Have you ever stopped to consider how much is one of your social media fans or followers worth? If you were to monetize it, how much do you consider that person would be worth?
Quite a lot of entrepreneurs and business owners are working hard on finding the secret formula that allows them to determine how much social media is worth to their enterprises.
Quite a lot of companies or brands become stressed seeing how their direct competitors grow their social media numbers significantly while theirs remain pretty much the same. Out of the fear to not be left behind, these entrepreneurs prefer to buy social media fans/profiles (the so-called fake fans) instead of creating a social media strategy or conducting an unique and impactful campaign that will help them organically grow their fan numbers.
While some do not perceive this as a problem, the fact of the matter is that these fake social media fans can cause more harm than good to an enterprise. If you’re wondering where these so-called fans are coming from, you should probably know that they are located all across the globe, mostly in Asia. There are countless companies that hire workers for minimal pay and offer them the means and tools necessary to follow/like enterprises and brands on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms all day long. Almost all of the accounts are make-believe and the workers put no effort into making them look like real individuals.
Just go ahead and search on Google the phrase “fake fans and followers” and you’ll receive countless sites and companies that guarantee you a certain amount of social media fans available at your disposal for a low price. To make matters worse, some companies even offer 1000 likes or followers for 4 bucks. And if that doesn’t blow you away, you should probably know that these types of like/follower factories even offer a warranty for the fans they provide.
And while some entrepreneurs perceive this method as a way of creating a feeling of community and of offering the regular fans the impression that they are dealing with an established brand, vetted and popular, the truth of the matter is that this usually doesn’t pay off. And entrepreneurs are left hoping that this step will help them attract real fans that may feel compelled to join.
Whatever the reason may be, purchasing fake social media fans can truly damage your digital reputation. If you’re wondering how, here are three ways in which these fake followers are able to cause real problems for your enterprise.
1. The experience of the real fans will be diluted by the fake fans.
The way a business engages its customers is one of the core elements of a sustainable and successful social media strategy. Nowadays your fans and followers are looking for engagement and personalization and they want to feel like they are part of a (real) community.
So how can you do that when your social media account is jam-packed with fake accounts? Actually, it’s pretty difficult to truly engage the real fans and potential customers through all that enormous pile. Also, your potential customers and fans that really appreciate your company are more inclined to feel overwhelmed and far less relevant within a profile page with hundreds of thousands of fans. This, in turn, determines them to disengage.
2. Fake followers will make it harder for you to see the real value of your marketing data.
The search algorithms Facebook and Google use are really smart and some of the best available. Whether you like it or not, they possess some crucial information like knowing what you like, who you are following while also monitoring the online interactions between you and your followers.
So if the vast majority of your online audience is fake, the marketing data of your business will not only be diluted, but also irrelevant. That is why more and more enterprises perceive data as the best means to make better and more informed decisions. Still, the decisions can only be as good as the data.
3. Last but not least, fake fans may embarrass your company and damage your brand.
If you’re not Taylor Swift, Barack Obama, McDonald’s or any other celebrity or company, it is highly unlikely that you should have tens of thousands of followers. And this is true especially if you are a startup business or an enterprise that is relatively unknown to the market.
Nowadays, social media followers are extremely tech-savvy and can easily determine if a company has fake followers. If you’re wondering how many fake fans your Profile page has, there are websites such as Status People that can do a quick search on a Twitter profile and tell you the number of fake users you have.
Answer me this: Why would you want to be a brand that offers your clients the impression that you are interested in buying popularity. What does that say about you and why would your customers stick with you?
What you need to remember is that it is of the utmost importance to cultivate and organically grow your online fan base, to be able to understand your followers and engage them in a way that shows them that you appreciate their support. And the best way to achieve this is by investing your time, resources and energy into creating something that really matters. In my opinion, this is the best way to truly measure the value of your brand online.