This example speaks for itself. A new brand of cosmetics comes to market with a revolutionary technology to tighten the skin and give you a younger look. It opens its website, store, and accounts on major social media. But sales don’t follow. Indeed: who is going to trust an unknown brand that has only a few dozen fans? so it’s buy fans a solution?
Proof by likes
Before the advent of social internet or web 2.0, all you had to do was post a few testimonials from delighted users on your online store.
Later, when the first social media emerged, you had to show share buttons on every page to show that you were at the cutting edge of web 2.0. But very quickly, companies started to race for “likes”. For a very good reason.
Social proof – in other words, the willingness to follow what one’s peers do – is a powerful motivator that pushes prospects to buy. And the more a web page displays social proof (of likes, shares, comments…), the more popular it appears.
And what’s popular is necessarily good. So I buy. Simple, isn’t it? By the way, even search engine algorithms are very popular with sites that have a lot of likes.
The circle of the beginner
Let’s get back to our small cosmetics company. It will have to wait to get its first customers and the corollary, its first fans. It takes time to build an audience, a community and a clientele.
And money too: you have to invest to make yourself known. And there’s a vicious circle that every beginner knows.
You send targeted traffic to a page that has very little social proof. But since it doesn’t seem to be reliable enough (because too few people “like” this page), it meets only a limited public infatuation. The popularity, today, can be seen immediately. And the sanction is harsh.
How to break this negative chain? By buying fans. It’s simple after all. Many sites offer to buy subscribers, likes. Five hundred, one thousand, ten thousand. You choose, you pay and you have your social proof. Boom, boom, there you go. A good idea? Not really, and here’s why.
3 reasons why you shouldn’t buy fans
1-Subscribers that have been purchased disappear over time. Fans” or “subscriber” providers guarantee 70-80% retention. Make no mistake. These fans will unsubscribe (if they are humans, and sometimes even if they are robots). So there is no sustainability in this approach.
2 – The key to winning on a social network is to create commitment. Let your fans react in any way they can. A thumb up, a like, a comment. The more engagement you have, the more social networking algorithms will work to make you visible. The fans who generate that valuable engagement are the ones who found you themselves and enjoy your content. Impossible to replicate with fans you buy.
3 – Finally, the social network algorithms (always them) will quickly notice that there is a problem on your account if you suddenly have a big increase of fans. Some providers offer to add fans in a progressive way, but again – don’t try to “play” around with these algorithms. Those who have tried have burned their wings.
Conclusion? You already know it. Build your audience honestly. And to speed up your community building, offer bolder content that will bring more people in. After all, isn’t creating more value the time-honored and only sustainable way to capture and retain a market?