Buying Twitter Followers advertisements seem to be everywhere, aren’t they? If you have been on Twitter any amount of time, I’m sure someone (more likely some bot) has tweeted you the offer of “20,000 new followers for $35.” You even see some legitimate blogs and websites giving ad space to companies offering this service. So, is buying Twitter Followers an effective approach to social marketing?
Buying Twitter Followers has large numbers of fake Twitter users following your account. I don’t think anyone is under the misconception of the new Followers being real people. So then, why would anyone spend money for fake Followers? Does it make any sense at all?
Before we get started, it must be noted that the buying and selling of Twitter Followers, especially using fake accounts, is strictly forbidden by Twitter.
Violations of Twitter’s Terms of Service include:
- Selling or purchasing account interactions (such as selling or purchasing followers, Retweets, favorites, etc.);
- Using or promoting third-party services or apps that claim to get you more followers (such as follower trains, sites promising “more followers fast” or any other site that offers to automatically add followers to your account);
- Creating misleading accounts or account interactions.
- Mass account creation may result in suspension of all related accounts.
Put to the side for a moment that both selling and buying Twitter Followers will get you suspended from Twitter. Let us pretend that 20,000 new Followers, who can easily be identified as fake, will not set off alarm bells that will get you suspended from Twitter. Why would you even consider buying Twitter Followers?
Fake It Till You Make It
Celebrities, top tier politicians, and influencers often times will have very high Follower counts compared to the number of people they follow. These individuals have these high ratios because they are famous or are otherwise powerful people or brands. If is part of what is called Social Proof of one’s clout and credibility. Being able to emulate this, even on a smaller scale, is what many want and feel is desirable.
The idea of buying Twitter Followers (and also retweets, favorites, and replies) comes from the idea that one can “fake it till they make it.” Twitter Follower growth is hard, and needs to be worked on consistently. Some believe, if they create an image of having the ability to attract large numbers of Followers then real Followers are easier to obtain.
You Can’t Fake Social Proof
If you are using Twitter correctly, your Followers will grow. There is no amount of fake interaction that will motivate real people to follow and engage, and buying Twitter Followers only makes it more noticeable that you are not the image you are trying to project.
People will look at your account and see you have thousands of followers. You immediately look impressive, and this will have people curious why. Some may follow you, but most will take a hard look at what you tweet and retweet, and your level of engagement with others. You will be immediately be rejected by most.
There are no advantages to buying Twitter Followers. Moreover, having large numbers of fake Followers attached to you (or your brand) is more likely to have negative consequences. Buying Twitter Followers to impress with numbers is a tactic that can only potentially have a very short lived improvement.
Twitter is very good at finding and removing fake accounts. Therefore, buying Followers will probably not even last very long, and you will have wasted your money. You risk suspension for violating Twitter’s Terms of Service, will fail at creating legitimate growth and establish no Social Proof, and will eventually lose all those fake Followers as they are weeded out.