Buying Engagement and Followers? You Might As Well Set Your Money on Fire.
Sure, social “growth” tools sound harmless enough, but if you use them for your brand, they’re working against you.
Sounds counterintuitive, but any bot or app you might be using to amplify your social media posts is putting you in a position where less real people will see your brand in the long run. True story.
These tools (and we use that term very loosely) are primary focused on vanity metrics and social status in that they provide an immediate boost in social following and “engagement”. But that short term boost comes at a very big price; once you begin using these tools, your long term community health is immediately at risk. Social algorithms recognize when these methods are in play and make adjustments to their system to properly categorize the account you’re trying to grow (ever heard of a shadow ban?).
The followers you immediately receive from the use of these tools are either fake (do a quick search on click farms) or are users who have no real interest in engaging with your product or service. Some of these users don’t have access to it (i.e. your product is only available in the US, when the majority of your followers are located in a country you do not service) and some just may not be interested in what you’re offering. The likes you’re getting on your posts are inflated and the small amount of engagement you may be receiving isn’t substantive (usually engagement from these accounts are commenting emojis or attempting to get followers for their own accounts.)
The truth is that you’re paying for fake growth, you may be growing your followers but you’re not cultivating an audience or community that will connect with your brand or purchase the product or service you are offering. You’re potentially spending time and money creating content for the wrong people with no strategic targeting technique. You’re using a one-size fits all approach to content when actual communities are dynamic and have varying interests. Also, what happens when you keep this little secret and your performance marketing team runs a lookalike audience on engagement or website views that weren't even real? The problem compounds.
So, how do you genuinely grow a social community?
- Don’t take shortcuts
- Create content that actually adds value to people and their lives
- Focus on true community (be human)
- Create opportunities for conversation
- Practice reciprocity (engage with comments and questions –– it's not a one way street)
- Find moments to surprise and delight
- Have fun and interact with your community
- Always listen
- Don't always teach
- Let social be social
If you do choose to amplify your content, then use Facebook and Instagram native capabilities to set the proper targeting parameters and ensure that you are targeting the right people –– err...actual people in most cases. Success is not as easy as buying an app. If it was then everyone would be doing it. END OF STORY.
PUT IN THE WORK. You can’t grow a community without authentically being a part of it. Social media users are getting smarter and can sniff out a brand taking shortcuts. People appreciate transparency and an effort to genuinely connect.
For more on this email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, even if you just want to say hello.