The Social Media Black Market

There is a reason some athletes use steroids beyond an increase in strength and endurance. Simply put, cheating is easier than the hard work and dedication that natural athletes train with. This principle does not only apply to professional sports, it also exists within the social media community. From the moment that people realized that huge amounts of money could be made from new media, services have existed that guarantee thousands of followers and fans for a modest price. A quick Web search of “buy Facebook fans” generates dozens of companies that promise legitimate, no hassle, money back guarantee service.

It may seem tempting to buy into the idea that in having thousands of Twitter followers or Facebook likes will give your work a level of notoriety. Unfortunately many of the companies behind pay-for-traffic services are neither legitimate nor effective. Below are several reasons why you would be better off buying a good luck pendant from a mystic rather than pay for likes, views, or followers.

Your ‘Followers’ Are Either Robots Or They Don’t Care

The majority of followers that these services drive to your site are not through organic traffic. This means that these will not be people interested in what you are either selling or making. Most of the time your likes on Facebook or Twitter followers won’t even be real people but bots created by the companies. On several of these company’s websites they promise hundreds if not thousands of followers in matter of days but never mention just how they will be doing this. If they told their clients that they were using bots and spam to get fans, well, I don’t think business would be doing that well.



The People Behind These Services Are Not Legitimate Business Owners

Like a modern day Harry Houdini exposing phony shamans and snake oil peddlers, I did some research on several of the companies that provide these services. The biggest lie from the start is their ‘testimonials’ by singers, politicians, and business owners. Each client praises so and so company for helping them drive thousands of visitor’s to their sites. A quick Google search however uncovers that these people are not business owners and artists, they aren’t even real. The majority of the sites also have tabs at the bottom that say something like ‘as seen on’ then have logos for CNBC and ABC. These claims are almost always fictional and if a credible news outlet did feature them, it is to expose their scams.


The Number of Likes Or Followers You Have Does Not Matter

You could have millions of followers but if they are not interested in your work, what is the point? The bottom line is that you want to generate followers and likes based on your work being recognized as quality content. Of course having hordes of followers will get you noticed but if you needed to pay to get them, your work probably is not that good. Generate traffic from recognizing your audience and generating content based on their interests.



In the end, the amount of followers you obtain via social media on the surface doesn’t matter, its the brand equity and/or revenue you build through social meda.

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