Who are you talking to? Buying vs. Earning your social audience

buying-twitter-followers

The numbers behind social media have become a headache. One look online and it doesn’t take much to find a company or personality requesting “follows” or “likes.” Why? Because the more we have, the more people we can reach every time we hit the send button. But what happens when those same companies become obsessed with the number of followers or likes that they have? The current practice of buying followers and likes has exploded and while it may seem harmless – it’s certainly not worth the money spent.

To help answer the question surrounding buying likes or followers, let’s first change the way you think of social media platforms. If you are running the social media strategy for a company or building your own personality brand; you have to understand that your social media presence is your stage. Whenever you tweet or post that is the moment in which you have the microphone in your hand and the “world” is awaiting your next message.

Now look out into your crowd. Amongst your followers you will most likely see friends, family and those that have become close followers of your brand. Over time that number has grown because you’ve built yourself into an expert within your industry. While that number has grown slowly, the fact of the matter is that it still has grown.

Still, that growth hasn’t been as fast as you want. So you decide to buy followers. Looking at that list of new “likes” and “followers” you start to see duplicating profile pictures and bios – which should alert your “Spidey sense” that something is wrong. Many of these profiles are duplicates and fake. So while your number may have grown, your actual audience hasn’t changed at all. Some groups are even claiming they are selling “real profiles” but those individuals usually end up unfollowing and unliking your profiles once they realize that they are following you.

So now what?

Instead of spending the cash to purchase these followers, develop your brand and audience the right way through a few simple efforts:

  • Interact: Like, RT, and comment with the influential people without your industry. Don’t ask for follow backs or likes, but hold normal conversations with them as you would on an everyday basis. Over time, these individuals should begin to do the same with your posts which should increase your following.
  • Stick to the Trends: Hash tags are important on Twitter because they link you to people who are talking about the same thing you are. If you’re watching the big game or new episode of the most popular show, include a trending hash tag to catch the attention of potential followers.
  • Daily posts: 2-5 posts per day are enough to keep your content in front of viewers without overwhelming people. While they may like to read what you have to say, you can quickly push them away with too much content.

Don’t get caught up in the numbers. Yes, that person has thousands of followers, but how many people are they really talking to? Probably not many. Build your base through honest practices and get the full benefit of become a brand worth watching.

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