Is Paying for 'Likes' and 'Followers' for Your Social Media Posts Worth it? Think Again! You may spend a huge amount of money to buy likes and followers for your social media posts and pages but while that may appear impressive, the lack of genuine interaction or feedback means that the investment has not been the right decision

By Peter Tseros

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Growing a following and growing it fast can be one of the most important parts of an online business. By not doing this you may fall victim to the likelihood of failure, as more than half of small businesses collapse within the first five years of their life. It comes as no surprise though that finding a group of buyers or followers can reduce the chances of this happening to you.

As a result, many feel the need to rush and grow a following now, in order to start churning out profit from day one. Yes, in theory this is possible. However, it's very unlikely that paying for a following can be the answer to your concerns. "Purchased followers are likely bots or inactive accounts; so they won't engage with your posts. This means your posts won't show up on 'explore pages', or on your real audience's news feeds," says blogger and marketing expert Caroline Forsey.

At the end of the day, it's not about how many likes you have on your Facebook page or how many Instagram followers you have. Rather, it's all about what those followers are doing once they see your posts on their news feed. If they aren't interacting with your posts, what's the point of them being there and most importantly, what's the point of paying them to be there?

Instantly, that has become an unnecessary expense and an expense that can prove to be quite costly over time. A genuine audience that actually cares about your content or brand is way more valuable than a following that doesn't engage. Furthermore, only roughly 6.5 per cent of your overall following on Facebook actually see your posts, implying that 6.5 per cent that see it are the actual followers of your content but they will likely not interact.

You need to maximise the return from the 6.5 per cent of your followers that see your posts and it doesn't matter if you have 100 followers or 100,000 followers. The goal should be the same. However, this doesn't mean that all paid social boosts can be bad for your online business.

Remember, a brand with a Facebook page that has a large amount of likes looks more credible, which could act in your favour when a real follower is looking through your content. In addition, a boosted post works very different to paying for likes and followers.

"If you boost a post, Facebook will always optimize just for more post engagement–more likes, shares, comments, and so on. So even if you decide to boost a link post, Facebook will still optimize for engagement and not link the clicks," media researcher and writer Adomas Baltagalvis states. What he means is that unlike paying for followers in the hope that you find people to like future posts, boosting a post guarantees interaction on a specific post, as you have already paid for the level of interactions.

If you pay for 100 likes, 10 comments and 20 link clicks, guess what, Facebook will make sure you get that, as that's what you have paid for. Meanwhile, with Facebook likes or followers, you have paid for your followers to increase and not for your followers to interact. Therefore, just remember that this is the difference between paying for a following and finding genuine interaction.
Peter Tseros

Personal banker, BankVic


Peter is a personal banker at BankVic, a former business founder and experienced journalist. He has worked for a number of leading publications in Australia, India and the US since completing his Masters in Media and Communications. 

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