The Real Scoop on Buying Facebook Fans, Twitter Followers and YouTube Views
As I’m sure you’ve noticed there is a growing trend for marketing practitioners to offer artists and businesses the opportunity to ‘buy‘ Facebook fans, Twitter followers or YouTube views and thereby grow their online presence for a few bucks. The indicator of ‘hype‘ has shifted towards social media and marketers are taking advantage of this. However, while at first glance buying fans might seem like a great idea to rapidly increase your audience, it’s worth taking a closer look at what you’re actually spending your money on.
Buy Facebook Fans
In recent years, Facebook has had a growing problem with fake profiles or ‘bots‘, set up by marketing companies. These bots aren’t real people, they are automatically generated and randomized profiles and are used by marketers for purposes ranging from posting advertising messages, to befriending real people in order to access their profile information and conduct marketing research. The likelihood that when you are paying a company for Facebook fans you will in fact be paying for these bots is very high. Since they are fake profiles, they will not be interacting with your page or listening to your music and in actuality hold no value to you, other than the bragging rights of higher ‘fan‘ numbers.
The other thing you should consider is that Facebook are doing their best to clamp down on bots and regularly delete fake profiles. This means that in order to keep your fan numbers stable you would need to constantly spend money on more fake fans. In some rare cases you will pay a marketing company for real Facebook members but these could be hacked profiles. Even where this is not the case you should ask yourself: who are the people willing to be traded out by marketing companies as buyable fans? It’s very possible they are either part of a mutual marketing scheme or receiving commissions, so again, they will probably have little real interest in your music or your message.
A final consideration is that Facebook status updates and comments are only displayed to around 5-8% of your fans or friends, so if you have a large amount of bought fans or fake profiles subscribed to your account, your real fans could be missing out on your important messages!
Buy Twitter Followers
What’s true of buying Facebook fans is also true of buying Twitter followers. I’m sure you’ve noticed there is a vast amount of fake Twitter profiles first following you, and then clogging up your home page with spam messages if you follow them back. You can often tell a fake profile on Twitter from their profile pic which will still be set to the default Twitter egg.
As with Facebook, you should be aware that Twitter clamp down on fake profiles regularly and even bought real followers will rarely show any tangible interest or interaction with your updates. What’s more, Twitter members are becoming increasingly clued up to the practice of buying followers. A sudden spike in your follower numbers will basically announce to the whole world you’re trying to cheat the system by paying for followers. Besides, Twitter users can gage your true cache on the website by checking how many people are ‘talking about this‘. Often you will see an artist on Twitter with 100,000 Followers but 2 people mentioning them on all of Twitter. Now if that doesn’t look suspicious I don’t know what is!
If you are an artist looking for a record deal and thinking about buying Twitter followers to boost your hype appeal, you should realize that record labels aren’t stupid and this will be one of the first thing they check.
Buy YouTube Views
To get technical for a moment: When you buy YouTube views, what you are essentially paying for is a marketer running a software program that, using fluctuating IP addresses, will click on your video over and over again, thus racking up the play count.
Initially it might sound quite appealing to have a video with 1 million views on YouTube. However, what can’t be faked as easily are the ‘likes‘ and the ‘comments‘ on your video. If you have a video which has genuinely racked up 1 million views, then you will also have several thousand likes and comments. However, if you paid for your views you will have no likes or comments, thus again basically announcing to the world you tried to cheat your way to the top.
If you think buying views will earn you a lot of money from embedded AdSense advertisements in your video, then think again. The automated programs run by marketers will not click on advertisements in your videos, so really; once again there is no value in buying YouTube views other than bragging rights. Of course even those will only work on people narrow-sighted enough to miss your lacking video likes and comments.
The Real Scoop
Overall then, it is very unlikely that money spent buying Facebook fans, Twitter followers and YouTube views is money well spent. If you are serious about your music career I suggest you save the money and spend it on progressing your career. If you have a marketing budget and would like to spend it on online marketing, there are plenty of ways to legitimately build your fans and views that don’t involve cheating the systems.
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and artist communities such as ReverbNation or SoundClick all offer marketing services that guarantee objective results. I have actually tried all of these services before and personally, if you have your own website, I would suggest learning how to effectively implement GoogleAds above all of these.
Of course there are many more schemes and websites I haven’t covered in this article including DatPiff or SoundCloud but the general rule always remain the same: if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
You should always remember that gaming the system is against the user policies of all social media websites and if you are caught you may be permanently blocked from accessing that website. After the initial boom there will come a bust and there will most certainly be a backlash from people trading in ‘virtual’ fans and followers. So stay sharp and keep it ‘real’!