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Fake social media engagements aren't the way forward

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In a world that revolves around validation from how many likes or views your social media content gains, it’s easy to see why people are swayed by the temptation to invest in fake engagements from bots in order to make their products or services appear to be more popular than they really are.

Though this may seem like an opportunity to quickly populate your channels, fake engagements aren’t the way forward when it comes to sales. Though it requires more time and patience, a long-term strategy aiming to gain authentic followers and engagement is much more worthwhile to your business than fake engagements.

Fake social media engagements aren't the way forward

Take a look at US based ‘band’, Threatin

One individual who got sucked into the idea that a fake online fanbase would allow him to get anywhere in life is the US based musician, Jered Threatin. He purchased around 38,000 likes on Facebook, alongside video views, and other engagements. Despite faking this online fame and setting up a UK tour, he ended up out of pocket due to the fact nobody turned up to any of his performances. The biggest audience he managed to generate was a mere ‘crowd’ of two.

This just demonstrates that, despite having a social media account that appears to have a huge following and is populated by ‘popular’ content, it won’t necessarily swindle people into putting any money into what you’re offering. It can make you look impressive, but what’s the point in your brand simply looking good if it’s not working towards making you a success?

Customers will do their research

Though you may get a small handful of potential customers who fall for your fake social media engagements, the majority of your audience won’t be so easily duped. If an online user is considering making a purchase from your business, it’s likely they will look for more proof of authenticity before actually parting way with their cash.

At this point, they will want to see more than a large number of followers and likes; they will want to read reviews, comments or view some kind of customer generated content to gather a bit more information about the customer experience. Bots aren’t capable of creating authentic looking comments and reviews, so at this stage you’re likely to lose interest if you don’t have those authentic engagements in place.

Similarly, if you’re an influencer wishing to work with brands, rest assured that they will have done their research before approaching the influencers they want to work with. Brands will be likely to ask for a copy of your analytics in order to check the ratio of followers to engagement levels or to identify any anomalies in terms of random spikes of followers and will choose to work with influencers with proven, authentic results.

Social networks are wising up

Those that have succumbed to the temptation of faking their online popularity will find that their efforts have been in vain anyway, as Instagram has pledged to use machine learning tools to identify and clean up fake social media engagements, such as comments, likes, and followers. With Instagram pledging to do so, it’s likely other social networks will closely follow suit to ensure there are less fraudulent cases of brands and influencers claiming to be more worthwhile of investment than they really are.

Though it may take some time to develop these smart machines dedicated to clearing social media of robot accounts, when they are eventually implemented those followers and engagements you once invested in will disappear as quickly as they appeared, leaving your accounts looking empty and unpopular. With this in mind, you can see why that money would be better invested in a long-term strategy that grows your accounts over time and creates an authentic customer base willing to advocate your products and services.

For more social media advice, visit our blog and select the social media category for further tips and tricks.

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