You want to be a social media rockstar! Yes, we get it. But is buying followers really the way you want to go about it?

When you think about the KPI’s that matter, or the 6 metrics your boss really cares about, does the number of social media followers truly fit the bill? That depends – is it just vanity metrics you’re looking for, or would leads and conversions be more meaningful to your business? The latter hints back to a sustainable content strategy, and that is what you should really want. Buying followers to boost your numbers on social is tempting – but it may be doing more harm than good.

Rented Traffic

When you rent traffic, you are able to engage with your audience through PPC ads, retargeting ads and content promotion, but you do not own anything else (data, platform controls, audience, etc.). And it’s temporary. Once you turn on the firehose of cash, it will blast attention until you turn it off. That’s where the traffic stops cold.

But website traffic is for rent … and at a premium cost. Yes, you will see instant results, but unless you’re working hard to create conversion funnels through valuable content on your site, you won’t see follow up action from this uptick in followers. When you solely invest in a rented traffic strategy, the engagement on your page suffers, leaving you with a large audience that will not interact with you. And, that’s pretty sad.

Related: How Setting SMART Goals Can Revolutionize Your Business Goals

Low Engagement

As stated before, rented traffic could easily lead to low engagement. That is the ultimate downside to purchasing followers. Low engagement negates all social media efforts. When creating social media strategies, the strategist looks at keyword research and industry conversations about the brand or related topics. Low engagement undermines the strategist’s effort and the financial investment placed into the research. The hours it took to create this strategy are basically thrown out the window.

If the true goal of your social media strategy is engagement, then every instance of engagement counts. Spending time to create videos or interactive social media posts will be wasted by this mute audience.

Why Buying Social Followers is a Bad Idea - Ironmark, Annapolis Junction, MD

Lack of Trust

Many people (including your boss) might place value on how many followers your page has. The more traditional thought is that the more people that you have on your page, the more opportunities for your marketing message to reach that audience. That thought, however, has been proven to be false. Also, it’s a vanity metric, and one that might provide social proof.

Nowadays, users are more discerning. When they land on a page with tones of fans but low signs of life (engagement), they question the validity. Social media was founded on authenticity and real life experiences. Users have become very accustomed to spotting fake messaging behavior and sketchy marketing hacks.

Related: Are Your Facebook Ads Performing the Way You Think?

The Bottom Line

Your social media strategy shouldn’t be a lone island. Simply put: it’s not enough to buy your friends anymore. Instead, your social media strategy should be nestled in your overall marketing strategy. And remember, your goal should always be to solve your customers’ problems. You need to nurture your social presence with other types of engagement tactics to support its continuous growth and health.

Carefully examine each channel’s audience – where are the constants? Start identifying trends for engagement within your own social media audience. Crafting a social media strategy is not a simple task. If you ever need some guidance or don’t know where to begin, we can help! Contact us today to start boosting your social media presence.

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Written by Katina Charles

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