As one of the longest-running forms of social networking, Twitter’s perfunctory style (only 140 characters per tweet) means it’s challenging to gain a following. Some restaurants avoid Twitter altogether because of the frustration of tweeting to an empty forest. That’s why those ads for fake followers can be so tempting.
But should you really do it?
The practice of paying for followers on Twitter isn’t new. In the 2012 presidential election, Mitt Romney attracted unwanted attention with a dramatic increase in followers in a single day. Fake followers are easy to get, inexpensive and can boost your confidence. Celebrities and brand names do it all the time. But, ethics aside, are fake fans a good idea? Here are both sides of the argument.
Sure, Buy Followers
With a few dollars, you can buy a few thousand followers and feel good about how your restaurant looks to others. If your competition has many followers, you can match that number or exceed it. There might be other reasons to buy followers; for example, you need to take a screenshot of your page for promotional reasons, or your restaurant will be in the limelight due to a news story. Having a stock of followers on Twitter lends legitimacy when others are looking. Also consider the law of attraction — if your account appears lively and interesting enough that many people follow it, others will want to participate. There’s nothing wrong with buying a few followers to get real ones.
Don’t Buy Followers
One good reason not to buy followers is that others probably don’t care that much about your follower count. Spend some time on Twitter, and you’ll soon realize what matters is the quality of your tweets and ability to capitalize on hashtags. Do those two things, and you’ll acquire followers naturally. Another reason to avoid fake fans is that the companies providing them control their accounts. You could wind up with throngs of followers whose profiles promote causes you don’t believe in or are antithetical to your business.
There are other quick ways to get followers besides buying them. Hold a contest on your Facebook page or Instagram account and make a requirement that entrants follow you on Twitter. An even more solid route: Host an Amazon giveaway. Choose a book or other product on Amazon that reflects your cultural ethos. When you designate it as a giveaway, Amazon will ask for your Twitter handle and let you require the participants to follow you. Since thousands of people enter Amazon giveaways, you’ll soon be hearing the pleasant ping that means a new follower has landed in your nest.