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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Organic Followers vs Purchased Follower Databases in Social Media

You have taken the plunge in social media, hired a fantastic graphic designer to make beautiful custom images for your social media profile pictures and cover images.  Your bio is well written, your custom URLs have been captured, now it is time to announce to the world your online presence.

Drum Roll  ... ROAD BLOCK!

How in the world do I build followers and get the right people attracted to your social pages?  There are a few theories of the best methods to build a solid follower base.

Here are two options you could select:

Theory 1 - Purchase a follower database - which means exactly what it is.  You purchase a set of followers from a company who will get you hundreds to tens of thousands of followers instantly.

While this method will give you large numbers, you are vulnerable to many things:

1) Are the followers real users?
2) Are you purchasing a set of "robot" accounts?
3) How will these purchased followers effect your engagement statistics?

I will share with you a real story of a client who had purchased 10K in followers. She was so excited to see that her numbers continued to build after the initial purchase because she believed, "Because I have all of these followers, more people are going to find me credible and my reach will be so much larger instantly"  What she actually found was her engagement numbers never passed 1% and within 6 months, she lost thousands of followers instantly because the purchasing company was shut down due to all of their accounts provided were fake. She then had to decide; "do I start over and take the chance of losing real followers for the sake of weeding out bad numbers or work with the ratios to try to improve her engagement more organically?"

Theory 2 - Invest in the time and resources to accumulate organic followers - Organic followers are those that you know are real people who may comment, like, share and uniquely engage with your social profile.  These followers are in most cases genuine users who are interested in your brand, the topics you share and could potentially be customers. 

This method takes time, attention to detail in your content, strategic use of information, proper wording or pictures to draw attention to a topic and in some cases, could require a marketing budget for suggested posts/pages or topic boosting within the platform.  You can set and establish realistic goals, contests and activity to gain traction in a slightly slower way, but a more productive engaging way nonetheless.

Time management for your content and followers may take an investment in resources, consistent activity and creative marketing, but your engagement ratios will be higher, your extended reach will be genuine and your potential for business will be greater.

Which is more valuable to you?  The need for massive numbers quickly or building an organic reach?  Each of us is different and our needs are different. Both theories have challenges and struggles.  When developing your marketing program, you will need to consider the hurdles you will overcome in which ever direction you choose.

~ Social Media is changing the way people do business.  Don't get left behind ~ 

Hollie Clere, of The Social Media Advisor is a social media manager, trainer and author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+ , Pinterest and the tools to manage them. Click here for her Social Media Links

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1 comment:

  1. I agree with getting organic followers. REAL customers and followers that are potentially interested in your product or service is what a business should want, not FAKE followers. You are only fooling yourself if they aren't REAL. I choose real authentic people, not fake. Thanks for the post! :-)