A strong social media following can really boost your career. More and more, how popular you are on these mediums factors into landing an audition, getting a meeting or booking a role. With that pressure, it can be tempting to take a short cut to boost your numbers. But is buying social media followers the right move?
In this week’s Acting Business Bite, TAC Mentor and Founder of Spotlight PR Company Tammy Lynn offers some important factors to consider before you spend your hard-earned cash.
Whether you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or some other social platform, success is measured by how popular you are. That’s right, whether you like it or not, the more followers, fans, or subscribers you have, the more perceived credibility you’ve got in the social media world.
So, how do you increase your numbers? That’s the question that almost everyone is looking for an answer to. Well, if you’ve spent any time a social media then you’ve likely seen an advertisement to buy followers, fans, likes and subscribers.
The notion of purchasing followers is not a secret. There are a lot of companies on every social media platform that give you the opportunity to exchange cash for followers. This sounds amazing, right? Well, before you spend your hard-earned cash on followers…I think there are a few things to consider.
Determine Your Goals
Deciding whether or not to purchase followers is a personal choice. The smartest way to evaluate what’s best for you is to first determine your goals. If you’re looking to gain long-term fans that will follow you across platforms and share your work with their followers…then padding your numbers is probably not going to help.
However, if you need a quick boost in numbers in order to qualify for an audition (which is happening more and more) or if you’re looking for a little help to establish a brand new account…then you might consider buying some followers to get the ball rolling.
But be careful. It’s easy to tell when someone is a follower-buyer. I do not suggest buying thousands of followers at a time…ever!
The ‘Zombie’ Effect
When you purchase followers, most of the time these new followers are ‘zombie’ accounts. They follow you, but are essentially braindead when it comes to engagement. They will have zero cross-over to your other social media accounts and will never comment, interact or repost anything you share.
So, even though it might look like you’ve got 10,000 Twitter followers, in truth you may only have 700 real-person, engaged followers. This means that if you’re being asked to help with promotional campaigns, crowdfunding and more, you must be honest about exactly how much influence you really have. Set yourself and these social media campaigns up for success by disclosing your number of engaged followers vs. the fancy big-number zombie followers you’ve purchased.
The Hidden Costs
In addition to the actual financial outlay of buying followers, there are some other hidden costs that you should be aware of. You might be putting your reputation on the line if your Twitter followers jump drastically overnight without a legitimate reason. If you decide to purchase followers, consider timing it around a premiere, festival or other event that would naturally explain a boost in your numbers.
Also, be prepared to get caught. If Twitter or any of the other platforms discover that you’ve purchased followers, at a minimum they will delete all of these ‘follows’ from your account.
Don’t believe me? Just ask Justin Bieber who lost 3.5 million Instagram followers for this very reason. And, they could delete your account altogether for violating their ‘policy’, but rarely do for first-time offenders.
The one account that I will warn you to NEVER attempt to manipulate is IMDb. They take their STARmeter, MOVIEmeter and COMPANYmeter very seriously and will freeze your account for up to a year if they suspect you have attempted to influence their system. This can have a huge impact on your acting career considering industry insiders use IMDb on a daily basis. And, trust me…I know someone who actually experienced this.
Overall when it comes to your social media accounts, I believe in being honest and prefer the genuine followers to those who aren’t real. Sure, there may be some short-term value to getting a big boost in numbers. But if you focus on sharing quality content, connecting in a real way with other users, and building a strong following over time, your career will probably thank you.
Tammy Lynn is the Head Publicist and Founder of Spotlight PR Company where she has used her awesome talents to help hundreds of actors, filmmakers, musicians, and comedians craft their public image, develop name recognition and build buzz for themselves and their projects.
With more than 15 years experience, Tammy has worked in Los Angeles and New York City for some of the largest PR companies in the business. She creates, oversees, and implements PR strategy, while cultivating relationships with media outlets around the country.
Here’s the best part. Tammy is actually affordable. Unlike other PR firms who charge you thousands of dollars each month, Tammy offers a-la-carte publicity services that work. She’ll help you set up a solid PR plan, prepare for interviews, and communicate your star power with the right media attention.
She is, in a word, fabulous.
Get going right now at www.spotlightprcompany.com.