Discussion: Buying Fake Followers – Is It Worth It?

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The hot topic at the moment is that there are bloggers out there taking a shortcut and buying up thousands of fake Twitter followers. But why? Is it really worth being caught out?

(When writing a discussion post like this, it’s important to write up a list of pros and cons – we want to present a fair and balanced view. Honestly though? This is really difficult to think of any pro points.)

The recent discussions (and subsequent witch hunt – while what this person has done is wrong ethically, it didn’t warrant the way that people were attacking them on Twitter.) that have been going on have gotten bloggers talking about buying followers to appear popular to PRs. The blogger in particular had bought 10,000 followers and then started getting invites to awesome events. Some bloggers started getting suspicious that they had never heard of this blogger then suddenly they were everywhere. A little poking about and the secret was out.

The latest story is that there is a blogger in the US who is having a giveaway to give the winner 6,000 Twitter followers with a method that businesses allegedly “use to increase their online presence, gain credibility, and look more established.” 

The truth is that social media is only fun when you are talking to people. Building that audience up, one follower at a time is satisfying. (Honest!) That person really wants to know what you’re talking about, and that is what makes your audience valuable – not the numbers. Buying followers is a short term boost but once you’re found out, not only will the invites dry up, but your peers wont be interested in getting to know you – which is a real shame.

If anything, this whole debacle has taught (hopefully) PRs to do a bit more research on bloggers audiences and not to just rely on numbers (which will benefit the bloggers with a more loyal but smaller audience) and bloggers that there is no shortcut to becoming the next big thing. Just keep working at it. You’ll get there!

If you’re curious about your (or any other!) accounts, then head over to fakers.statuspeople.com, connect your Twitter account and enter the account you want to know about. Most accounts will have maybe less than 10% fake followers – fake accounts will act like real accounts to try to fool these sort of tools (Noticed an increase in random people favouriting odd tweets? Fake accounts. Keep getting mentioned in a tweet copied by other accounts? Fake fake fake. There’s not much you can do about these, but if you block and report as spam when you see fake accounts doing this (and it’s usually quite obvious, the account will have a tweet advertising how to get more followers…!) then at least this will reduce the number of fakes following you)

So, what do you think? Would you buy followers to make yourself look more popular? (You can admit this anonymously if you prefer!)

Hayley Constantine

Hayley has been blogging since before most people knew what a blog was! She started Bonjour, Blogger! in May 2013 as a way to share her knowledge and experiences - if you ever have a question, get in touch!

  • Lucy

    I never even knew that you could do such a thing as buy followers. Seems like a rather bizarre concept to me! I agree with you in that I don’t think you’d get as much satisfaction if you knew that you’d faked your way to success.

    June 26, 2013 at 10:10 pm Reply
  • Sarah

    I do get frustrated with how slow building followers is.. but you’re right, every single new (genuine) follower I get, I do a little dance in my head.
    Still doesn’t stop me from sometimes having “I WISH I HAD MORE FOLLOWERS” strops, but still I don’t think I would ever buy them.
    X

    June 26, 2013 at 10:47 pm Reply
  • Amy

    It’s absolutely not worth it. The whole point of having a good following on Twitter and/or Facebook is that you can DO something with those followers — engage them in what you’re posting, get ideas from them, get them to your site so you get ad revenue etc. Having big numbers just to impress others is ridiculous x

    June 27, 2013 at 11:57 am Reply
  • Sam

    I get this little happy feeling every time someone new follows me on twitter because it suggests they actually like and read my tweets/blog, so hearing that people actually spend money buying followers just to make themselves look popular seems ridiculous to me. I can think of many things I’d much rather spend my hard earned cash on!

    I’d much rather have genuine followers who I interact with and chat to than thousands of robots. I’d feel like I was talking (or tweeting) to an empty room.

    June 27, 2013 at 4:13 pm Reply
  • NotSoSimples

    I’d sooner have less followers that I knew actually enjoyed reading my content than buying a load of fake robot followers to make myself look good

    June 27, 2013 at 4:28 pm Reply
  • Natalie

    This is a totally new concept to me, and I cannot believe buying followers is actually a thing. It’s ridiculous!

    June 28, 2013 at 4:16 am Reply
  • Sarahmia

    Buying ads to expose yourself to a wider audience – absolutely. Buying fake followers? God no. What’s the point?

    Having a “large number” doesn’t give you anything – I don’t follow people because they already have a ton of follower (in fact sometimes that can put me off!).

    I follow people for their quality content, which I think you’re less likely to get if they’re willing to buy their followers in the first place!

    February 3, 2014 at 2:36 pm Reply
  • Heather

    I think it’s better to just showcase your talents and work . If people like what they do they will flock to you and follow . I noticed a lot of bloggers even popular ones buy all there followers . To me that’s a fake way to seem successful . It’s better to show clients who may wish to work with you someday that you have talent not a fat wallet :-) http://bauchlefashion.com

    May 7, 2015 at 5:47 pm Reply

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