Oct 26, 2012

Fake followers and the upshot of dodgy social media

You may have heard of black hat search engine optimisation, but what about black hat social media? Patrick Stafford of SmartCompany asks if it works.

For a few years now, companies have been hiring the services of businesses and individuals to artificially inflate their follower numbers. Whether it’s on Twitter or Facebook, “likes” or “followers” are simply another commodity ready to be sold or traded at will. This practice has only become more important as social media plays a bigger role in any company’s strategy. And there are plenty of businesses making a living selling success.

Forget about the stigmas attached to it for just a minute,” says Mat Carpenter, head of local social media firm GetWithSocial. “With us, each new fan or follower is a potential lead — if your business wants to explore a new sales channel or is looking to secure new, long-term customers then I would definitely say it’s essential.”

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One thought on “Fake followers and the upshot of dodgy social media


    This used to be a pretty big thing back in the MySpace days. Back a few years ago, it was almost impossible to get gigs as a band without being able to demonstrate to promoters that you had a decent number of myspace followers. As a result there where a number of companies you could hire to get a bunch of thousand extra followers. Almost all would be low-quality accounts that would spam the crap out of your wire but never ever ever attend a gig, and to be honest i suspect most where either stolen or bot generated accounts.

    It was really distorting of the music scene with utterly useless bands getting high profile gigs based on artificially inflated MySpace followings, whilst genuinely well liked and good bands would wallow away struggling to get $50 gigs at tiny crowded garbage pubs.

    Thankfully, those days seem to be over, and its all about facebook now. Not that that doesn’t bring its own problems.

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