Engineered / Fake social media numbers, fair game or Industry problem?
In modern times social media is more important than ever. With the internet letting us reach an audience of near infinite proportions, there’s never been a better time to acquire global recognition. But with everyone on the internet competing for a piece of fame, how can an upstart hope to have a chance against anyone already established?
If we want to be successful on social media, then we have to treat it like a brand; a brand where your end goal is to expand the reach and engagement of your platform.
You have to consider which posts are going to best resonate with your audience, when is the time that most of my audience will see these posts, and will this help in bringing a new audience?
And the most direct way to do is to have lots of followers, the more followers you have the more your posts will be shared and exposed to potential followers.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter & Instagram also go out of their way to present follower counts as a front and centre figure. This focus on followers from both social media users and the creators of the platforms ends up leaving a higher follower count as recognition of social media triumph.
But what happens when you try to cheat the system?
There are countless tools online that you can use to buy followers. When other users need to jump through all the hurdles of social media, and even then, still need to rely on luck to be recognised for their work, it seems a bit unfair that someone else can just spend money for the same effect.
There also exists tools like Crowdfire where instead of paying money you put your social media accounts in an automated system that follows other Crowdfire users in exchange for those accounts following you back. Though less expensive than the first option, it still leaves the problem that people can gain a huge number of followers without putting in any of the work. (Since researching this service Crowdfire are no longer offering this service and have been blocked by twitter )
For years now, the likes of Twitter and Facebook having been pushing back against these tools, arguing that they give the people who use them an unfair advantage. It’s true that anyone could use Crowdfire and Hootsuite to gain mutual followers but it’s still a controversial choice because that would still be for the follower count and not because those followers particularly care for the user.
It’s difficult to gauge how effective Social Media pages that use these tools are – it’s not like anyone would say how many of their followers are fake; you may end up being the only genuine follow among 100 fakes.
Obviously, the thing that should matter most for a social media presence is that the content is engaging. If it leaves followers wanting to come to see more then you are winning the social media game and follower count should be a secondary concern. That said though, if you discover that a brand you like is using tools to appear more popular then it may leave a bitter taste in your mouth.