This world and its dynamics are changing fast. Most of our offline work has shifted online. Everyone of us is online as well. Not to mention, much of the old-world marketing strategies, to woo customers, have gone digital too. As such, everyone is in some kinda rat-race of sorts. With emergence of social-media influencers; for brands, celebrities alone aren't important to endorse products any more. As such, everyone and their entire khandaan wants to be an infuencer these days. And of course, you are considered an infuencer if you have over 1-2k followers or more. Some people are getting desperate in that process, it seems.
The other day, I was looking at some twitter profile of a particular blogger. It had some 900 odd followers that time, with over 20k tweets; and the profile was active from 2009. After 2 days, when I looked at the profile again, it had a whopping 2.5k followers. In just two days??? I wondered. Calculate, if in 6 years you had 900, how come in 2 days, you jumped double that number. Not just that, the next day itself it had crossed over 3k ( now it has crossed 4k too, lol ). Of course, I got my Detective ND goggles on, and started my investigations i.e checking out the followers. All weird names, they were, from strange countries. So, I got it instantly - these were paid followers! Suspicious, I searched accounts of few other social-media handles of so-called self-acclaimed 'influencers'; who even writes the same in their profile as 'Social Media Influencer'. Their followers too were all weird names.
You can buy followers, both in twitter and facebook ( and perhaps in other platforms too ). But what happens is, you end up getting in bulk, either bots or followers from different countries - say..Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and other such places. Does it really serve any purpose? Sure, your follower-count looks fat and nice, but do these artificial followers give any genuine returns? For example - will they ever read your blog or try a product you are recommending? That product may not even be available in their country, and why would a BOT buy anything, anyways :s So, you just spend your money fooling yourself. Sure, you may get some ignorant Brands giving you assignments just based on those numbers alone, but will their 'brand-message' actually reach the target audience? No! And, more importantly, do you feel good from within knowing some fake that too bought followers are following you? I wouldn't.
Brands too make mistake of buying followers. At times, they may strike lucky and indeed get a few genuine followers; but what about the other times, when their posts reaches only bots or non-relevant target audience? For example, Facebook feeds are sent to only 10% of a page's followers, for rest, one need to purchase 'promotional/boost packs'. So, if a brand has bought both the followers as well as the promotional booster pack, will it really reach the ones its meant to reach? Highly, unlikely. Isn't it just wasting money in the process?
Its always better to let followers grow organically. It may take time, but at least, you can be sure they are relevant and are genuinely interested in your stuff :-) By the way, do read my post on - How to be a Social Media Influencer - Here!