Buy Twitter Followers? Are you Kidding?!

Buy Twitter Followers! Are you Kidding?!

Well, if you can purchase a bride through mail order, then it only makes sense that you can buy Twitter followers too. Most of my readers already know how easy and cheap it is to buy Twitter followers, but do you know how counter-productive it can be to your brand-building efforts?

Why would you buy Twitter Followers?

Let’s all admit it: when we check out somebody’s Twitter page, and see that they only have 32 followers, we think that either (1) they opened their account 15 minutes ago, or (2) they have absolutely NOTHING worth my time. Then the next logical step in that line of thinking is: “But if they have 500 followers, then they definitely DO have something worth checking into.” And obviously, continuing along that line, we come to the (false) conclusion that “the greater the number of followers, the more valuable the content”. Oops. Let’s look a bit below the surface.

What does your follower list say about you?

Sure, you can buy followers! It’s easy. It’s cheap. It’s fast. Just look at these samples from a couple of sites that sell Followers:

Buy Twitter FollowersBuy Twitter Followers? Are you kidding?


But what message does it send when people take a look at your followers? Here are a couple samples of Follower lists obtained through purchasing followers, and given as “proof” of success:

If you look at the profiles of these “followers” they usually turn out to be complete “fluff-and-bluff”, and obviously purchased. They have no history of quality tweets, no followers, etc.

Fake Twitter Followers

Fake Twitter Followers!

So if you’re trying to actually build your brand (or your client’s brand), and you did it by bringing in this big pile of followers, what happens when someone looks at your follower list? What does this list say about you?

  1. You’re falsely inflating your online image.
  2. You cannot be trusted.
  3. You’re probably going to scam me if I engage with your advertised product or service.

Pretty dismal, eh?

Buying Twitter Followers: a couple redeeming possibilities

Before I wrap up this post with some summary observations, let me just note here that buying Twitter Followers CAN have a couple positive benefits:

  1. There are plenty of people that do NOT take a careful look. They see that you have a ton of followers (2,000 or 20,000) and decide that it’s worth a trip to your website to learn more about you. Assuming that you DO have a good product or service to offer from you site, then you’ve really benefitted by bringing a potentially interested buyer/subscriber right to your site, where you can now show them (in contrast to your lousy Follower list) some high quality stuff.
  2. There are also people that, upon seeing that you have a long list of followers, decide automatically (superficially?) to follow you too. But these followers are actually following you because they found you through a Twitter search for the particular features in your description, and will likely be interested in the products or services that you are offering.

Some final observations about Purchased Followers:

  1. C’mon! Let’s get real: people hate spin, and their spin-detectors are becoming more and more sensitive. Get caught fluffing and bluffing and you’ll send away potential customers.
  2. I’ve written about “Reality Marketing” elsewhere, and you need to know that “buying followers” is a very strong signal that you’ve really got nothing high-quality to offer; your excellent products might be EXACTLY what the person needs, but they won’t go check it out because you’ve killed them with the falsely-inflated follower list.
  3. Remember: you WANT engagement! You WANT followers who are interested in what you’re providing! You want followers that are giving you feedback, input, critique and high-fives! The purchased followers? Nope; they don’t plan on engaging.
  4. You see Google building more and more intelligence into their algorithms, right? How long before they’ll figure out an algorithm to determine “less-than-genuine followers”, and slap a little results-penalty on your site?
  5. As I said, you MIGHT pull down a bit of follower-action through having the inflated number of followers on your Twitter page. Yeah, MIGHT. But what you won’t ever know about is the searcher who found your Twitter page by searching for your type of product/service, but then ran in the opposite direction when they saw your fake followers.

Bottom line: Do the work. Invest the effort. Produce something terrific! Live with (and enjoy) the followers that you earn through the ongoing conversation and interaction with your site and your helpful tweets!

Worst Mistake in Branding

Worst Mistake in Branding

Have you ever heard, “Don’t talk about yourself; it’s not polite.”? Well in marketing, we often believe that it’s our JOB to talk about ourselves, because if we don’t, who will? Conventional wisdom used to tell us to take every opportunity available to get our Brand and our list of products out there in front of everybody. Tell ‘em what you’ve got. Tell ‘em what you’ve done. Tell ‘em why you’re great. But that’s a one-dimensional approach, and it’s getting weaker by the day.Worst Mistake in Branding

Branding 101 – Balance your Content

Is there a place for explaining the unique benefits of your brand? Of course there is! It’s probably the most important feature of branding: being able to show why your product or service is EXACTLY what people need to solve their current challenge. But here’s the problem you can run into if you’re living in that “one dimension” of blowing your own horn all the time: you’ll only be playing to a very narrow band of listeners. You’ll only be talking to those that have already decided they need your product. You’ll have very little to offer those that AREN’T SURE THAT THEY NEED YOU YET. And that’s where the growth is going to come from: making friends, establishing yourself as a good source of information or an entertaining place to spend 10 minutes for people that are just poking around the edges of your industry, and just not quite ready to commit yet. This is a basic enough principle to qualify for a “Branding 101″ type of post.

But who’s gonna talk about my brand?!

So let me answer that rhetorical question: “If we don’t talk about ourselves, who will?” The answer: your followers! Show them that you have great stuff to read or view. Show them that you’ve got relevant information, easy to consume and entertaining. Show them that you know how to talk about valuable stuff WITHOUT cramming your brand down their throats. Show them that you can add value to their life, with no strings attached. What am I talking about? I’m talking about content marketing: using content to demonstrate authority, trust and usefulness. Let them be pleased with what they see, and THEN ask themselves, “Hmmmm…. Who are these guys? They seem to know what they’re talking about, and I LOVE their personality.” Don’t worry, they’ll know how to navigate to your About Us page to read your story and to find out about all the cool stuff you have to offer. It will be natural because THEY will know that THEY were in control of reading what THEY wanted to read, and were genuinely interested in finding out more. And you know what they’ll do next? Yep; you guessed it: they’ll talk about you to their friends.

Your best content won’t be about YOU

The brands that truly understand content are the ones that recognize the best content is not about them, but about something valuable to the people who see or read it.

That’s a quote from Carrie Kerpen, the CEO of Likeable Media. Perhaps you’d consider me a small-time Content Marketing Strategist, but Carrie is big-time! So if you can’t take MY word for it, take Carrie’s word for it. Don’t keep pushing your brand and your list of cool products. It’s not polite to talk so much about yourself! Balance that with lots of intriguing, entertaining, relevant-to-your-followers type of content. Let them get to know your personality, your authority, your reliability, your humor…. THEN let them decide it’s worth a look at your Products and Services page!