Focus on quality over quantity in your social media strategy
by WordWrite Staff, on Apr. 8, 2013
While reading through some of my favorite tech websites, blogs and magazines, I came across an article headline on Wired that left me outraged, “How to Buy Friends and Influence People on Facebook.” I couldn’t believe that a reputable publication was not only telling people to buy social media fans and followers but also suggesting they would be able to influence those fans and followers. However, after reading the article I learned that it was advising readers not to pay for a social media following.
A social media strategy should help build your reputation as a thought leader in your industry, raise awareness of your brand and its products or services and ultimately bring in new business. Therefore, I can’t seem to wrap my head around why people are so hung-up on how big their social following is. So focused in fact, they will go to the extreme of buying fans and followers, which are typically inactive accounts, bots or are fake accounts all together.
I’ve pondered scenarios in my head, as to why a business would do this. Perhaps they think it will position them as a social media expert or influencer, but what they fail to realize is users are becoming more educated on poor practices like these. The Wired article references several telling signs that a user purchased its following. In addition, developers are now building tools to weed out fake accounts, websites like Faker and Fake Followers are making it even easier for users to distinguish whether a user has been buying its following.
In my opinion, I see someone who receives a lot of interaction from their posts and responds in an appropriate way as a social media expert or influencer. I believe social media users should recognize that with an appropriate strategy, their social media following could become the biggest advocates for their brand. If they like the content you’re putting out and feel you’re paying attention to their needs, they are going to share that information. The web of interactions that can result from a retweet or mention brings a far greater reach than any followers or fans someone has purchased.
Social media users purchase fans and followers to prove they have influence, but if those accounts aren’t interacting with you or anyone for that matter, are you really providing influence?
Finally, purchasing fans and followers can be detrimental to your search engine optimization. As Google becomes increasingly like “big brother,” they become more aware of black hat SEO strategies such as purchasing a following. Google does not hesitate to banish websites for cheating the system.
Alternately, having an engaged core set of users that are retweeting, commenting and sharing your content will help you move up in search engines. Google and Bing see shares and retweets as validation that you’re putting out great content. The more legitimate eyeballs you have on your content, the better you will rank on search engines.
Here at WordWrite we advise our clients to focus on quality over quantity. We believe it’s better to have a smaller, more engaged group than a large following that has no interaction with you and your brand. In the end, you’ll find your engaged following will become advocates for your brand and will in turn help you sell your products or services.
What is your opinion on purchasing fans and followers? Share it with us in the comments below.