Should You Buy Twitter Followers?

A picture of a Twitter account
••• Dreaming of big Twitter followers. Know the pros and cons before parting with your money. Photo © Getty Images

Tweeting to a low number of followers can feel like you're standing on a cliff shouting into the air at no one. That's when you see that ad promising thousands of Twitter followers delivered in less than 24 hours. Could this be the magic potion that puts your Twitter account on the map? Consider this before buying followers in hopes of building your brand on Twitter: 

There's No Penalty for Buying Followers
When you buy fans on Facebook, you're hurting yourself because of Facebook's proprietary algorithm on how many people get to see your posts.

Twitter isn't like that. If you tweet it, your message goes out to all of your followers without you having to reach a certain threshold before more of your audience sees your message.

That's a good thing for you if you're thinking about buying Twitter followers. It means every single Twitter user who's following you will get to see your message, targeted or not, bought or not. However, if you're banking on Twitter to never change how users see message, you could be in for a surprise. You can't count on any social media site to continually do business the same way. Just remember, there was a time when every one of your Facebook fans saw your message without having to meet the site's limits before unlocking another set of your fans to see your posts. 

You'll Get an Instant Follower Boost
You may have had your Twitter account for years and you just can't get it past 100 or 1,000. Buying Twitter followers will give you an instant boost to your follower count.


Today you can have 100 followers and tomorrow morning you can have 10,100. That instant boost can make you feel better but...

It's Just a Quick Fix
The money you spend on followers may offer a quick fix to a low follower count but the effect is short term. There's a better way to get your money's worth.

Invest in a social media consultant. A true professional can help you kickstart your social media campaign and give you results that will have positive, long-term results for your brand.

Targeted Followers Come at a Premium Price
You don't have to look on the Internet long to find sites that will add 3,000, 5,000, even 20,000 Twitter followers in exchange for a mere $5. But before you part with your Abraham Lincoln, you should know that these followers are undoubtedly untargeted. 

In other words, about 99% of any real followers you get will have no real interest in what it is you're saying. Professional marketing companies make big bucks finding those targeted followers -- people who will not only want to read your tweets but will also engage with you and re-tweet your content. You won't be getting that for $5.

Your Followers Will Drop
If you're buying Twitter followers in bulk, that instant boost you got will start to decrease. Most of the fans you get will be fake accounts. People wanting to make a buck set up these accounts with the only intention of using the usernames to follow you when you order from them.

Twitter can purge thousands of these types of accounts at a time. That means the followers you bought will start dropping off.

You could easily pay for something right now that will soon disappear.

Low Engagement Won't Help You
Think quality vs. quantity when it comes to followers. Would you rather have 100 Twitter followers who interact with you and share your tweets or would you have 10,000 Twitter followers who probably never read your messages and definitely don't engage with you?

Low engagement doesn't help your company. You can be persistent in your social marketing efforts and slowly build real, loyal followers that interact with you, share your message with their followers and use your hashtags to generate even more buzz.

It's Not Easy to Get Rid of Fake Followers
If you've bought Twitter followers, you'll notice a lot of fake accounts showing up under your followers list. As your real audience finds you, you'll want to get rid of those pages and pages of fake accounts following you.

However, there's not a simple tool to bulk delete these followers. You will have to manually go through those thousands of followers and that's valuable time you could have spent managing your social media campaign.

Buying Followers Can Hurt Your Reputation
It's not that hard to spot who's bought Twitter followers and who's grown their followers organically. There are even sites dedicated to outing Twitter users who have followers that aren't real.

One of the more popular sites called Status People shows that of Bill Gates' 20 million followers, 10% are fake, as of this writing. TIME has 15% fake followers of its 7 million followers and 8% of Anderson Cooper's 5.6 million followers are also fake, according to the website. But it's country singer Blake Shelton's Twitter count that really captures everyone's attention. The site says 92% of his 10 million followers are fake. It's important to note not every fake account spotted means you've bought followers. There are bots in action auto-following you and they will toy with your numbers but when a majority of your followers are fake accounts, what could have been your loyal followers will think twice before following you.