Doing business on social media? Do NOT buy followers

The thumbnail version:

  • Use only meaningful metrics to measure your social media engagement.
  • Buying followers is a bad idea.

The full version:

Stop! Don’t do it.

Two posts ago I urged that you examine the cost/benefit aspect and possibly re-think your social media involvement. So assuming that you’ve done that and have decided that the benefits justify the cost, there is still something that is indisputably true—page views, users, free downloads, followers, friends, likes, and You Tube views are all meaningless. The only metric that matters is sales.

I mention this again because if you’re going to insist on attaching importance to “followers” rather than sales you might be tempted to boost your follower numbers by buying them. Don’t do it. It’s not a good idea. Ian Anderson Gray of offers four reasons for not buying followers:

  1. Bought followers are just numbers and are unlikely to engage with you (remember that sales is the only metric that matters).
  2. You can end up spamming followers (e.g. Twitter follower services accessing your account to send out multiple advertising messages).
  3. Loss of integrity, particularly among people who regard buying followers as immoral.
  4. You’ll likely be found out, which takes you back to 3#.

So, don’t so it.