Want more followers? No problemo! It is super-duper easy to buy them these days. There are thousands of vendors lining up and ready to flood you with a zillion of followers. Only, does buying Twitter followers work? That’s the burning question, which begs for an answer.
Before I answer that question, though, I tell you something interesting about social media followers. I stumbled across this information while doing research for this article. The statement belongs to Guy Kawasaki, an American marketing specialist, author, a former Apple employee, and Silicon Valley venture capitalist.
Read what Guy has to say about Twitter followers:
“Ignore people who tell you that it’s the quality of your followers not the quantity. They’re trying to make friends, not use Twitter as a tool. And, truth be told, there are only two kinds of Twitter users: those that want more followers and those that lie.”
Therefore, you have two options on the table. You either go the quick-n-easy way and buy your followers or you pick the natural growth. And the question is – Does buying Twitter followers work?
Which takes us into the first topic.
Why People Buy Twitter Followers?
Let’s be clear from the start, selling fake Twitter followers is a HUGE business. One study estimated that it could reach $316m. And the reason why it is so huge is that there is a massive demand for followers. People and businesses are desperate to be viewed as industry experts or famous influencers in their niches.
However, the one chief reason why people and businesses buy Twitter followers is
Let me tell you – If natural growth of Twitter follower base were quick-n-easy, nobody would bother to buy those bad-quality followers (I explain about this in a short while).
Unfortunately, like with everything else under the Sun – good things usually don’t come to you quick-n-easy. You have to go after them, hustle and street-fight for them.
Natural growth in Twitter is rather slow and painful. It requires some hard work, determination and consistency. People, as you know, are impatient by nature. They don’t want to wait. Businesses are even more impatient. Often, they cannot wait. They need results and they need them quickly.
That’s why they take a shortcut for a quick fix, “No! I don’t want to wait. Tell me how to increase Twitter followers instantly.”
And hey! The appetite to increase a tally rapidly is tempting. Get Big Quick on Twitter! With NO hustle and NO pain.
The folks who sell Twitter followers know how to strike the nerve and make you buy.
Any benefits for you here, though?
There are one or two specific benefits that come with buying followers.
Benefit #1: You Look Like a Boss
Mostly, people want to look like a boss. And it is so plain simple – the bigger your follower account, the more authoritative you look to others. Let me give you an example.
Look at these two Twitter profiles below. Both of them claim that they can teach you to be successful.
Now, tell me, which one of the two is a real authority and influencer?
Ramit Sethi, right? Why?
Because of the vast number of followers.
See. That’s exactly why people buy Twitter followers. If you don’t have followers, you are nobody. Buying Twitter followers is quick and cheap way to inflate the numbers and look like real „expert“ in ones niche.
Benefit #2: People Trust You More
Somehow, bigger numbers do their magic and people begin to trust you. And when they trust you, they want to follow you. In other words, you buy social credibility and that way you increase the amount of real fans too. Only, you do it by cheating.
OK. Let’s push forward.
Tons of Follower Services are ready to flood you with thousands of followers. But,
Where on Heaven Do They Get All These Followers?
Yes, you can buy Twitter followers instantly. Only, who are those thousands who are going to follow you?
There are different strategies to achieve that.
1. Robot Accounts (or Bots) – fake accounts
Some people call them zombie accounts but mostly they are known as bots. Using bots is by far the easiest and most popular way to sell you thousands followers. And this is by far the cheapest way to buy popularity.
The provider uses a specific software to create a huge number of robot accounts. Then they sell it with about a penny a piece.
Just a couple of years ago it was easy to spot those bots as they were the simple „egg-heads“ with strange names, etc.
These days, however, it is not so simple anymore. Bots have profile pictures, meaningful names, and even bios. The more sophisticated bots even tweet and retweet.
How do they do it?
They design those faux followers from the beginning with a specific theme in mind: Katy Perry fan (which is bot) will run Katy Perry Google Image Search and tweets only those images. Then, it retweets only those tweets that include #KatyPerry hashtag. Also, it combines 2 or more old tweets into one and tweets it as its own.
And you think that your follower is a human. It’s not.
2. Outsourced Labor – real people
People are increasingly dissatisfied with bots. So they ask how to buy real Twitter followers. The humans.
In this case the provider reqruits tons of real people who follow its customers in exchange for a small amount of money. When you buy human followers, the provider sends out emails to its recruits with the order to follow you. However, this payment to human followers makes the price of buying real Twitter followers more expensive.
3. Chain Letter Followers – real people
In this case the provider uses a chain letter method. How does it work? Pretty simple. You want 100 followers, follow 100 accounts from their list first in the first place. Once you have done your part, they will put you on their list and 100 people will follow you.
However, buying Twitter followers is not as safe as you might be tempted to think. Which brings us to the next topic.
7 Reasons Why You Should NOT Buy Twitter Followers
Even though you can gain quick and easy popularity raise by purchasing followers, there are different reasons why you should NOT do it.
1. It’s Super Easy to Ruin Your Reputation
It’s remarkably easy to do serious damage to your online reputation. Once in tatters, it will be hard to get it back. Seriously, in the business world everything is built on trust. If you cheat people can’t trust you any more. Even when this cheating was nothing more than buying a handful of crap followers, it is still cheating.
Put it this way. Consider how a wife feels when her husband cheats. Later, she may forgive to her husband but she cannot trust him anymore.
The same with buying fake Twitter followers – You cheat, and you ruin your professional credibility.
Think about it. Let’s say you claim that your business is honest, transparent and legit. That you are an “authority” in your niche. And I come to your Twitter profile and see tons of bad-quality followers (anonymous accounts , naked webcam models, etc.). Can I trust your words that you are honest and transparent? Your customers instantly know what kind of „authority“ you are.
Stephanie Schwab, CEO of Crackerjack Marketing gives an example of negative consequences buying fake Twitter followers:
„I once consulted with an advertising agency that was hoping to open their own social media department. The future head of that department had tens of thousands of Twitter followers, and the agency team thought he would look like a major expert because of his Twitter following.
A quick glance at his account showed that he had only tweeted a handful of times, and that his followers were all of terrible quality – eggs, 16 year old girls, or non-English speakers.
His Twitter account made him look like the opposite of an expert! We recommended that he close his account and start over, properly, which he did.“
You don’t want that, do you?
2. Fake Followers Turn to Customers? Forget It.
Let’s make it plain clear – These faux followers (bots or human) will NEVER be your customers. Bots are robots and no need wasting time on them. But even these purchased human followers have zero interest in you or what you have to offer. They are pay-followers who are not willing to engage with you.
Let me ask you this: When you create a new social media account for your business, WHY do you do it in the first place?
This, by the way, is the point that business owners often forget.
You don’t run your social media campaign just for fun. No. You do it with a single purpose – to get more sales? Am I right?
Benjamin Suarez, head of the direct-marketing firm Suarez Corporation Industries, states, “Sales is the most important factor of business success.” He has also said: “Sales is the all-time, omnipotent king of the business world. It is the absolute #1 most important element of a business.”
Think about it for a minute. If you don’t have sales, is your business a success? Can it even survive? Can you buy food for your family? I leave you to guess.
Next, where do you get these sales? From your customers, right? So, here’s what Mr. Suarez says about customers: “If no sale, always keep customer for future sales. Any errors regarding customer is a twofold error.”
You got it?
You need customers. And social media is a powerful channel to help you to be closer to your current customers AND gain new ones.
That’s the main point of having a social media account.
However, these thousands of artificial followers (bots or human) will never become your customers. That’s the plain fact you have to face. The only thing you do is you waste your money and will get nothing for return.
Here is a testimonial of Pennsylvania physician Dr. Robert Belluso who bought 500 followers. Just an experiment to see how it would go. Here’s what he says:
There is another testimonial by Chris Dessi who bought 50,000 followers:
A few short weeks later, people began to dissipate, in heaping chunks of delicious followers. Falling off my follow list like an avalanche of lies and broken promises. It sucked. Really sucked.”
So why risk your reputation and credibility by inflating your numbers with such a hollow material?
3. You Will Get Caught Red Handed
Don’t think you can hide your cheating. It’s not a high-school math exam where you can get away with it. There are multiple tools in the market, which make it easy to discover who is cheating. Three of them are:
It’s hard to keep your follower base 100% bot-free as the robot accounts have increasingly better camouflage capability. However, the percentage of fake accounts shows you quickly whether a person’s follower base is healthy or not.
You think people won’t check your credibility? Think again. Look at the tweet I got recently:
My Twitter account @egonsarv has 10,000+ followers and I have worked hard to handpick only quality followers:
For comparison, here is Jeff Bullas Twitter account. He is #1 Social Media Influencer 2016.
Jeff Bullas is an honest and noble man, but when you are such a big influencer, you are like a magnet to all kind of parasites too.
And here is Rihanna’s account:
See! It’s that easy to find it out.
4. You Can Get Booted Out
Do you know that buying and selling followers is banned by Twitter? If they catch you buying followers, you will face suspension. Seriously.
If you did not know that, Twitter continuously monitors both inactive and suspicious accounts. Then, after 3 or 4 months it eliminates them.
But it may happen way faster, though. James Clegg, one of those guys doing business by creating and selling faux followers, says about Facebook and Twitter:
“They are becoming faster and much more efficient at stopping the practice. A low-quality follower that has been created on the same IP as 50 others in the past 24 hours will be deleted within the next 24 hours, and any accounts that are related to it will be suspended pending verification. This is why we focus on uniqueness in the followers themselves, to try to stay one step ahead of Twitter security.”
See! You buy fabricated followers and you end up being kicked out. And even if you survive, your dear bot followers will not. It means that you can brag about the puffed up numbers only a short time. After that your fan base will drastically decrease.
5. Spamming Your Fans.
You must know that there are wicked Twitter Follower services on the market too. If you happen to buy from them, they ask to access your Twitter account and you will find yourself in a big trouble.
They start to use your account to send out ads to your fans under your name. You think your followers don’t get annoyed or label you as a spammer?
Paul Judge, chief researcher at Barracuda Labs, explains it this way:
„Hackers spend a lot of time preying on social networks, and they’ll try any method to do it. And when we looked at Twitter, we saw that attackers have become very efficient at utilizing the viral features in Twitter to carry own attacks, which are found in those fake follower accounts.”
Humiliating? Take a wild guess.
6. Is Buying Twitter Followers Safe? Nope.
Yet another big trouble is that buying followers run a way bigger risk than just ruining your reputation or feeling like a fraud.
Here’s what Paul Judge says, “Did you pay for your followers with a credit card? If so, a hacker who makes fake followers now has your credit card number.”
Do you think providing scammers with your credit card data is the most brilliant idea in the world?
7. The Follower Vendor Says, Buying Followers is Wrong.
Now, that’s ironic. This same James Clegg, the vendor of Twitter Followers, tells you something surprising. While himself piling up cash by creating and selling fake followers he confesses that it’s the wrong way to build a social presence.
It’s like telling your customers, “Do NOT buy my products. They’re poisonous.”
Not only that, James Clegg himself does NOT set up fake followers for his own social campaigns.
Isn’t that something?
Why Natural Growth Is the Best Way To Go
Yes, the road to natural success is slower and harder. But, at the end of the day, you will have a natural, healthy group of fans who trust you, are interested in, want to engage socially with you, and – the most important thing – who will probably become your customers.
Not only that. There are other significant benefits that you maybe do not notice right away. Read how beautifully Megan Marrs puts it:
„For small businesses, such growing pains are essential for character development –Twitter is a valuable space for businesses to test and hone their personality, be it humorous, technical, or offbeat.
Brand persona and Twitter following grow together as a result. Discovering and becoming a power player in your niche is what really increases your Twitter following, and bypassing such steps results in a hollow brand trying to survive off a vanity metric. So fight the good fight, earn your followers the old-fashioned way!“
So true. The hard road is usually the most honest, and worth it in the end!
How to Get People Follow You on Twitter the Right Way
Now, let’s say you have decided that you don’t want to take the rather ugly and risky shortcut to cheap popularity. Instead, you choose to take an honest road to social media success. Then the question is – how to get people follow you on Twitter?
There are number of different ways. Unfortunately, I have not done my research yet (I will do it soon). But until then I recommend you to read Guy Kawasaki’s articles:
- Guy Kawasaki: 10 Tips for a Huge Social Media Following
- Looking for Mr. Goodtweet: How to Pick Up Followers on Twitter
These articles should give you a good picture about the next steps.
Conclusion – Does Buying Twitter Followers Work?
So what is the moral of this story? Buying Twitter followers is a delicate dance which works only in short-term. If you are hungry for instant social media credibility then for a short time you can buy some fake popularity indeed.
In long-term, though, you are certainly being caught cheating. Then, there are some bitter consequences for you to swallow.
Don’t ever take a chance with your reputation. It’s not worth it. If you want people to trust you, you cannot cheat.
Instead, be patient and build your authority one day at a time.
Before you go:
May I ask that you drop me a comment and tell me what you think – Does buying Twitter followers work? Do YOU buy Twitter followers? If so, what’s your experience?
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