In a world where social media can make or break your organization, the business of buying bots can certainly be tempting.
Bots, or fake social media accounts, can be purchased in order to boost follower counts on sites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (just to name a few). Twitter alone is estimated to have 48 million bot accounts.
It seems that no demographic is above buying followers – celebrities, politicians and athletes have reportedly purchased bots. As a result, advertisers end up investing in “influencers” who actually possess far less social media clout than their follower counts would indicate.
It’s worth mentioning that some bots do provide actual services. Grammar Police, for example, calls out Twitter users who are guilty of making grammar mistakes. However, these helpful bots aren’t the kind that social media users are using to boost the follower counts. Instead, they’re buying follows from far less legitimate accounts – some of which impersonate real humans.
Aside from misleading advertisers and damaging the digital reputations of the impersonated victims, fake followers simply won’t serve your organization in the long run. They don’t produce meaningful engagement or boost conversion. Instead, investing the time to connect with real followers who are actually interested in your brand should be your biggest priority.
To help you decide whether fake followers are a good investment, we’ve created a quick quiz you can take below. If you want to ace the quiz, check out The New York Times’ excellent piece on the price of buying followers.