Do you remember Jason Calacanis? He was the man who offered people a stop on Twitter’s Suggested User list at a mere $250,000. Its like getting a follower for just $0.25 per follower. This was March 2009. A lot has changed since then.
Now you can buy followers like you buy cheese online. Don’t believe me? Checkout eBay. You can buy 5000 followers on eBay for $20 and 100 followers for $10, which is about 0.9 penny per follower. Sweet deal, wouldn’t you say? Now how this works is, you are basically employing the services of the seller which guarantee the number of followers you have paid for. The seller will employ automated bots to give you the service or do it the Chinese way. Rumour has it, that in China, cheap labour is paid to create Twitter Follower farms which assist in these kinds of transactions. This cheap labour creates thousands of Twitter accounts and follow other accounts creating valid followers.
So now what is the impact this methodology create. Lets look at the social media scenario. Brands today are rated on the basis of the number of Followers they have. In order to win the rat race, they do not shy away from spending a few bucks to create the illusion for sometime. But this can’t last, eventually their Social status will be juudged on the basis of the engagement they have with their followers and users more so the real intent of creating brand awareness and word of mouth will be redundant because those who are following you are neither loyal nor have a clue as to who they are following.
Thus, brands must realise the importance or the real objective behind being on the Social Media Platform. It is to create engagement, talk to your customers as though you are a person. This will create brand awareness and in due course of time, brand loyalty. In other words, Social media Engagement is necessary to ensure a large piece of share of mind of the target customer, not pretend to have it.