We live in a vain world where numbers matter and are a symbol of status. Whether it is how many zeros are in your bank account; offering you a sense of security to how, many people are friends with you on your Facebook, the number of likes you have on your Like page, or the number of followers you have on Twitter.
In the late 1990’s business made a bee-line to get their businesses online because that was the craze at the time. The current day craze is Social Media. Of the many board rooms I have been in, up and down the country. the talk is, “we need to be on Facebook, our competitors are already using Facebook” or “our competitors have more twitter followers than us, we need more followers, and we need them fast”.
Businesses know that Consumers make a snap shot decision about their business based on how many followers or likes they have. Ultimately this leads to whether the Consumer decides to make a purchase. There is pressure on businesses for this reason to have high number of likes and followers. Consumers use these figures as an indicator of popularity, good service & quality of product.
This gives rise to the wholesale purchase of likes and followers from shady websites to whom you pay a small fee to for followers. This works on a sliding scale, the more you pay ,the greater number of followers your money gets you. Although this method may get you the much desired numbers beware of these likes and followers, which are mainly all dummy accounts that do not interact with you. At the core of Social Media is interaction between your patrons. Dummy accounts are like people who do not hear or speak or spread the good word about your brand. Other than giving you a false image of popularity a purchased like or follower has no value whatsoever and is a cancer to social media.
Conversely a natural like or follower will be a real person and more inclined to interact and spread the word about your product or brand to others. Essentially this all boils down to the age old Quantity versus Quality argument.
So I put these two questions to you; would you rather have just a few hundred natural likes and followers who regularly interact with you, or thousands of purchased likes and followers who make you look popular but with little or no interaction?
Businesses should focus on getting natural likes and followers. They need to add a bit of personality in their statuses, do regular interesting status updates, interact with their audience, and finally exercise a bit of patience and the followers will slowly grow.