Why fake or non-active followers are killing your social media

We all want to get our numbers up on social media!

Who doesn’t want to login into Facebook or Instagram and see 100,000 followers? It’s gratifying :)

But what if those followers aren’t active? would you rather have 100,000 inactive followers or 100 true fans?

Here’s why it’s not only useless to have a higher number of inactive followers, but why it’s actually damaging!

First of all, let’s get some perspective.

There are a few ways people go about this:

  • Buying Fake Followers
  • Lazy Follow/Follow Back Methods (this can be done right though)
  • Buying real likes via marketing
  • Organic Follows from people who genuinely enjoy your posts

You guessed it, the top 3 will lead to a higher ratio of people simply not engaging with your content. But focusing on engagement, having conversations in comments, DM’s, etc will build a network of true, active fans who engage with your content.

You know that means more actual people are noticing you, but is it really so wrong to have vanity numbers that look like social proof?

First of all it’s misleading and dishonest, especially if you’re buying fake likes or follows, but it will also decrease your reach through the algorithms on most social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

How are inactive followers harmful?

Let’s tell the imaginary tales of ‘The little profile that could’.

(Is anyone else thinking of Major Payne right now?)

This profile is on Instagram, yet behaves the same as many other platforms, and has 100 true followers that found and followed the profile organically.

‘The little profile that could’ posts something, and 10 of these true fans get to see it straight away, as Instagram tests it before pushing it out into the pool or other followers connected to the profile.

The Instagram algorithm wants to see if anyone likes or comments on it, to make sure it’s something people want to see.

After 5 people interact directly with this new post, Instagram realises that it’s quite popular and pushes it the other fans. But it doesn’t stop there, as more people see it, like it and comment it starts to trend in some of the hashtags it mentioned.

Before you know it this new post reaches hundreds of people and gains some new followers in the process. The profile now has even more true fans.

OK, let’s follow the adventure of a profile called ‘fake followers’.

‘Fake Followers’ has 10,000 inactive fans and posts something new. Instagram shows this new post to hundreds of the followers.. if they are even online.

No one likes, no one comments, people don’t even pause to look.

Instagram stops showing the post because it doesn’t show any signs of being engaged with and you reach even less people overall.

All we need is more likes

Does that make sense to you?

Follower numbers are a vanity metric.

Engagement and interaction are the true signs of influence on social media. So you need focus on:

  • Getting authentic, engaging followers (organic is best but can be slow)
  • Producing solid, valuable content
  • Maintaining a real connection with people who engage

This is literally like making friends and networking in real life, only it’s the internet.

If you’re boring, selfish and not engaging to talk to in real life you will never be popular – like your social media presence. If you just go around trying to claim random people are friends when they indeed aren’t, let’s see how many approach you when you next see them.

It’s that simple, fake followers are the same.

How do you make it happen?

You need authentic, engaging followers.

Don’t buy followers, make sure you engage with people on social media. This means responding to DM’s and comments form your posts and the posts of others. Add value to the conversation and head out into the world of social media and interact with people.

You can do a little “follow, follow back” for a while but the idea is to be less aggressive and converse with those people, like their posts and leave some comments whilst doing it. Don’t just follow them and leave the connection cold.

Engage, support them, be friends and socialize.

Produce Good Content.

Find a problem and solve it. It could be a tutorial on making something or fixing something or a list of the top tools for something or even jsut solve the problem of boredom by being entertaining (this is why meme pages are often huge).

Try to think what people would need from you instead of what you want to deliver. If you have people following you, ask them what they’d like from you.

Maintain that quality and engagement.

Set up a schedule and a system to keep things rolling to cover everything above. it can be a posting schedule along with a daily schedule to fit those tasks in. Some people spend 30 mins in the morning and 30 mins at night engaging, and batch create their content ahead of time.

What you need to do is figure out what is going to work best for you.

To wrap things up…

…you can’t be lazy or cheat the system.

Put the ‘social’ into social media as this is what they’re designed to work best with. So understanding what social media platforms want and what your potential audiences wants is the key.

I hope that has given you some insight on moving forward on social media. Any thoughts please consider dropping a comment on the page below. Otherwise, have an awesome day!