Why fake social media followers are bad for business

It’s understandable that brands want to look attractive on social media. This is why many brands focus on cultivating a large following online. Having a mighty digital following gives the appearance of a successful brand, however this couldn’t be further from the truth. At the end of the day, vanity metrics don’t pay the bills, but nurturing relationships and creating emotive content does.

This is easy said then done, especially as developing relationships and publishing quality content can take time to bear fruit. Purchasing followers or getting involved with follow chains can provide you with instant growth, but not the good kind.

Using unethical practices to grow your social media following attracts fake accounts which will long-term stunt brand growth. Read on to discover more on why a fake social media following can be bad for business.

How fake social media followers impact your account

Garnering a following filled with fake social media accounts will impact your account in so many ways. 

Firstly, fake social media accounts are often inactive accounts. This means they are very unlikely to engage or buy from your brand. Although the number of followers will initially make you appear popular, these vanity metrics will have a long-term impact on your engagement rates. This includes how and where your content ranks online and reducing the visibility of posts to your genuine followers, resulting in a loss in potential income.

Secondly, by focussing on generating and buying a fake following, this puts your account at risk of being suspended. Having an account restated after a suspension is relatively challenging to achieve. This is why it’s important to follow ethical social media practices to maintain a positive image online.

Finally, having fake accounts following on social media can also indicate that bots are looking to get access to you or your customers’ personal data. This is usually attempted by them engaging with you through private messenger or by them reaching out to your customers through “like”, “comment” and “share” giveaways. These type of giveaways are done publicly which provides fake social media accounts with a prime opportunity to target your followers. You can read more about why giveaways like these are bad for business by clicking here.

How to spot a fake social media account

There are many ways that you can spot a fake account, however some of the most common ways that you can identify a fake social media account include:

  • no profile picture or an obvious fake or generic image being used 
  • an unusual username or a name that makes no sense 
  • very few posts on their profile or publishing spammy content
  • following a lot of people or an appearance of fake social media followers  
  • contacts you straight away after following you to sell you something or to encourage you to click on a link (never click on the link)

How to remove fake social media followers

Removing fake social media followers from your account will help you to sow the seeds for success online. To do this, we’d recommend cleansing your platform by manually removing fake accounts on a regular basis.

Once this has been done, we would also recommend to implement regular cleanses of your account preferably on a monthly or quarterly basis. This will help keep your account in tip top shape and ensure your content is reaching the right people.