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The Importance of Authenticity in Social Media

fake-followersHave you ever viewed a Twitter account and wondered how they got several thousand followers when their avatar is the egg and they have only posted one tweet…in 2012?  Or have you seen a Facebook page that only posts affiliate links, but has thousands of Likes? Chances are, these followers and Likes are fake; bought specifically to make those social media accounts appear as though they are popular and well-received.

This type of artificial inflation is all too common and may initially seem like a good idea to get fledgeling social media accounts off the ground.  However, you may be doing more harm than good to your online reputation.  A fake audience provides little in terms of engagement or authentic interaction.  And, it can damage your SEO efforts and search engine ranking.  According to a recent Forbes article:

“Not all social signals are authentic or organic. If you’re using a social site to boost SEO and brand awareness, we hope you haven’t been caught trying to fake your way to a following because it’ll ultimately put you in SEO jail. Google did a great job of fighting off black hat SEO marketers because it got better and better at identifying high quality websites. They’ve now turned their attention towards measuring the quality of your friends, likes, and views.”

This type of negative attention from Google can come with severe consequences including the removal of  comments, likes and followers found to be inauthentic, being penalized in your current ranking and even being removed from the SERP’s altogether.  The article concludes:

“If Google finds that you’ve purchased a stadium of fake people in hopes to improve SEO traffic, it won’t just ignore you. It’ll shut you down, fine you, and remember what you did.If it doesn’t do it now, just wait till the next release.”

So, despite the allure of a quick fix, remember that’s it’s always a better idea to let your social media accounts grow slowly, organically.  To gain followers and Likes, follow people, ask them to Like your content. Interact with them, ask questions, share their content and post frequently.  Before you know it, you will have an engaged, enthusiastic audience who is actually interested in what you do and happy to share it authentically with their audience.

If you’d like to talk more about the best way to grow your social media presence, please contact us today!

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