Reading an article on the WordStream Blog today has led me to writing this post as I wanted to give my own view on the subject of buying followers. Here goes.
Twitter can be a huge boon to businesses, putting them in instant contact with a legion of prospective clients and customers. It’s no surprise, then, that pretty much every business – no matter how big or small – has considered setting up an account on the popular social media site. Of course, as always there’s a drawback: fail to get enough followers and rather than making a business look professional, a Twitter account can make you seem amateurish. If a customer searches for a business and sees that only five people follow them on Twitter, it may drive them away.
Many businesses try to solve this problem by buying a set number of Twitter followers from one of many sites offering the service, but is this the easy answer it may seem? Unfortunately the answer is no, but through careful management there is a way purchased Twitter followers can help your business.
To understand why buying Twitter followers might not be the best idea, it’s essential to appreciate what Twitter is. While sites like Facebook give users a home page, full to the brim with personal information, Twitter is really just a stream of messages. It’s a thousand conversations happening at the same time – being ‘on Twitter’ just means you’re equipped to listen. For Twitter to have real value for a company, they need to be part of the conversation. That’s how you get seen by prospective customers, and how you attract more followers and more brand recognition.
The problem with purchased followers is that they won’t get you into the conversation. Purchased followers don’t have a genuine interest in your brand – they’re often not even real people – so they won’t mention you, share your content or even see anything you share. In an environment where you only really exist if you’re being talked about, silent followers have very limited use.
That’s not to say, however, that a savvy business can’t benefit from buying followers. Analysing Twitter behaviour shows that there is a certain number of followers after which users find it much easier to obtain new followers – a certain number shows that you are a popular and trusted source, and so people are more likely to follow you themselves.
This number is 1,000 – having 1,000 followers shows you’re important enough to listen to, giving you some clout on the site and more or less guaranteeing a steady trickle of new followers so long as you stay moderately active. It’s here that buying followers can come in handy, boosting your numbers to the point where real people start seeing you as deserving of their support.
That’s not to say that you can simply buy 1,000 followers and be set for life. Again, Twitter relies on discussion, so you’ll still need real people sharing your content and engaging with you on the site. It’s just that when they do so, having 1,000 or more followers means other users are more likely to pay attention and engage with you as a business. Read this Twitter marketing guide I noticed whilst browsing my own Twitter feed the other day.
All this being said, the answer to “should businesses buy twitter followers?” is, ideally no but if you are just finding that you are not getting people to follow you, buying followers might just give you the required boost to make that happen.