It feels dirty to suggest it. I hate the idea of buying Twitter followers. When I was in high school back in the 1990s, my friends and I used to joke with each other that we were only friends because the other’s mom was paying us to hang out with them. It was a mean joke, but it tapped into a fear we all have: no one really likes us.
The prevalence of social media has made it easier to have “friends” (or has it?), but the same insecurities pervade, especially when we see that our acquaintances and competitors have several thousand followers and we have a measly 100. Let’s put aside our own insecurities and look at this from a business angle. Does having more Twitter or Facebook followers, regardless of where they come from, benefit us?
So You Want To Buy Twitter Followers
Full disclosure: this week, Commerce Kitchen was curious about the phenomenon. While doing link-building research this week, I found a company, recommended by a highly respected SEO software company, that lets you buy 1,000-50,000 Twitter followers for a relatively small sum of money. Supposedly they let you choose the geographic and industry specific demographics of your followers, then, magically, you have a crap-load of new followers at your doorstep.
We thought this would be a good opportunity to see what kind of results it could get, and to see if it’s something we should recommend to our clients, especially if the followers were genuinely targeted to people we were looking for.
I’m sure you’re critically shaking your head right now, and that’s fine. We accept your derision. But we wanted to see what it was all about, and instead of sacrificing our clients, we sacrificed our own Twitter profile. Within 12 hours we had 1,000 more followers. Well, sort of.
These followers, targeted for the geographic location of Colorado and the nonprofit industry, were obviously junk, and had nothing to do with either Colorado or nonprofits. They aren’t real people. They aren’t going to interact or respond to our posts. In fact, Twitter will probably slowly tag all of them as spambots, and our robust Twitter following will continue to deteriorate until we’re left, once again, with our real followers.
Buying Twitter Followers: Is It Worth It?
If your company needs to appear to have more followers in a hurry, then it might be worth it to buy Twitter followers. If, however, you want to build up real customers, a real audience, and real people who will actually respond to you, then do it the old fashioned way. It’s going to take time. Think of interesting things to say, respond to other people, and make sure to interact as much as possible. This will help you grow your community naturally.
Unless you post something that becomes a top tweet–and let’s face it, you probably won’t–it’s going to take you many months to become an authority on Twitter. And that’s fine. Real relationships take time. Like everything in SEO–okay, everything in the world–be genuine, offer something in return, and show your best side. In the end, you won’t even need to buy Twitter followers.