Since the dawn of Twitter and Facebook there has been a high level of importance set on the number of followers or likes a person or business has. When you have an enormous number of people following you it makes you appear more credible, well known, and cooler than another person or business who doesn’t. But, if you are not yet well know, credible, and cool then you might decide to purchase fake followers or likes so that you appear to be. The irony that comes with the purchasing of this fake following is priceless for many reasons.

1. It is easy to spot. Most people/businesses who have an authentically high amount of followers usually because they are eminent in one way or another. They are widely known in their field therefore many people will follow them. If you are not, when someone visits your Twitter of Facebook page they will wonder why you have such a high amount of followers raising a red flag.

2. It takes time to build a quality following. You do not gain massive amounts of followers overnight. A large increase in your following in a very short amount of time will raise a red flag, even for those who are famous. For example, Mitt Romney was busted in July 2012 for having fake followers when he gained 100,000 new followers on Twitter over a weekend.

3. Fake followers look unsurprisingly fake. When people/businesses purchase fake followers on Twitter they are usually given followers who profile pictures look similar and has a very low number of followers and posts, if any at all. These profiles are easily identifiable as being fake.

4. Your credibility will be tarnished. If your goal is to be seen as someone important buying fake followers will give you the exact opposite effect. Being that it is easy to spot a person/business with fake followers, when you are caught you will be seen as a fake, a liar, and a fraud. Authenticity is respected on social platforms; fabrication is not.

5. You gain absolutely NOTHING! The purpose of being on a social network is to be……social and build relationship capital. From a business’s stand point when your followers are fake you are not marketing to anyone, conversing with current and potential customers, or gaining insight on your product(s), services(s), or brand. The only thing you gain from the purchase of fake followers is a false sense of how your brand is performing.

The momentary perception of your high following doesn’t outweigh the everlasting perception of being fraudulent once you are caught. Growing a following organically on Twitter and/or Facebook is a very rewarding process as it lets you know that the people who do follow you do because they choose and want to. It shows that you are doing something right or helps you figure out what you are doing wrong. The term “Fake it until you make it” doesn’t quite work on social media.

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