In the realm of social media, more likes and more followers increases your brand’s recognition, engagement and ultimately sales. So it seems simple that from a strategic view, your social media plan should include ways to increase your fan base and thereby increase leads if not sales.
This is straightforward, honest marketing: you try to showcase your activities or your brands offers and uniqueness and in turn you gain fans and followers. Did you know, though, that in an online platform, marketers are able to gain “fake” brand love by buying fans on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google, Pinterest and even Yelp testimonials and LinkedIn contacts – all in the name of increasing the perceived size of their audience?
Many have questioned if “buying” these fans effects the bottom line? Do more numbers/fans actually increase ROI? “How can I trust anything online if it is all fake?” Ahhhh yes. Well the jury is still out as one must question the legitimacy of these “fans” – are they real people, are they bots, are they part of a general conspiracy for Facebook, for example, to look like they have a huge fan base of 85 million when in fact some of these are just “fake profiles”?
One large indicator of a Facebook page with purchased fans is to look at engagement. If for example they have 5,000 fans and the engagement (shares, comments and likes) on any one post is 14 people then I might question the legitimacy of their followship.
As a marketer dealing with smaller brands, social media is not so much about the size of the numbers as it is about the engagement and lead opportunities. If buying fans can lead to your ultimate goal, then perhaps it is something worth considering. Do your homework though as there are literally hundreds of “agencies” selling fans – make sure yours are legitimate or you could do major damage to your brand.
The bottom line remains that you really can’t “spam your way” to Facebook brand love or Google review love. Either you have a genuine brand and a genuine approach to the market… or you don’t. If you don’t, you can’t buy customer/client love- it’s really that simple. So if you buy fake profiles it won’t make your brand any more loved, as the people don’t exist to engage with your brand and fake people don’t buy products or services.
Would you ever consider buying social media fans? Would an increased number of fans outweigh actual engagement on your social media sites? I look forward to your thoughts below.