Normally, I am a very positive poster and supporter on Facebook and Twitter. This past month though I have become very anxious and disappointed in the increasing abuse of “buying” twitter followers, which are inactive or fake profiles. This practice upsets me for 2 reason: First, it is unethical in my opinion and a misrepresentation of one’s value to the community. The second and primary reason that I am over the top in my disapproval is that it sends a message out to the business world that social media is really “fluff” and little substance.
Social Media is just starting to gain real credibility and traction and we are finally being seen as a growing necessity for businesses to continue gaining exposure in the marketplace. Print and television advertising will continue to decline in the future and hence the need for social media services. What happens when businesses feel that we are not a viable form of promoting and branding for their needs?
It is not just politicians and celebrities that are putting an overinflated spin on their popularity, but it is our own social media community that is at risk of damaging our reputation and that of credible people with the desire to boost their own follower count. Many of the abusers are social media influencers and I say shame on them!
I have made a decision to not support these “bad” practices by “unfollowing” people that I suspect of buying fake followers. Here is what appears to be a fairly accurate tracking tool to spot people that are buying fake followers. If you see someone who’s followers grow by 10,000 plus monthly, there is a more than probable cause to suspect they are not all real.
With all the attention lately on “buying followers,” there is hope that people will start seeing the negative impact that it can have on their image and focus more on quality and not make social media a popularity contest!