Should you Buy Twitter Followers? One Business Woman’s Story
Today’s guest post comes from Jacqueline Reed who is a marketing and writing freelancer. You can read more marketing articles on her website, jacquelinereed.com.
As a small business owner, I’m eager to get my name in front of prospective buyers. The more people I get in front of, the more business I can drum up.
To bring more readers to my website, I turned to Twitter. I began to tweet my blog headlines with links, asking for opinions on key questions. I also looked at profiles and followed the ones that interested me the most.
Making Slow Progress on Twitter … Sound Familiar?
Sure, I was building a stable following. Every day, I added a handful of followers. In a matter of two months, I had 240 followers and averaged three visitors a day to my blog. But it was slow going and I was spending a lot of time looking for people to follow, so I needed a new way to find Twitter followers.
I posed the question on Twitter: “How do I get more followers?” Two people suggested that I buy more. I had read buying Twitter followers was frowned upon in the social media community, but I wasn’t clear on why. So I set out to find out for myself if buying followers was a bad idea
Buying Twitter Followers Didn’t Sound So Bad
I began my experiment by purchasing 1,000 Twitter followers for $15 from a site called Just Twitter Followers. Within one day of my order, I had an extra 1,000 followers.
I was excited until I started looking at the followers. I checked every single new follower and found they were all bogus. This made me mad, so I wrote an email to customer service basically accusing them of being frauds. (I tried to make it sound nice; I really did.)
The not-so-polite customer service representative explained that I had asked for 1,000 followers and that I had not asked for “real” followers. Confused, yet? I was. Then she added links to the ‘real follower’ web page.
Apparently I had bought the $15 package that gave me 1,000 followers in name sake only. In other words, to look better in Twitter search rankings, I needed a higher follower number. If I actually wanted to engage with real people, then I would have to pay more money.
I Followed You … You Follow Back
Obviously, I had done something wrong by selecting the $15 option, so I chose a discounted option of $24 for 2,000 followers. Three days later, my mailbox became flooded with Twitter followers. At last count I had a little over 1,500 followers and it was growing. The question remained, was it worth my $49 investment?
To get followers, I had to follow others. It was the same basic principle I was personally pursuing, but on a larger scale. The vendor I chose called it “inviting others to follow.” In other words, using my account, the company went out and followed a bunch of people.
The Drawbacks of Buying Twitter Followers
On day one, I went from following 471 people to following 1,205. Many of these people I don’t really have an interest in. Some speak another language, many tweets are about nothing at all, others are vulgar and distasteful, and others tweet other people’s quotes. (I just hate that.) Now my tweet feed is overcome by dumb tweets which make it harder to find the stuff that actually interests me.
I also learned that Twitter has a maximum number you can follow, but they won’t tell you what the maximum number is for any one account. According to the Twitter website, the system will lock you until you have the right ratio of following to followers. At one point, I wasn’t able to follow anyone new because my ratio was off. As more people accept the invitation to follow, my ratio became more in line.
Here’s the bottom line: if engagement is what you are looking for, buying Twitter followers is probably not the best solution. Similar to the old fashioned direct mail that went out to every person alive versus to a targeted list of buyers, Twitter numbers can be a false illusion that you are reaching more prospects than you really are. I have come to believe that I may have wasted my $49 and will spend hours un-following a lot of folks.
Have you ever purchased (or thought about purchasing) social media followers? Let us know in the comments section below.
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