If your business is on Facebook, we bet you’ve asked for your contacts to ‘like’ your page. And this is, of course, a smart idea! You should use any method at your fingertips to increase social awareness and make your brand known. Some businesses do this manually by selecting who they’d like to follow their page. Others just want as many followers as possible. Methods can include asking your followers to invite their entire friends list to your page, paying for followers or involving social influencers to drive traffic to your page.

Whilst this might seem like a solid way to build your social presence and create social proof there can be many serious drawbacks to some of the methods used.

Throughout this article we will cover some of the major problems with padding your social media following. You will also learn some solutions in order to naturally and organically increase your followers so that the RIGHT people are buying your product.

Irrelevant followers

The first and biggest issue with padding your social media followings is that they have little to no interest in your business. Regardless of the nature of your business, you want engaged and interested followers. Otherwise, you won’t see any increase in sales and profitability. Sure, you may LOOK more popular, but in reality,  you’re not.

For example, having 5,000 followers on your bakery’s Facebook page might look appealing at first glance. However, if your posts have 5 or fewer likes and no comments, it will quickly become apparent that those followers have no interest in your business. Down the line this has the potential to do much more harm than good.

Alternatively, if you have 400 followers on the same page but each of your posts sees 20 likes and a few comments, your image will be far stronger to a potential customer. Additionally, it helps to build a sense of community and depending on your business, could very well increase sales.

Algorithms

Just as a lack of engagement can severely harm the way potential customers view you and your business, it can equally harm social media targeting algorithms. Social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn use complex algorithms that assess engagement and the value of your content to those who see it. Using this, the algorithm chooses whether or not to show your posts organically and even to your actual followers. If the majority of those seeing your content are uninterested and scroll past it, social media assumes that it lacks value and acts accordingly.

This is especially important in regards to using targeting within paid social media. By filling your follower count with uninterested and irrelevant accounts, the algorithm mistakenly believes they DO have an interest in your services or products. Because of this, the algorithms will then send your targeted adverts to the wrong people. With paid social coming straight from your marketing budget, the last thing you would want to do is waste it on something with no ROI.

No-one likes spam

Spamming on social media is not only the quickest way to lose followers or be blocked, but a sure way to get reported. The act of ‘begging’ for followers or spamming invitations is sure to leave social media with a bad impression of your business. Furthermore, continued use of similar tactics will seriously hurt your brand image.

You will only appear more popular

As you may have noticed by now, creating a fake sense of popularity for your business has little to no actual benefits and multiple drawbacks. When you consider the amount of effort that you may expend trying to create a fake following, you would be far better suited pursuing actual interested followers through paid social and organic tailored content.

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