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  • 14 Reasons Brands Should or Shouldn’t Pay for Social Followers

    Should I pay for Twitter or other social followers in order to give my brand a head start? Why/why not?

    The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

    Stephen Gill1. It’s Better to Keep It Real

    There is nothing more important than authenticity. Buying followers is a cheap trick with little to no ROI. Instead, spend your time developing a content strategy that will attract real people who are interested in you and your brand. Paying directly for followers is a cop out. Be creative. If you really want to spend money, hire a strategy agency instead.   – Stephen GillTiller

    Thomas Smale2. Do It Right

    Buying followers that aren’t real from marketplaces like Fiverr is almost entirely pointless. Having lots of “followers” but no engagement won’t benefit you at all. Acquiring followers/fans through sponsored campaigns can work well, especially if you’re using it for a secondary goal (content marketing or list building, for example). It is definitely worth doing when starting out.   –Thomas SmaleFE International

    Aaron Schwartz3. Do Whatever It Takes

    When you’re at the early stages of your business, sometimes you just gotta fake it till you make it. If you have very few followers, it’s easy for prospective customers, partners and investors to dismiss you no matter how compelling your story is. Do whatever it takes to hit a meaningful number of followers in your space, so that you can be judged on your content, not your vanity metrics.   – Aaron SchwartzModify

    Murray Newlands4. Partner With Influencers Instead of Paying for Followers

    Twitter and other social platforms have Internet celebrities that people admire and listen to. Instead of buying a faceless group of followers who most likely don’t have any power, spend time researching and attracting those Internet celebrities that can get their followers to listen to them. These influencers will either partner because you have something cool to say or through links.   – Murray NewlandsDue.com

    Brett Farmiloe5. Depends on the Platform

    Instagram, yes. Facebook, never. Twitter, sometimes. Pinterest, why not? Each platform has their own penalties and spam detection techniques that discourage users from buying followers. All platforms will wipe out your fake followers and essentially blacklist your account if they detect this type of activity. It’s not really worth it, but Instagram and Pinterest are the easiest platforms to fake it.   – Brett FarmiloeMarkitors

    Michael King6. It’s Better to Focus on Compelling Content

    It’s a better idea to kickstart your followers by focusing on compelling content items and amplifying those through a variety of paid discovery platforms. While Twitter does offer an ad unit that positions follower growth as its KPI, creating something of interest to your target audience outperforms it every time. External services often use fake followers and Twitter deletes those regularly.   – Michael KingIPullRank

    Afif Khoury7. It’s Not Worth the Risk

    The repercussions and penalties you can incur are not worth the risk. Furthermore, the more fake followers and fans you have, the lower your organic engagement rate will be, causing your social networks to actually reduce your reach and the impact of your content.   – Afif KhourySOCi, Inc

    Wesley Mathews8. Modernize Your Understanding of Social Media

    Back when businesses/celebrities were racing to reach 1 million followers/fans, we saw a boom in the fake social fans services. Fast forward to 2016, and the hottest social media network, Snapchat, doesn’t even display followers. That’s because today it’s about the value you deliver in the content you provide. If you’re focusing on width (fans) and not depth (content), you’re already losing the game.   – Wesley MathewsHigh Level Marketing

    Sean Johnson9. Buy Followers the Right Way

    While paying for fake followers is a bad idea, running promoted campaigns can work well. You’re not going to be picking them up for pennies, but they’ll be real people and you can target them very tightly.   – Sean JohnsonDigital Intent

    Nathan Hale10. Pay for Content Instead

    Buying a large social media following does very little if your purpose is to engage with users and garner sales, or develop real, valuable brand awareness. The reality is most of your users aren’t paying attention to your follower count; they’re paying attention to your content. Pay content creators, rather than shoddy social media firms promising bolstered numbers, to gain real results.   – Nathan HaleFirst American Merchant

    john rampton11. Invest in Followers Who Engage

    I don’t recommend you going out and buying followers from a random site. This is a sure way to really hurt your brand. They will not help with interactions. When you see an account with 10k followers and never any interactions, does it make you trust that brand? If you’re going to buy followers, go directly to Twitter. It’ll cost more but long term, it’s a real follower that’ll engage.   – John RamptonDue

    Anthony Pezzotti12. It Depends on the Circumstances

    Paying for social followers to give your brand a head start is completely circumstantial. It can be vital for some businesses, especially in the initial stages of brand development. It gives brands a sense of authority and credibility, verifying the brand in the eyes of the public. But with all the fraudulent web traffic out there, buying fake followers can eventually harm the brand’s identity.   – Anthony PezzottiKnowzo.com

    Ayelet Noff13. Focus on Alternatives

    Communities built on monetary compensation usually do not last. Offer other types of compensation, like usage of your service or product in some capacity, offering interesting and valuable content, and creating real relationships. Show appreciation by giving back something of value and showing you care. Folks interested in payment are usually not in it for the long haul.   – Ayelet NoffBlonde 2.0

    Yaniv Masjedi14. Just Be Authentic

    No, you should never pay for followers. As a business owner, it is important to be authentic on social media. Having patience and doing good work are the best ways to gain a following. Another great idea is to incorporate philanthropy you may be doing into your social media. People love sharing stories of companies doing good.   – Yaniv MasjediNextiva


    The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

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    One comment on “14 Reasons Brands Should or Shouldn’t Pay for Social Followers
    1. avatar

      Having fake followers will kill your brand eventually. It’s funny how most of the fake followers have fake profiles or are from 3 world countries fulfilling a menial job of liking pages.

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