4. Buy Your Fol­low­ers ?

Or­ganic growth isn’t al­ways nec­es­sary when you can just cheat

Look (UK) - - COVER STORY -

They’ve grown their fol­low­ing in a shady way

Ever been sus­pi­cious of those ran­dom ac­counts that start lik­ing ev­ery pic­ture? No, it’s not an ex who’s madly in love with you – in­stead, it’s much more likely to be an au­to­mated ‘like’ from a fake ac­count. That’s be­cause buy­ing fol­low­ers and us­ing ‘ro­bots’, or ‘bots’ as they’re more com­monly known, are now com­mon­place tac­tics that are as likely to be adopted by in­di­vid­u­als as they are ma­jor cor­po­ra­tions.

‘A brand could pur­chase Twit­ter fol­low­ers, Face­book likes, In­sta­gram fol­low­ers, even Youtube views, retweets, tweet likes, Face­book shares, any­thing,’ says so­cial me­dia spe­cial­ist Jodie Cook (Jodiecook.com). ‘There are hun­dreds of cheap sites that of­fer these ser­vices and some com­pa­nies even make guar­an­tees that their bots are based in a cer­tain coun­try or are real ac­counts.’

It’s some­thing blog­ger Em Shel­don (@emshelx) spoke up about re­cently. ‘If some­one’s lik­ing re­ally weird photos, and usu­ally it’ll be at 4am, that’s some­thing to be sus­pi­cious about. These ac­counts will also of­ten like all your photos but not fol­low you. It’s fol­low­ing peo­ple and then un­fol­low­ing if they don’t fol­low back and it’s trick­ing peo­ple into think­ing they’re lik­ing their im­age, so that per­son then likes their im­ages back. It’s cheat­ing en­gage­ment.’

Jodie agrees and says it’s ‘glar­ingly ob­vi­ous’ when some­one has used bot ser­vices: ‘Usu­ally an ac­count will have a high num­ber of fol­low­ers but low en­gage­ment.’

Sev­eral so­cial plat­forms have mea­sures in place to re­move pages or posts they sus­pect, but is it so bad? ‘I want hard-work­ing, gen­uine, pas­sion­ate peo­ple to get op­por­tu­ni­ties, not peo­ple who’ve cheated their way to the top,’ Em tells Look. ‘Of course peo­ple are en­ti­tled to be up­set about peo­ple get­ting awe­some op­por­tu­ni­ties and a lot of money when they’ve grown their fol­low­ing in a shady way.’

The so­lu­tion is to fo­cus on en­gag­ing your fol­low­ers and post­ing ‘rel­e­vant, interesting con­tent’ says Jodie. See p75 for tips...

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