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By Sarah Lagro

Social media sites that utilize a follower system, such as Twitter and Instagram, have exploded within the last decade. Millions of users flock to social media platforms to connect, market their brand, etc. But one thing never seems to change: people who have a lot of followers are somehow idolized or important. This has led to the scandalous practice of buying followers. It might make you look cool, but exchanging your credit card number for a few thousand fake accounts is a huge waste of time.

twiiter-graph

http://www.statista.com/statistics/282087/number-of-monthly-active-twitter-users/

For the sake of examples I’ll focus on Twitter. It’s a miniature blog platform where you can follow accounts, like their posts or “tweets”, repost or “retweet” tweets from other users, and communicate with other Twitter users through direct message or by @ing them. Depending on whether you are a personal, professional or commercial account followers can range from 20 to two million. What aids in follower count is whether an account is official or “verified.” Verification usually indicates the account is a credible person or company.

In my personal experience with Twitter, the more followers you have the cooler you are. More followers means more attention, and more attention means certain people can sleep better at night I suppose. Followers are traditionally liked with engagement, interest and regular tweeting/retweeting. But now followers can be earned by a few clicks and a credit card. Buying followers can be as low as $1 from sites like buycheapfollowersfast.com, who also sell Vine, Instagram and Twitter followers as well as YouTube views. If someone is willing to pay, that same someone can suddenly go from 200 followers to 200,000 overnight.

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(See link to buycheapfollowers)

Buying followers is a waste of money and defeats the purpose of social media. Those fake accounts users buy to follow them will not engage or like any posts. Those accounts don’t like pictures of your cats or retweet the latest menu from your restaurant. Fake followers are just that: FAKE. If anyone wants to boost their follower count or reach across a given platform, they have to earn it and work for it. Talking to your followers, posting more original content or even doing a giveaway will do a user more good instead of wasting money on bots and fake followers.

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