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Don’t cheat your way to success on social media

Sun 9th Mar 2014
By Todd
Social Media

We love social media and we look after different channels for many different types of business. The reason we do it is ultimately to help those business increase awareness and eventually sales with the help of social media.

Unfortunately in our game (as in life) it seems that people want to cut corners. They want the success now and they seem to think that chucking a few quid at social media will gain them the success that they see others having.

Anyone that knows me or reads my blogs will know that I like to do things organically. I don’t like paying, I don’t cut corners and I know that it works better in the long run too.

Don’t cheat your way to success on social media

FacebookAre you cheating your way to social media success? 

Buying fans and followers is not a new concept but it doesn’t seem to stop people from doing it.

I recently found a Twitter account with over 9,000 followers and they only followed 118. ‘Wow’, I thought. They must: a) be famous b) be bloody good or c) have bought them. It turns out that it was ‘c’ as most of the followers have no bio or profile photo. They were fake and ultimately worthless.

I also came across a Facebook account that I was asked to work with that had 8,000 likes. ‘Wow, nice work… oh?!’ You have 2 people talking about you? So you have a reach of 2? Not really much you can do with that is there? Unfortunately we didn’t end up helping them build a real audience as I’d have enjoyed turning that one around.

Click farms and buying followers are pointless. As I say time and time again in our workshops…

“I can do more with 100 engaged followers than you can do with 1,000 bought followers.”

If you think £20 will be better than four months of hard work and networking then you’re very much mistaken and you really have missed the point of social media.

Another common theme I’ve seen lately is businesses using Facebook Profiles instead of Pages. If you still don’t know the difference then here it is.

  • Pages are for business and you have to like them to connect.
  • Profiles are for normal people and you have to friend request to connect.

Why is this cheating? Well it’s against Facebook’s terms and conditions for a start:

“It’s a violation of our terms to use a personal account to represent something other than yourself (ex: your business).”

– Facebook 2014

So if you’re the Dog and Trumpet and your punters are your friends then you need to shape up and watch my helpful #ToddsTips video to migrate to a Page… and fast! Facebook are pulling down Profiles that are being used for business right now and yours could be next.

Why would you do this though? Well since Facebook tinkered with their algorithm it’s now very difficult to ensure your messages are seen by all your fans. But your friends see more of the things you post. So I guess you get more reach and more engagement as a profile. It’s not allowed though. It’s cheating, so make the change before Facebook catches you!

Automated followers!

This is also a seriously bad way to go about Twitter. Recently I was followed and then unfollowed by a local Twitter account FOUR times! They obviously unfollow accounts that don’t follow back and I then get refollowed once they’ve unfollowed me – it’s a vicious circle.

I was so annoyed by this one evening that I reported them for spam… which I will point out is about as useful as shouting at a keyboard. But it helps me feel calmer.

The problem with this (apart from upsetting my purist view of Twitter) is that the followers they have are mostly follow backs too. They don’t engage with anyone and it’s completely pointless to have 45,000 followers that don’t care for you or what you’re doing.

I looked after a Twitter account recently that had used an auto-follow system and the results were just a load of pointless followers from all over the world who had auto-followed back. I unfollowed them, and low and behold, in a few days they all unfollowed me too. We were as irrelevant to them as they were to my client’s account.

One thing you should take from this is that cutting corners or doing things on the cheap never leads to success and prosperity. Successful people work hard. Successful businesses have a plan. Get rich quick schemes have unfortunately turned into get fans quick schemes!

It’s just a number if they’re not engaged

And that goes for real fans and followers if you don’t interact with them, too. We (and other businesses) only get great leads, clients, jobs, customers or brand awareness with a real engaged audience.

Let me do the maths for you…

If you have 100 followers

You buy 9,000 fake followers 

You will now have 100 followers.

Get it? You don’t gain anything because THEY’RE NOT REAL! They won’t RT your latest blog, they won’t favourite your hilarious tweets and they won’t refer you to other businesses, which is the reason our company has clients.

GrahamTodd - Jo's Correctional Facility
Todd – social media trainer and manager

Keep it real!

Social media is and always has been about engagement. It’s about awareness of your business or brand, and it’s about building relationships. It’s not about numbers. If you want to look at an impressive load of numbers then buy a book on Sudoku.

If you need real success on social media then to come to one of our training workshops or hire us to run your accounts for you. And yes, it’s a little more expensive than buying 10,000 Twitter followers from Outer-Mongolia. But we can assure you we’re worth it.

Now it’s over to you…

Thanks for reading. As always your thoughts are very welcome.

Tags associated with this article

Social Media

2 comments on this article

  • Stuart Marler at 7:15am on March 12th 2014

    A good blog.
    Good and truthful views on why not to use ffake followers.
    Have you promoted this across LinkedIn for instance?

    1. Graham Todd at 17:06pm on March 12th 2014

      Thanks Stuart.

      Do you mean ‘promoted this across LinkendIn as in shared it or seen the activity on LinkedIn?

      I’ve certainly shared the blog with my connections – yes.

      With faking it on LinkedIn, I’ve not seen so much of it but I do get lots of auto-emails from new connections, and funnily enough many of them offer me the services that I offer. Kinda pointless offering me social media management for example, but they do.

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