If you are pretty active on twitter, you probably will have noticed the amount of conversations recently concerning buying social media followers. Buying social media followers is one of those horrible things that some bloggers/youtubers/insert-relevant-platform-here do in order to try and boost their social media standing, and make themselves look more ‘successful’. However, in my opinion, it does the exact opposite: it makes you look like a fraud and instantly puts you in the ‘do not trust’ pile.
Listen, I get it. Building a social media following is hard, really hard. But that does not mean you should resort to cheating (which is what buying followers is). It’s took me over three years to get 1000 followers on twitter. Three years of hard work, and thinking I was never going to get there. I could have took the easy way out loads of times. It’s not like buying followers is difficult to do (quite the opposite actually, it’s far too easy). But I could never bring myself to do something like that, because I want to be blogger people can trust.
You might think that nobody will ever know. I mean, how could they right? How will people know you’re not just super successful? Wrong. You can spot somebody who has bought their followers a mile off. First, you just need to look through their follower list. Spam account after spam account. Normally with a random name and no profile picture. Next way to tell? Thousands of followers, yet almost no engagement. When somebody has 10000 followers yet rarely gets a like or reply, then you know something is up.
Anytime I’ve noticed somebody who has clearly bought their followers, I instantly unfollow or exit out of their account. I’m sorry, but I don’t care how lovely you are, and how great your content is. If you buy followers, I can’t trust you as a blogger, and for me, I only follow people I can trust.
One thing I don’t understand is how people can feel alright with themselves after buying followers? Do you not want the feeling of accomplishment you get from hitting a target? When I finally hit 1000 twitter followers just before Christmas, I was over the moon. I was at my boyfriends house when it happened and he was probably sick of hearing me go on about it. And when I achieved 100 instagram followers in only 17 days, I was beyond proud! Even my boyfriend was my impressed (and he is not impressed by social media). It’s these moments that keep me going as a blogger, not the free things I get, or the invites to events.
Unfortunately, I don’t think buying followers is going to stop anytime soon. There’s always going to be somebody who is more obsessed with getting the free things than with producing quality content. And unfortunately, PR’s and brands still seem to be more concerned with a bloggers social following, than with their engagement and quality of content. A few weeks ago somebody put up a tweet saying that they had polled PR’s over whether or not they are put off by somebody who buys followers. Quite dishearteningly, there was 20% who didn’t care. That’s a fifth of the PR’s who were polled.
I realise that this post is quite long, and to be honest, I could make it even longer because there’s is just so much I can say on this subject. So I’m going to end it with this: be honest. Don’t buy your followers. There’s so much more to blogging than the numbers and the freebies. Concentrate instead on making real friendships, and producing top quality content. Trust me, you’ll not regret it.*POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS