it? All those other companies out there in the same boat, looking to increase their subscriber count, happening upon a website where other businesses are looking for the same type of promotion. A place where we can all work together to build social relationships and increase our followers.
So you sign up, spend an hour or so completing actions to earn your “reward”. You might look for Facebook pages and other social channels similar to yours as the feeds you’ll be receiving will be relevant to your businesses industry. And the next time you check your social accounts “BOOYAH!”
You now have a large list of Facebook and Twitter followers. Just how large exactly depends on the time and effort you waste spend to earn coins.
But there is a significant problem with using this method to get more social subscribers.
Ever heard of edgerank? It’s an algorithm that Facebook uses to decide how important your posts are to the people that follow you. It’s even been reported that Twitter are also incorporating something similar.
A simple explanation of edgerank is that if you comment on a thread on a business page then you will be more likely to receive more of this company’s updates via your news feed than had you simply liked it or even let it pass you by.
Now imagine how this algorithm works. You have 100 fans, 3 people comment on a photo you uploaded. By commenting, those 3 people have exposed this post to a percentage of their friends, allowing those not already connected to your business page to find and follow you, should they find your posts engaging for whatever reason of their own. The original 3 commentators will also start to receive more of your updates in their news feed too. Edgerank is all about engagement with your followers and is the only real natural way to build your followers successfully.
A huge percentage of people using websites like Social Media Explode do not read the rules that are written specifically to work with edgerank algorithms. The rules state that you may not sign-up with a “fake” account and should only follow or subscribe to pages and accounts that interest you. You must also remain a fan of these pages for no less than one year. However most users signing up to Social Media Explode, like all free services, create fake spam accounts and subscribe to everything to earn as many coins as possible. These fake accounts can seriously damage your social reputation. Most never, ever engage on any further posts you make because they either have no real interest in your company or its posts, and some will even unlike your page shortly after receiving their coin “reward”. Both of these actions will negatively affect your edgerank. After all, if you have 5000 twitter followers yet not one person engages in any of your content then it must be junk, right?
N.B: This article was inspired by the following statement i read on LinkedIn this morning: “Social Media doesn’t work, we paid someone on Fiverr for 3,000 Facebook likes, but nobody responded to our marketing messages”.