“I got friends in low places…”
Ever since social media exploded a decade ago, there have been countless amounts of software developers, app developers, web guru’s, coders, and even hackers taking their shots at capitalizing on the vast amount of people using social media networks. The vast majority of the software, apps, and interfaces are excellent, and truly add value to the overall experience…
However, there is a small percentage of apps and “shortcuts” that can actually hurt you, hurt your image, and destroy your trust with clients and potential prospects.
Should you ever buy social media fans, friends, likes, or followers?
Here is just a small sampling of the things that I have seen for sale recently in regards to “buying friends” on your social media networks.
- 20,000 Facebook Fans for Sale
- 50,000 Twitter Followers for Sale
- 40,000 YouTube likes for any video
- 100 YouTube comments on any video
- And just about any other sized portion of “fake friends, likes, etc” that you want to purchase
In all cases the fine print specifies that none of the “fake fans or likes” are necessarily going to actually going to be interested in you, they most likely will not watch your videos or read your information, and the may or “may not” be an ideal client for you…
In essence, you are just paying for the click or the fan, and you are taking the risk that your new friend might be a teenager from Indonesia, or might not even exist at all.
Here is the truth to what really goes on behind the scenes.
When you buy social media fans, friends, likes, or followers, all you are getting is either some fake account that is automated and fabricated by an illegal hacker, or you are getting a bunch of young kids and teenagers all over the world to like your page/video/etc as they are getting paid to do so. These young children open up multiple accounts and actually make money by liking Facebook fan pages, following people they don’t know or care about on Twitter, and liking YouTube videos that they never watch. The groups that sell you the “likes, fans, followers, etc” can pay these kids pennies or even fractions of pennies and still keep a healthy profit. And these kids are doing this over and over again all day long with different accounts, and if a 12 year old can rack up a couple bucks a day liking pages, it certainly beats doing yard work or working in a factory.
How do I know? In all transparency, I made the mistake of paying for these services almost three years ago when they first started popping up. The reason that I got duped was that I was told and “SOLD” that I was paying for potential new clients who were actually liking me and watching/reading my content. Boy, was I in for a rude awakening when I found out all of my new friends were 12 year old boys and girls in Indonesia and the Philippines…
Here is an example of what it looks like when you buy social media fans, friends, likes, or followers
This is a screenshot of the comment section of a YouTube video that I came across that was about Fixed Indexed Annuities. This financial advisor (who will not be named) paid for these comments to try and look better in the eyes of Google and any visitors to his video. How do I know? Well after publishing dozens of videos myself on fixed indexed annuities, I know that getting over 10 comments on any annuity video is rare. And I certainly know that 10-14 year old boys and girls don’t watch or comment on videos about financial products made for retirees…
So let me ask you, do any of these “kids” look like ideal clients for fixed indexed annuities? Of course NOT! And there were over 90 of these comments from young boys and girls all over the world on a video that talked about a Fixed Indexed Annuity made for boomers and retirees! If you were a prospective client and came across this video and then went down below to check out the comments and saw all of these young girls and boys, wouldn’t you see some red flags??? Not to mention, half of these “fake accounts” have a male name with a female profile picture.
Are there any pros to buying social media friends, likes, comments, etc?
So this begs the question, are there any positives when you BUY Social Media Fans, Friends, Likes, or Followers?
YES. There is a short term gain in terms of perceived authority (which is really what you are buying). Most people online see a video with hundreds of thousands of views, a Facebook fan page with tens of thousands of fans, or a Twitter user with millions of followers and just assume they are legit. However, if exposed (and you will be eventually), the lack of trust can be devastating.
Do you recall our very own president making all of the headlines years back when hackers discovered that he had over 19 million fake Twitter followers when he was running for office? Of course, no one could prove he paid for them, and it isn’t too hard to believe that in the dirty world of politics that his opponent could have actually paid for them (as you can actually buy social media fans, friends, like, or followers for other people as you don’t need any username or password. However, we DO NOT condone this practice as well. Don’t be sleazy). Here is one of a hundred articles on Obama being busted for all of the fake Twitter followers.
The Big Negatives about buying social media friends, likes, comments, etc
The main negative is the lack of trust. When we hear about our own president, celebrities, or other well known people or companies having to buy fake fans or followers to look better, we lose trust. And as a financial advisor who relies almost solely on people trusting you with their money, buying friends, likes, or comments to look good in the short term just isn’t worth it.
Also, here is how you end up getting busted when you BUY Social Media Fans, Friends, Likes, or Followers on each social media platform.
- The fake Facebook fans end up falling off over time as the fake accounts are eventually closed after not being active. Also, these young kids who are getting paid to like you don’t get paid to like you for a long time. Usually after a month, they can dislike you and still keep their money.
- With Twitter, there are now some “white knights” who created software that exposes the fake accounts on Twitter. So you can type in any Twitter handle and see how many fake followers they have (which is how Obama and Kim Kardashian were busted)
- With YouTube, the comment section ends up looking like a Justin Bieber fan page as you can see these kids faces when they make their fake comments. And in regards to Youtube views, they don’t ever go away, but Youtube can tell when you pay for views as the video will get a huge amount of views all at once but none of them watch for more than a couple of seconds (this results in penalties). Not to mention, they can see where views are coming from, and when they see that 90% of your views that day came from 12 year old users in Russia, even the YouTube bots start to raise their brow. And then when your video views literally dry up the next day and the views don’t move upwards on a linear line, it is a big red flag (by the way, you can see these stats on any video – see below).
Keep in mind that there are many instances when a video will explode in a given day or week and then taper off (like going viral, having a well known site feature your video, or just having it shared with the right group that keeps sharing it). But almost 100% of the time you will see the green line continue to move up gradually at a slight angle. And when a video get 20,000 views in 1 day and then can only get another 1,412 more in 13 months, something is fishy.
Here is an example of what “bought Youtube views looks like”. Notice how the views line is completely flat. It needs to be going upward with at least some sort of angle (even a 10% angle can be legit).
In conclusion, don’t take shortcuts when it comes to your reputation and your digital footprint. The short term perceived value of looking bigger or more popular than you are isn’t worth the long term consequences or the lack of trust when you get busted for buying your friends, views, likes, etc. And trust me, at some point you will get busted by the public or Google, or the likes and fake fans will naturally go way over time. And that looks just as bad when you go from being popular to unpopular, and the only way to fix it is to buy more fake fans.
As a financial professional, your reputation and your client’s trust can make or break you. Don’t jeopardize it by taking short cuts. Do it the natural way. And don’t ever believe anyone who tells you they can sell you friends, fans, likes, comments of people who actually could be ideal clients for you. It just doesn’t work that way unless you are running your own ads on places like Facebook and Twitter.
P.S. – Friends don’t let friends buy fake friends…If you found this blog educational, valuable, or entertaining, Please Share it with all of your real friends, fake friends, and even make believe friends using the social share buttons on the left hand side.
P.P.S. – If you didn’t like this blog, then go tell your fake friends about it!