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.
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