The Twitter Chronicles: What fake followers really cost you
It’s not surprising that in a world of ass shots, booty implants, dental veneers, rented jewelry, fake breasts, weaves, lacefront wigs, eyelash extensions and who knows what else, people would resort to buying fake Twitter followers.
I first learned about the phenomenon from a local artist who said he was planning to buy fake followers to keep pace with other local artists who had bought them. It’s the Internet’s new and disturbing version of keeping up with the Joneses.
I guess the psychology behind the fake follower craze isn’t terribly complex. In a society that’s increasingly obsessed with surface at the expense of substance, we pretend to have what we lack and we project that we are what we’re not.
We need to seem more popular, more influential and more relevant than we actually are. So we do a Google search for “fake followers” and $49.99 later we have 5,000 bots who can never reply to us, mention us, retweet us or buy anything we might have to offer, but they can sure convince the world that we must be doing something right because, hey, 5,000 people are following us.
That was until fakers.statuspeople.com came along, exposing those wannabe social media stars who secretly bought their Twitter cred. Oops. Might be time to speak to customer service about a refund.
The thing is, you can buy fake followers, but you can’t buy respect or credibility. And once it’s discovered that you did buy fake followers, any respect and credibility you had will likely evaporate.
Fake followers may temporarily provide the appearance of importance and Twitter pull, but they ultimately compromise your integrity — the most important commodity you have. You can bet that when people realize that 87 percent of your followers were purchased from Steve at buyfollowerstwitter.co.uk, those people will be 87 percent less interested in working with you. As the sages over at Status People noted on their blog, buying Twitter followers undermines your brand in the long term. So you should never do it.
No doubt, amassing followers isn’t easy; nothing worth accomplishing is. That doesn’t mean you should give up on the idea of engaging real people and instead resort to the lazy and disingenuous tactic of buying thousands of bots to boost your Twitter game.
Rather than investing in a fake facade, dump your phony followers and commit to creating a movement that’s based first and foremost on integrity, hard work and genuine relationships. Rely on your smarts, persistence and creativity to produce results. And if you want to spend money on building a following, opt for a strategy that wasn’t plucked from the smoke and mirrors catalog — invest in your skills, your brand, your marketing, your publicity, anything that doesn’t involve a bonus “200 free Facebook fans” with your order.