With social media now playing such an important role in online search rankings, many businesses are looking at ways to increase their Twitter following or their Facebook likes. This has given rise to a lucrative, if somewhat shady, industry which specializes in selling followers and likes. While buying these fans may seem like a good idea to create the idea of popularity, is it worth risking your credibility?

social media followers

A recent news report suggests that the fake social media industry is now worth hundreds of millions of dollars per year with off shore click farms offering Facebook likes, Twitter follows, YouTube views and many other social media actions for as little as 0.5 cents each. When it comes to social media, numbers do matter after all if a brand or individual has a million fans then surely they have something to say that is worth hearing! The more followers you have, the more you may attract. However, you would of course be attracting them based on false pretenses which could prove to be very damaging to your reputation.

Not only would you lose credibility if your dishonesty was revealed, but you also risk being penalized by the social networks themselves. Twitter have issued a ban on the buying and selling of followers and are keen to enforce it. Similarly, YouTube recently wiped a massive amount of fake views from many music videos which had suspicious numbers of views.

The following video from WhoIsHostingThis.com asks ‘Should You Buy Your Way to Social Media Fame?’ and offers some interesting statistics on the topic. For more information about the creators of the video click here to visit their blog.