I Need Someone to Like Me – Anyone Will Do!
Something I am seeing more and more of lately is people purchasing fans on Facebook and followers on Twitter. This really is not a very good thing to do and I am going to explain to you why.
There seems to be two types of people that purchase follower/fans.
People that are not really sure what they are doing. They know they should be on social media and they think that the larger the numbers the better. They do not realise that it is better to have 10 people on their page that are highly engaged, than 1000 on there that never interact with anything that has been posted.
The other ones know better, but fall into the ‘keeping up with the Jones’’ mentality and buy people so they can catch up with their competitors, want to look good or are impatient.
I can see why people feel the pressure to buy fans.
I just recently shut down the page for one of my friends. She had bought herself 2000 fans from one of these companies. She then had about 15 real fans also. She was getting very disheartened that every time she posted something on her wall no one would comment on it, or the person commenting would be writing in a different language.
Having bought that many fans there was no way she was probably ever going to get the interaction on her page that she wanted. To her great dismay, I said the only way she was going to be able to build a page with an engaged audience was to start again. After a slight tantrum and a tear nearly shed, she agreed that that was probably the best way forward.
This was a hard lesson for her as she had been beating her head against the wall trying to get engagement, with no results, for months and months. I had explained to her how the Facebook edgerank (see below) worked many months previously, but until she was able to see it for herself and see all of her hard work reaping no rewards that she finally conceded to starting again.
Please don’t let this happen to you or anyone you know.
The effect does not seem to be quite as dramatic on twitter but it is still there. You will miss out on the relationships and interactions that are only available on accounts that have been fostered organically or in a targeted way. It is quite often the people that have purchased followers that don’t comprehend the power of twitter for building relationships – both with readers and other business owners.
I mentioned the word Edgerank before. Facebook has an algorithm that determines who gets to see your posts. You may be very surprised to know that not everyone that has liked your page sees every post you make – they may not ever see one. (I can hear the collective gasps of horror!)
I will go into this further in a follow up post but here is an outline of how it works. There are 3 factors that distinguish if people see your posts.
How well you are connected with your audience. The more someone interacts with you the more likely they are to see your posts. Someone I know asked me why I never commented on any of her posts. I said that I did not ever see her posts in my newsfeed and as I didn’t visit her page specifically had never seen them. She, of course, was mortified to know that not everyone saw what she posted. I went to her page, liked a few things and commented on a few posts and voila she started showing up in my news feed. By liking and commenting I had let facebook know that her information was important to me, so they started showing it in my newsfeed.
This is why engagement on your page is so important, the more people engage with you the more likely your content is going to show up in their feeds.
This is the weight of the content – how popular and what it is. The general concensus is that videos, photos and links have more weight than an update without those and they are more likely to be shared by followers. I know myself, I am much more likely to share a great picture than a quote just written as an update. The interesting thing is that is also takes note of what you find most interesting – if you watch a lot of video in your stream then more video will show up.
How fresh is your content? This one is quite obvious, your post will be seen more in the few minutes after you post it with diminishing returns the older it gets.
If you have bought fans or followers, please do not feel disheartened. You may have to start your page again or you may have to work even harder to get more genuine likes/followers, but it will be well worth it in the end. Chalk it up to experience and move on.
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Do you have any stories about people paying for fans or followers? I would love to hear them.
Leave your comments below!!
Stacey is a coach, trainer and speaker who supports Authors and Aspiring Authors create an online presence through WordPress and Social Media training. Stacey's hands-on style, supportive nature and extensive knowledge make
Nope. This is the first time I’ve heard of it. Thanks for the warning. None the less, your article was helpful. Quality may be better then mere quantity. It’s hard to persue the unquantifiable. When do you know you’ve hit it when you can’t quantify it. So, more seems better.
Even when it is not necessarily.
More definitely does seem better, sometimes.
I think it is quality over quantity. It is less evident on twitter if you have less targeted followers than on Facebook.
Thanks for the comment,
Stacey, I hope you don’t mind me saying so, but I do like this post and your website. You are right, stay away from buying fans or followers. Sometimes, it’s hard for people just starting out with social media to understand what it takes to gain real fans. Your words about Facebook pages is right on. It’s hard to believe that if I post something, a fraction of the people who like my page will even see it. I’m still learning social media myself, and thank you for this informative post.
I do not mind you saying you like my post and my site, one little bit!
I completely agree that for people starting out it can be quite difficult. It takes consistency and persistence to see any real results.
I am glad you found it informative and thank you for commenting,
Hey Stacey, I couldn’t agree more with this post. If only more people would start to understand it’s more about quality than quantity I’m sure the social web and it’s daily content would improve. When it comes to social, money has no value but compelling content does. Yours is certainly among the pieces I love to share with my following 🙂 I’m sure they will appreciate it. ~ Juan
Thank you, Juan, for the comment and thank you for sharing.
Compelling content is definitely the key!
Hmmm very, very interesting post! I had no idea of the algorithmic control in place. thanks for the heads up and hope all my extra efforts to communicate pay off in connection and of course added business. thanks and great job!
I am sure that all of your extra efforts will pay off.
Thank you for commenting!
I almost bought fans. Funny thing, I didn’t feel right about it, almost desperate, than get word their system crashed temporarily and they were unable to do it for me…what a relief! Great post explaining why. At the time I hadn’t thought of these reasons.
Thank you for commenting. It is exactly as you just said – when people are starting out they are not aware of all of these other things that impact their page.
It was a blessing in disguise that their system crashed.
I touched on this a little bit in my recent post as far as not worrying about the number of followers you have. It’s more about quality. Great post!
It is definitely more about quality, but it sometimes hard to see it that way when you are just starting out and you are at 2 likes and other people have thousands.
Stacey, I also came close to buying likes when I first started online…thank goodness I was advised not to do so and listened. It is not about quantity but quality! Great post explaining why one should not buy fans! Love it!
It is something a lot of people have thought about. Luck you listened to the advice!
Wow,Stacey, I didn’t even know that you could buy fans or followers.I can see why that strategy would definitely not work, especially with the algorithm that Facebook has. Thanks for the post!
You would be surprised at the number of places you can buy fans and followers!
Thanks you for your thoughts,
What a great article, Stacey. I agree with you about everything. Buying fans or followers will never do anything good to you. Glad that you’ve shared your knowledge about how Facebook pages works. Thanks a lot.
You are correct, buying fans or followers will never do you anything good for you.
Isn’t it sad, Stacey that some would go to that length to boost their numbers? This is where the saying quality over quantity comes into play. I would rather have 10-15 true engagers than 1,000’s that simply don’t care. Thanks for sharing your wisdom and making everyone aware of the importance of engagement and not the fixation of numbers:)
Thank you for the comment. Some people just do not know any different.
Excellent advice. Yes, I’ve seen folks on Fiverr promise to get you hundreds of real likes or fans. haha It does seem strange. I also dislike the stage of building a social media presence where you feel like a tree that falls in the forest with no one around to hear it. Hmmmm. 🙂
I completely agree with you – when you are starting to build your page and it seems like no one is noticing. It can be quite disheartening, that is for sure!
Thank you for this great article. So important to comment and post on other pages. This create activities and if you go on other pages….people will come also and will share.
Thank you for commenting, Carele.
I think going to other people’s pages is a great strategy.
While I agree that genuine followers are the best choice and have not purchased any myself, the frustration that you can feel is enormous if you are putting in the time and seeing minimal results. Whoever solves that problem…well, they will have a very bright future! (and it’s not a self-professed expert either)
I agree – the level of frustration can be almost excruciating. You just have to keep plugging along and this will start to improve.
Amazing information! I had wondered why I get comments from the same people and none from others…I thought they just really liked me Ha! I will make a point to find them and comment on their pages now! Thanks!
I am glad I was able to answer that mystery for you.
Excellent and sound advice, Stacey. It astonishes me how many people still don’t get the whole point of social media. Quality over quantity is the way to go for sure.
Thanks for the comment Theresa.
I think that there is so much conflicting information out there it is difficult for new people to distinguish which is the right way.
Ah yes – those spam people on Twitter saying, “Get 10,000 Followers in 24 hours!!” They used to make me mad. Now I just calmly delete/report them. The Followers I have are precious and engagement is high – why else have Followers after all? Sometimes I think we get stuck in being able to point to some measure (as in: I have x number of Followers on a particular social media platform) as if that defines our success or failure.
I completely agree with you. It is easy to get caught up in the hype of how many followers you have.
I was not even aware you could do that but I can see how that would not work as the fans most likely would have no interest in what you are offering or have any personal connection.
There are actually a lot of places that you can buy fans and followers.
They definitely are not people that would be interacting with your content.
Great points…truly sad to hear and see people buying followers or fans. If we’re truly going to connect with our audience we’ve got to be brave enough to be original and start from scratch–short cuts usually come to bite us in the end!
That is so true, Elise – taking the short cut is not always the best option.
This is a great article… lots of information that I was unaware of. Thank you for that!! Goes back to the importance of good relationships… and what you need to do to nurture them! Thanks!
Thanks, Sue – I am glad you found it useful. It is all about relationships, that is true!
Great post Stacey! I see people still doing this! I always advise against it, but people seem to think more=better.
I know – that friend of mine that had purchased the fans, we had only talked about it a couple of weeks beforehand, about how bad it was. But she went ahead and did it anyway.
As always, being real and speaking from your heart, on Facebook, and Twitter, just like in real life, is what counts, and what others can count on….and that makes others WANT to share the best thing you have: yourself!
Rhonda, what you say is so true. Just be yourself.
Excellent advice. We need to have patience and continue to do the work even if we think no one is noticing.
Thanks Susan, yes, patience is not high on the list for some people. Me, included in certain situations.
Thank you, Stacey for sharing your knowledge and wisdom. Great article! Have an Amazing Easter 🙂
Thanks Sue – and Happy Easter to you too!
ahh I often I have tried to make people understand that it’s quality not quantity that counts. A few true fans bets thousands of dead followers!
I know, but when you feel like you need the numbers then it is hard to see the long term plan.
Never tried to buy fans or know where to even start. I prefer to write fresh content and then hope to drive people to love me and form a relationship with what I share. Sadly can’t always connect to all followers. Wish there was a way to get all engaged into talks. Thanks for great post.
It would be so great if we could get all of our followers engaged in conversation!
Love this article Stacy!! Thank you for pointing out that just because someone has high numbers doesn’t mean that equates to “real” people or customers. Target who you want to talk with and engage. The rest will take care of itself… 🙂
Thanks Beth. I am glad you liked it!
You are right – target who you want to talk with and engage.
I had no idea you could buy fans…wow! Great post Satcey! Thank you for sharing these great insights and tips?
It seems a lot of people did not know that you could buy fans.
Thanks for the comment!
I completely agree Stacey. I’ve never understood how the companies that sell fans and followers stay in business – it’s so ineffective. I don’t know anyone who’s bought fans, but I have been to a couple of pages with over 1000 fans and 2 people talking about the page. This seems to hurt you more than help, in my opinion. It is a little different with Twitter, but still, if your followers are all junk it’s hard to identify and build relationships with your “real” followers.
What a good article! Thank you for writing this. Buying friends and likes is about learning social media. It is a mistake that has to be learnt. What matters is that the cost of the lesson is not too high.
Like Juan Felix I will share this post with acknowledgement to you.
I moderate a Forum on identity theft in one of my roles and I think that this will be a good topic to discuss because some of the “friends” you purchase may not be appropriate.
Thanks for raising this issue.
This is the first I’ve heard of BUYING FRIENDS. Yikes. Strange thought. 😉
Excellent article, Stacey. You cleared up a lot of confusion I am having with Facebook. Thanks!
It is a strange thought, but sadly a lot of people are doing it.
Thanks for stopping by, Patti!