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!

Ron VanPeursem
Ron VanPeursem is the Content Marketing Strategist for Shift Digital Media, and co-owner of Vihanti Digital Services (India). Ron blogs about Cultural Intelligence, Business in Intercultural Contexts, Education Theory and Content Marketing.

"Words are Powerful Things"