I Bought Twitter Followers
Yup thats right! I bought followers for my twitter account.
I kept on hearing lots about this over the last few months, so I made the decision to look into this and see what difference it actually makes. I recognise that not everyone will like this post, but it seems to be something that is becoming quite prevalent in the world of social media. Everyone I know seems to hate, dislike or despise anyone that does this, yet the likelihood is that I will know at least one (if not more) people that have done this at some point.
I am pretty nervous writing this post because I'm not sure about the reaction this will receive. But I remind myself that this is my blog, where I write about the things that affect and interest me. Given that I spend so much time on twitter and really enjoy the communities I am part of on there, brought followers is someone that I would like to know more about and hopefully understand better.
So, I decided to get myself some brought followers to see whats really going on. I do acknowledge that its going to be hard to tell if theres any long term affects because I am writing this quite quickly after I brought followers, so its going to be very hard to make any long term judgements. Additionally this will also be affected by the number of followers I have brought.
Lets start at the beginning.
I, like some other bloggers have seen accounts jump up very quickly in follower numbers. Honestly its not a big thing for me because I don't see other bloggers as competition. But it can be hard when you are putting loads of effort into your content and time on twitter to build up a following, and then you see someone else increase their following in very quick / unrealistic time.
After this increase some are praised for their gain, some are 'told' they brought their following (despite having no real way to prove this). This is said as an insult and intended to degrade that person. Again this depends on your view, some see it as a valid investment, others see it as a naughty shortcut.
I guess one of the problems I have with the reaction is it feeds into the hate I have started to see on twitter in the last few weeks and months. That actually annoys me much more than anyone buying followers.
So how do you buy followers? Well I googled "buy twitter followers uk" there were a few sites and having a look around I found you can get followers or fans for Facebook pages, Instagram and Twitter. I focused on Twitter.
There seemed to be a similar offering and pricing plan on the 5 sites I looked at. Most offer prices for retweets and likes along with follower increases. The prices were all quite similar at: 100 followers for £2, 250 for £3, 500 for £5, 1,000 for £10, 2,500 for £18, 10, 000 £40 and 25,000 for £70.
I have not included links, Im sure if you want to look into this you can find your own sources.
Any cost is a cost, but I don't think these are very high prices. Which I personally think is really cool because it means its affordable. So people can actively choose to have a 'genuine' following (no brought followers), rather than just not be able to afford to buy them.
If someone has 672 followers, they could double their following for £5. Basically the price of a cup of coffee. But they choose to have their 'genuine' 672. I think thats pretty awesome. Personally I find this very empowering because I feel I have an active choice.
As I said at the start I wanted to try this out, so I have actually brought some followers to see what happens. I paid £3 for 250 followers. I don't want or feel the need to have a jumped up following, plus I don't want to waste money. I chose not to go for 100 because I want the change to be a bit noticeable too see if I get any reaction from anyone. Wether thats good or bad. I have posted a few times throughout the day so I should have appeared on feeds, however theres no way to know who's checked out the change in my follower numbers. Maybe no one knows, maybe no one cares?
At this point I want to say never give out your login details!
If you do look into brought followers or similar services, some places seem to ask for this. Know, there is no need to do this! This can (and often will) allow other individuals or companies to access your account. They will spam other accounts from yours, which can in turn lead to you getting a bad rep and even being banned. So don't give out your details!
I found that about 24 hours after I paid for this...service? That I had about a 3 hour period were my followers increased by 374. This is where there is a bit of a problem. I have gone for a low number of brought followers so its hard to tell if suddenly people call you out or if you gain more followers or opportunities because you have a bigger following. I guess this is the bit were I have done this half hearted maybe? Additionally I can't be exact with the number of brought followers because I would like to think 1 - 5 of those a genuine follower gains, hahaha.
Anyway, within 12 hours of my increase I have gained an additional 7 followers. So no real immediate reaction. I have not received anything from anyone asking about todays jump.
So for me there has been no big yay with the additional following. Another negative thing is that about 5 days after gaining the brought following I lost 191 followers. Now I can't accurately tell you why this is. However, it does fit with what some articles report, in that around a week after purchasing followers you will lose a certain number of them. I have no idea why this is other than to hook you in to keep buying more maybe?
My personal insight from this experience is that £3 has brought me around 183 followers (as of 14 days after purchase). I opted for a small amount so it is impossible to say "more brands and 'big' influencers will talk to me now" I can see how you could quickly become obsessed with stats and following. This week I have seen someone (3 people actually) I follow complaining because they only had so many likes on their instargram posts. Out came the hate for brought followers on other accounts and the dreaded Insta algorithm. Gone was appreciation for the followers that had interacted with them. Instead there was an expectation that they somehow deserved a certain amount of interaction just for posting.
Maybe I see things differently. In fact I know I do because we all do. That is the amazingness of communities and individuals. Im not here to say my view is the right view, or even that I'm 100% sure what my view is.
You may have seen, or even taken part (thank you if you did) in my recent twitter poll asking for peoples views on brought followers, so lets get informed.
Heres the results highlights
90% of 175 people said they would not buy followers
72% said its bad to buy, with 26% not caring
When asked what we should do if someone buys followers
35% leave them to it, 34% unfollow them, 24% ask them why, 7% we should shame them
What does this tell me? In general it backs up my perception of the communities views. People that buy followers are bad, we shouldn't talk to them. Some even think we should shame them. This kind of rolls into my view of the hate being worse that anyone buying followers.
I loved the 'Hashtag Realness' talk Rhianna recently gave at #BlogAtTheBeach. I am so glad she shared it on Facebook so I (I mean we) could watch. While discouraging it, she briefly spoke about the opportunity to buy followers, the upside of the numbers increase and the short term gain of potential exposure. While also highlighting the downside of less engagement (which in itself is becoming a stat that is looked at), not having a genuine following and potentially affecting future opportunities if your stats jump around a lot. For me this really fitted in with that idea of an informed choice and bloggers wanting that (for lack of another word) genuine following.
Im not saying what Rhianna thinks, I have no idea, and maybe I took a different meaning from the talk to everyone else. But hey, thats my view and for that reason I really liked that part of the talk. For me this better explains the fad around brought followers and the reason why I will not be doing this again.
Its not because I can't, or because someone else may say something horrible or hurtful about me. Its because I want a following (still sounds weird to say that) of people that are interested in me and with what I do, think and feel.
Working with certain people or groups in the future would be cool, but I would want them to want me, not my numbers. Even more than that, the reason I blog hasn't really changed from the beginning. I still do it for me. Yes theres more too it now, but I write to get thoughts, feelings, ideas out of my head. Sometimes they even start conversations, which is awesome. I don't write to get 100, 1,000 or 10,000 views. While Im sure I will always be glad when a cool milestone is hit, thats a bonus or an unexpected extra. It is not the reason or the desire.
My blog allows me to talk about things I never would have before. No way would I have talked about my mental health the way I do on here in real life before (even still now sometimes), or sex! So I'm really pleased to have looked into and talked about brought followers.
Yes, I've done it. I don't feel dirty or like scum. If you don't want to talk to me again thats cool.
I think that brought followers can bring you quick success, but it will be at the cost of, heres that word again, genuine interaction.
Would you buy followers? Whats your view of those that do?