FAKE FANS: Why buying likes could cost you

We all wish we could create a hoard of interest in our social accounts with a snap of our fingers.  In the desperation of acquiring likes, follows and clicks, you may be tempted to stay up all night on zombie following missions, or pay a small sum to have a stranger from a distant land begin to populate your follower list with ambiguous, irrelevant accounts just to beef up your numbers. 

There could be financial and hard costs associated with this practice, but being a PR pro I'm coming from the point of reputation and accountability.

My general advice to clients is: .... don't. Here are a few of MY reasons why.


1. Fans

You are on social media for one reason - to build your 'fan base' and attract new "_____" (insert word here - customers, readers, buyers, clients, supporters .....).  Notice I didn't say followers. There is a distinct difference between followers and fans - Followers add to your numbers, FANS help build your business. Fans have three defining characteristics: They Share, Engage, Buy. But there's a catch: They have to be a REAL person, and they have to have SOME connection to your product/service.  You want fans, not followers. #FollowersToFans


2. Connection is a two way street, not a one-way morse code.

There has been quite a shift in recent years, not only in our social and marketing landscapes but more importantly, in the path of communication between client and consumer. For the most part, consumers today are ....how should I put this..... needy. They need to feel there is a doorway that allows them to engage with your brand, product, service. You are selling to people. People have opinions. Your fans have an opinion about YOU. By being tuned in and engaged with the conversations on line about YOU and creating opportunities for dialogue, there is more opportunity to convert and create FANS. Fake followers will not engage, they will not share nor will they spread goodwill.


3. Be Real

We have a saying at CatalystCC - If you don't believe it, breathe it and live it, we can't sell it.  Today's Social Selling and PR (online and off), RUNS on authenticity. The previous job description of Sales and PR pros to 'work the numbers' and 'push product', has shifted to live in a place of trusted professionalism, consumer confidence building and accessible accountability. It makes no sense to build a foundation on something that isn't real. 

4. Avoid the Egg!  This is the egg. If there is one thing that says "spammer" or "I'm not here to make friends and provide anything of use to you or anyone else until this Twitter-thing gives something to ME first" .... it's the egg.  Not all eggs are bad - lol - just keep an eye on them so they don't start to give your true followers a bad taste.


Lastly, I guess I just believe in honest, good ol' fashioned hard work. Yes, it's more work to create and go after genuine followers and fans that engage. But to me, that holds one accountable to providing MORE excellence, more service and more reasons to get people to love you. If you're in your business, vocation, job, start up - you SHOULD love it!  And therefore should have no problem getting people to love you.

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