Fake Fans & Click Farms. Figures = social media harm?

Tonight’s Channel 4 Dispatches Documentary ‘Celebs, Fans and Fake Brands’ has left me with something in the back of my mind that I’m wondering if anyone else is thinking.

Would any of us be happy to do it?

By it I mean get fake fans or followers. Maybe I’m naive, I don’t know, but surely the idea of the social media channels we tirelessly monitor and stress about fitting the perfect message into 140 characters is to get real life engagement from your community? Surely?

Would I rather be talking to a figure of 100,000 that means nothing or 3,000 engaged users? For me, it’s plainly simple.

Granted, I don’t work for Coca Cola, a watch company or Nike, so maybe my rose tinted view of the online world is different to those driven by popularity, price tags and purchases. I think it’s about quality, not quantity. I’m yet to find something more satisfying in the digital world than when you have thought about a piece of content to post for your community, pondering what will be of relevance, of importance to your audience and then a real person engages with that content you have created.

Don’t be lazy, be clever. Create something people want to be a part of I’m positive you’ll see a difference.

But size does really matter, doesn’t it?

I think there is clear evidence that numbers play a big part in what YouTube videos we decide to watch, if we Like certain brands or follow certain people. But I believe even more strongly that it is only good content that will keep you there, whether that’s staying a fan, or buying another product next time. So is there an argument for being socially shallow – judging a page by its number?

I think it depends on what you want from your social media presence; is it brand loyalty and brand ambassadors, or a quick one off payment, thank you and goodbye? Each to their own.

Figures in some way, shape or form will always be of some relevance and importance. Yes we celebrate our milestones across social media, however insignificant they may be to an organisation reaching hundreds of thousands of people, but we have worked hard to grow our following organically, through interaction, rich content and a consistent tone.

For us though, it’s the real people that matter, not the numbers, because the people are the ones that can help us make a difference.


What do you think? Are numbers important for getting that initial attraction from your prospective client, or is all about having great content?

Follow me on twitter @willdotbarker and tell me what you think.

photo : Rob Franksdad


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