Buying social signals is always a bit of a moral debate. When you’re starting in a new niche and all your competitors have thousands of likes, plus ones, tweets, followers, reviews, and what not it works quite discouraging. Why would they choose you over a dozen competitors that have all the social proof their customers expect.
So many starts to think, heck, let’s fake it till I make it, and I can’t completely disagree with them. It does, however, become a problem when a whole niche is filled with such thinkers. Let’s take the cryptocurrency niche for example with their ICO’s (initial coin offerings).
It all starts with Telegram.
A relatively new platform that intends to compete with who knows what. I honestly find it an unorganized bunch and I can’t stop wondering if they would’ve grown to where they are if it wasn’t for the crypto industry.
When you join a channel you’ll see that there are up to 100,000 members but no one actually talks. Or at best a handful. It’s so overly obvious that this definitely doesn’t help your reputation in any way.
Or take Facebook
Facebook has the bad habit to show groups based on member counts, only to find groups with 100k members and once again silence prevails. Obviously, we can blame the makers of these groups but the platform itself also has some responsibility. Why rate the visibility of a group based on the member count instead of the actual engagement that takes place? I never really understood that.
Instagram Might be Even Worse
The last time I did a count I found 10 Instagram bot, all promising the same, more followers, based on an advanced set of targeting. Some of these bots are actually managers that claim to own 10,000+ accounts. I have a hard time believing these accounts are real based on my experience at Facebook, and Telegram. Apparently, I’m not the only one writing about this as I just ran into this article that asks the question if it’s even possible to gain real followers using automated methods.
It’s Not just Social Media Platforms
If it stopped there it would be nice but it doesn’t. This whole FITYMI, sorry I abbreviated that, I bet you know what it stands for by now also infiltrates different parts of the online world. Reviews to be precise. You can’t even trust Google Business reviews anymore, and it becomes even worst at sites like Trip Advisor and Yelp that really beats the crown. The more you dive into it the more you realize how unreliable the internet is.
Or How About Sponsored Posts?
I bet you’ve all seen this logo range that goes like: ‘As seen on’, and then a series of sites like Forbes, the Huffington Post, NCBC, Entrepreneur, and the list goes on and on. The fact is, all those sites do actually sell sponsored posts, or guest posts, or however they like to call them. It isn’t cheap but its rather easy to get those links. There was this article at Buzz News about Audience Bloom that got caught selling links under his author account at these large news outlets.
Moral of the Story!
In my opinion, there’s nothing wrong with giving yourself a bit of a headstart but don’t do it in such extreme fashion as it screams fake from all corners and people really aren’t that stupid!