Who doesn’t want to be liked ? We all want to be surrounded with people that we get on with who value our opinions as much as we value theirs. On social media this is translated into how may followers we have and many heart our images and add comments. We are starting to equate popularity with the finite measuring metric that is the the number of followers.
This popularity contest has resulting in people and companies resorting to some underhanded tactics to increase the number of followers – buying followers. There are several services online that allow you to do just that. Simply search your favourite search engine for “buy followers” and a host of services will pop up that will offer you thousands of accounts for your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Typically these are “zombie accounts” which are essentially dormant accounts made up of names and numbers where the only purpose is to to follow accounts. Looks good on the stats paper but does nothing for real engagement. Some of the more expensive sites, maintain a list of semi-active accounts so they are able to sell “real followers”.
How do the Buy Followers service work ?
Ignoring the ethics for a moment, what is concerning is how many companies are willing to give up their most sensitive information for the sake of more followers. The “buy followers” services work on the basis that they add your username and password into their system and they log into the social media as if they are you. Some claim they don’t need your login credentials –but all of the ones I looked at at some point during the transactions do.
There are now two methods to get you more followers. The first is that they use the power of their own users. The more people that have given them their usernames and password (or merely signed up for the service), means that they have enough accounts to follow each other. ie. They put all their users to follow and like each other’s accounts therefore instantly increasing the follower counts. The second method is that they use your account to like and follow random accounts and random photos. Usually this results in a percentage of accounts that will follow you back and thereby increase your follower count. Some services even have the un-follow option to unfollow those random accounts once they follow you back so you account maintains a good ratio between the number of people you are following compared to number of people that follow you back. This ratio is critical as it is a good indicator to show accounts that simply follow with the hope that people follow you back. Therefore, an accounts with 23000 followers might look impressive, but when seeing 22 900 is the number of users the accounts follows it shows an almost one to one ratio.
There is an App for it
We tend to be more cautious when using websites, however when it comes to app, we tend to completely relax our stance on security and readily enter our username and passwords into apps. Therefore, the scammers have flooded the app stores with buy more followers apps :
If you are still tempted to use any of these services, check out the comments that users have left:
I bought followers what can I do ?
If you have had a lapse in good judgment and signed up for these services, the first thing to do is change your social media username and password. This will prevent your account from being exploited.
Change your account to private to prevent more fake follower being added to you and causing you more reputation damage.
Go through the recent followers and report these fake accounts.
Change back to Public and keep a close eye on your comments. If anyone posts anything such as “I used this service and got these followers” block them too.