I wanted to write about a confusing and even controversial marketing topic today – Paid Social Media Growth, Engagement & Followers. Specifically, what it can do for small businesses and startups, and why, as a marketing professional, I decided to open a side business for it.
There are a LOT of myths and mixed reviews out there about this topic. I hope to shed some light on this topic for anyone interested and even educate those who are most curious. First – and most importantly – what is the difference between real and fake paid social media?
Fake social media and “bots” are accounts that are created in mass quantity to look like real accounts, but that do not have a true user behind them. I do not sell or endorse the use of bots or fake accounts, especially any kind engineered to promote negativity or hatred.
However, real paid social media are accounts that were created by a genuine human, with an email address that is attached to a real account, owned by a real person. Real social media accounts can include accounts that are highly visible and highly active as well as accounts that are not so active. But they are real.
Paid real social media can do a number of positive things for individuals and businesses. But before I mention the benefits, what CAN’T they do for you?
Buying social media followers and engagement IS NOT equal to acquiring new fans and customers. You are not buying true fans, real customers or anyone guaranteed to like or buy your products or services. Some might be converted if your content is just amazing, others may never even know they follow you.
I come from the world of retail sales and leadership – with over 12 years in corporate experience – and now I run my own digital marketing business. I subscribe to the ideology of “Customer experience/service over everything.” Customer experience is how a customer feels about your business and your brand, how likely they are to refer you to their friends and family, and often times, their “buying decision” is determined by whether or not they got a confident and strong feeling about who you are as company, or the person that was helping them. Paid social media is the tech side of this very same concept, and when used correctly, can help you grow your business at a significantly faster rate.
When you buy real social media accounts as followers/subscribers/page likes or engagement strategies, think of it really as “reputation services.” Paid social media can attract new organic real customers, (Customers – not followers – attract organic paying customers!) because when that person decided to check out your ad, your boost, your profile or your post, they were given a strong, confident feeling and felt reassured of your business because …. drumroll …. other people like and follow you too.
Yes, the world is full of or leaders and followers, but psychologically, and even on a subconscious level, people will feel more confident and positive about something that other people also like. People like to feel like they are part of the in-crowd, and not drifting off into uncharted territory, especially in business where they might get ripped off and misled.
Real paid social media on YouTube, for example, can truly make the difference in your business by applying the right keyword strategy along with applying paid likes, ranking views, comments and more. By doing this, you can take the top spots on YouTube searches when people are looking for content related to what you offer. That alone is huge! But the strategy (which you can access here in a FREE PDF Guide) is critical. You have to follow a few steps in order to have your videos rank well, not just slap on some engagement randomly.
Real paid social media can take your new small business / startup profile from 62 likes or even 1!!!! page follower to a few thousand to start, so that when you put out your first few posts about your amazing (actually amazing!) product and service, people don’t judge you and discount you simply because you are new! This is HUGE. And it happens all the time. Valid, amazing businesses are ignored because they are simply new, and its sad. It’s like when you need job experience to get a job. Help! It has to start somewhere… so, maybe you “fake it till you make it,” so to speak. Just like you might have to use your friend or parent’s business for a job reference to land that first important position, you can use paid social media to jump start your profile or a post to get others to take you more seriously and give you a chance.
It is the difference between someone going “ugh, 23 followers? Who are they?? Are they Legit?” and instead seeing strong numbers like “5,326” and going “Oh, cool. Let me check out their website / post / service, etc.”
The Power of Advertising and Influence.
Paid social media engagement and emoticons can be added to your boosted posts and advertisements to start strong — making sure you get the best value for your ads, and so you don’t have to put an advertisement out there with nothing, hoping that one person is going to randomly give you the benefit of the doubt and give you that first “like” or comment. (TRUTH: MOST ads you see have paid engagement on them!)
MOST accounts that are managed by marketing firms and agencies have paid engagement on them — they just don’t tell the client that!) It will help STOP THEIR MINDLESS SCROLLING and think “Oh wait, this looks cool an popular, let me read it too.”
Especially with the emoticon services. Marketers will PRE LOAD laughs, loves, angry etc! to intentionally influence other people’s emotional reactions and influence them to have those same reactions. PSYCH101, people…
Social Media Influencer’s, who get paid to promote other people’s content, often throw on paid social media engagement too – even IF they have 100k + followers that will like your post, they want even more. Why? To give you and everyone else a strong, confident feeling that things are going well! To help things go viral! To make you more money, and so on.I’ve often referred to paid social media as online marketers dark little secret. These services have been used by your favorite celebs, tech companies, blogs, politicians, major corporations and more. However, many marketing businesses are not transparent about it. They say they will get you explosive engagement, but never tell you how.
While I fully believe in using paid social media, I don’t feel comfortable operating that way. As a communication consultant, and a someone who cares a great deal about entrepreneurs, small business owners and customer experience as a whole, I decided I wanted to be extra transparent about it. Help educate people on WHY its a good idea, and let people know that, basically, if you’re not using it – you’re falling behind and not being competitive enough.
Don ‘t Worry, Be Happy!
Again, paid social media – using real accounts – are not hurting your accounts, and they are not bots. Facebook and Instagram, for example, don’t shut your account down for doing it. They turn the other way because, unlike bots, they can see they are real accounts. They might not love the fact that servers are forcing the actions they take, but ultimately, the platforms still win. Think about it, if someone’s ad does significantly better, they will keep paying for more ads. If a video was super popular and went viral, that platform gets more traffic and more users. And so do you. So, its really a win-win situation for all.
Are you interested yet? Even a little curious?
If you are interested in learning more about how to apply a paid social media growth strategy to their accounts properly, what to buy, how/who/where/what – all that good stuff – I am happy to help you. You can access my website here, or you can send me a message via email (Katya @ dailybuzzwords (dot) com) and I can answer any questions you might have, no pressure to buy.
If you post YouTube videos, you DEFINITELY want to find out about the keyword / social ranking strategy I mentioned before. Its important.
If you want to start your own paid social media business on the side as well, I can show you how to do that too.
My goal with this post is to be a resource, and the bonus of this post is to make some sales for those who realize the power and potential of these services. But first, the barriers need to be broken down so that people can understand more about this topic, how it works, and why its important.
IF anyone got to the end of my long long post, and you send me an email message with your recent, public facebook post link, I’ll give you 100 post likes free too. (At least the first few hundred people or so, in the spirit of customer experience and giving 🙂 )
I’d also love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Any positive experiences with it, fears, worries, confusion – anything. Please share!
Wishing you all a wonderful Saturday — and a gentle reminder to go after your passion and chase your dreams!
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