Growing your Twitter following is hard work. There is a lot of competition out there and without the validation of an audience, it feels like you’re shouting into the wind.
So should you buy Twitter followers to give your account a boost? After all, once a business grows this following, the rewards can be significant.
There are a few paths to buying Twitter followers, but each needs to be considered carefully.
- Buy fake followers to give your account a hollow but immediate improvement.
- Buy real followers for a longer-lasting but more labor-intensive and expensive upgrade.
- Settle in for the long haul and build an organic following over time.
Each approach has its pros and cons.
This guide will explore the following:
- Why Buy Fake Twitter Followers?
- How Can You Buy Fake Twitter Followers?
- Why Buy Real Twitter Followers?
- How Can You Buy Real Twitter Followers?
- Summary: Should You Buy Twitter Followers?
Why Buy Fake Twitter Followers?
It seems counterintuitive. What’s the point in paying for fake profiles to follow you? Sure, you may play Carnegie Hall, but it’s stuffed to the rafters with mannequins.
There is an underlying logic to this approach, however. It’s a little controversial, but the market for fake followers exists for a reason. People still see it as a viable shortcut to success.
As many as 15 percent of Twitter profiles are fake, according to recent research from the University of Southern California. Therefore, there are arguments for (and against) making use of these profiles.
Below are a couple of the most common arguments for buying fake followers.
Fake It Until You Make It
There is nothing quite so off-putting to the potential follower as an unpopular profile. It just looks a little suspicious. If your feed is so witty, then why has no one else realized? We never want to be first to the party.
Conversely, we infer some level of trustworthiness from a popular profile. This is especially true if the follower to following ratio is high. We certainly don’t want to miss out on something, so we are inclined to join in.
It’s a classic catch-22 situation for a business: You want a sizable number of relevant followers, but you can’t get them without having a sizable number of followers.
Relevance, for some, is the element worth sacrificing here.
Fake profiles can be used to boost your follower count, even temporarily, and hand you that much-needed boost. Then, the theory goes, your increased stature will encourage real followers to jump on the bandwagon. People will turn up once the party starts to fill out a little bit.
A note of caution on this theory is appropriate, nonetheless. Savvy Twitter users can spot a fake account easily and a profile with a lot of followers but no engagement looks fishy.
Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t I?
Fake Follower Check does exactly what you would expect Fake Follower Check to do. It takes a sample of your user base and checks them against a list of spam metrics to see if they are fake profiles or real profiles.
No one escapes unscathed from this analysis. Only 3 percent of Justin Timberlake’s followers qualify as ‘Good’, meaning they are legitimate and active profiles that regularly post Tweets:
Although 16 percent of Rihanna’s followers are defined as ‘Good’, 5 percent are also qualified as fake profiles:
Spanish goalkeeping legend Iker Casillas even earns the ignominy of a ‘99% Fake’ label:
Given that 15 percent of all profiles are fake, we shouldn’t be altogether surprised. So if it’s good enough for JT and Rihanna, why shouldn’t the rest of us take on a few fake followers?
This is the same mentality that led to so many Penguin penalties, so you should be wary of this approach. Its rewards will be short-lived — always bear this in mind.
Twitter is constantly fighting to restrict the number of fake profiles, too. If your followers are taken offline, you could lose a significant chunk of your base and have to start all over again.
How Can You Buy Fake Twitter Followers?
If it still sounds like it’s worth the risk to avail of the immediate gains, there are a few ways you can buy Twitter followers.
Fiverr is always replete with offers like the one below, offering followers by the thousand for as little as $10:
I can’t vouch for their authenticity, as it’s not something I’ve tried. However, there are hundreds of similar offers on there.
Many similar sites exist too, but it is interesting to note that few of the most popular ones have closed.
You should also consider Twitter’s stance on going down this route before you engage.
Why Buy Real Twitter Followers?
Money can’t buy you friends, but it can buy you a better class of Twitter follower.
Even with the wittiest, most valuable, unique profile out there, it can still be difficult to get in front of the right people. Moreover, it can be a very time-sapping activity.
We are all pretty accustomed to the idea that social media success often goes hand in hand with a paid media budget. Used judiciously, this budget can go very far on Twitter if you want to buy followers.
There is no guarantee that these profiles will continue to follow you (no refunds are offered in this eventuality!), but at least you’re engaging with real people.
It offers the best of both worlds, then. You get genuine followers that choose to engage with your brand, plus you get accelerated growth compared to the organic path.
Nonetheless, this is far from a foolproof plan and there are some important tips to keep in mind.
How Can You Buy Real Twitter Followers?
The most obvious — and best — way to do this is to go direct through Twitter.
It’s pretty easy to set up a campaign and you only pay each time someone follows you via your ad. If you are running one of these campaigns for a larger business, there is even an option (currently in beta) to integrate performance data from Twitter into DoubleClick Campaign Manager.
To get started, just go into Twitter Ads and select Followers as your campaign objective:
The key components of a Follower campaign should be familiar to most social media marketers:
- Audience: The usual options are here, including locations and interests. You can also target @usernames, if a specific company or person has the kind of followers you would like to attract. Keep an eye on the potential audience size on the right-hand side, however. The temptation to overuse the targeting options is always there, but make sure you are giving Twitter enough data to optimize with.
- Budget: Twitter uses an auction-based bidding system, much like Facebook does. You can set a daily limit and Twitter will provide an estimate of how many impressions and followers you can expect to gain. From experience with a number of clients, I have found these estimates to be a little on the conservative side. You only pay for followers too, so any clicks you get will be free. Bids can be set as automatic or manual; I would advise the latter with a followers campaign just to maintain some control. The higher you are willing to bid, the greater the impression share you will grab. A successful campaign should gain followers for under 30 cents each, but this can be significantly lower.
- Creative: The real defining factor in what you will pay per follower is the creative you select. The creative in this context is the post you want to boost. You can use more than one creative per campaign, too. Choose examples you’re proud of and that have performed well for you on Twitter in the past.
A few additional tips for buying followers on Twitter:
- Emojis work. People really seem to like these cutesy characters, so use them to your advantage.
- Always show, don’t tell. People don’t appreciate being told to follow; pique their interest with something useful or interesting and they will join the dots for themselves.
- Fake profiles are still an issue. You can’t completely remove the risk of fake profiles following you, but you can mitigate it. Upload custom lists of people you want to follow you to fine-tune Twitter’s targeting if this is a real concern.
Conclusion: Should You Buy Twitter Followers?
As with most things in life, moderation is key.
There are merits and drawbacks to each of these approaches, but the solid foundation of your account should be an organically sourced following.
Focus on defining the purpose and voice for your profile first. Once you are confident that you have a steady stream of interesting content that your audience would love to read, it’s time to take the plunge and trial some paid campaigns.
Use your most successful content and place it in front of the people you want to talk to in the long term. This can work as a great complement to your ongoing organic Twitter efforts.
That combination will, at least, ensure that your money is buying you some genuine engagement.
Featured Image: Pixabay
In article Image: Unsplash
Screenshots taken by Clark Boyd, June 7, 2017.
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Author: Clark Boyd
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