Paid Followers and Fans – What is the point? (I’ll give you a clue there isn’t any)

I was discussing what we do with a peer the other day as we drove to a networking meeting together . She is a huge advocate of what we do and had some advice for me. She told me to stop selling social media, “You guys are growing people’s businesses, using social media. You aren’t selling Facebook”. She is right. We aren’t selling social media at all. So if the key to our business is creating engaging content, conversations and creative campaigns then is ‘Number of Followers’ a relevant statistic?

We of course want as many people loving what we are talking about and following us to be able to get to our content immediately but do we want 20k+ followers to give the impression that we have lots of people talking to us? Well if we do take twitter as the example and you scroll through our tweets a lot of the conversations we have are there for all to see. We actively engage various conversations around social media all over the globe. We do the same for our clients too, based on a set of key words we can jump in and find a whole new customer base.

If you are paying for followers then the people added to your page are simply people who (if they are even real) are not engaged with your content and therefore are not going to advocate your brand at all. To get your followers, liking, sharing and discussing your content they have to at least know who it is they are following. Imagine having a shop full of people and no one buying anything, if someone did want to come in and buy then they would probably just walk passed the shop and ignore it.

We love the Social Media as a shop window analogy as that’s exactly how we treat it. We worry about content, customer service and support before we worry about how many followers there are. There has been debate about which comes first, content or the followers? Well let me end that debate right here, right now…ITS CONTENT! Content has to come first or when people do eventually see your social networks and see them empty they are not going to stick around for long. Shop without anything on the shelves? Pointless.

My personal social media hero is an American called Gary Vaynerchuk and he is the king of personal branding. Every business owner in the world could and should follow what he teaches. Take away his money and measure his success by his audience and you will not only see 1m followers on twitter but a stupidly large number of those engaging with Gary on a regular basis. His basics are based around being honest and transparent about who you are and focusing on authenticity.

If you use cheap tricks to get fans or followers then those looking for the authentic, real people offering the customer service and knowledge that they have are going to pass you by and see right through you. Seraph has less than 300 followers on twitter but we still get around 70-80 unique user engagement a week, 70-80 new people to have a conversation with about social media. Our door is always open to a conversation and maybe we don’t convert every conversation into a sale but that takes time, if you are serious about your brand then you will put in the long hours and love discussing what you do. If you want to know how to best develop authenticity through your brands social media then say hello and we can help whether you are just starting out or seeking to make big changes to a resistant brand.


Marketme is a leading small business to small business news, marketing advice and product review website. Supporting business across the UK with sponsored article submissions and promotions to a community of over 50,000 on Twitter.