While back in the days this was a practice of ego-driven bloggers, nowadays it is widely known that well known celebrities, emerging companies, aspiring music stars and even politicians, - and anyone that could benefit from having a large footprint in social media - can buy large packages of social media fans without even having to give out their passwords.
The practice of purchasing these type of fast social media optimization services is surprisingly easy. A simple Google search offers dozens of Internet sites such as, http://www.AddTwitter-
John Pueblo, the founder of a well known SEO Firm in Orlando, Florida, said that they have purchased more than one million followers for their clients within the past 2 months from http://www.SocialMediaCombo.Net, which includes musicians, fledgling firms and an actress that declined to identify. "And its very cheap in addition", he said. In one case, said Pueblo, he bought 25,000 followers for $107.00, for less than a penny each.
However, added Pueblo, "the practice of people buying social media followers has become so widespread that many of our clients are starting to ask more for targeted Twitter followers because they understand that there is no risk of your account being banned like it happens with so many other services and with targeted followers clients are also able to interact with their followers in real time".
The New York Times, meanwhile, also states that social media followers can be purchased online to boost a public figure or company's popularity. Imel Seda, CEO and founder of AddTwitter-Followers, an Orlando, FL based social media company that helps small and medium size companies and brands raise their social media numbers said that since they started to sell Instagram followers they have been receiving 100s of orders a day.
"Anytime there's a monetary value added to clicks, there's going to be people going to the dark side," added Mitul Gandhi, CEO of seoClarity, a Des Plaines, Ill., social media marketing firm that weeds out phony online engagements.
In 2013, the State Department, which has more than 400,000 likes and was recently most popular in Cairo, said it would stop buying Facebook fans after its inspector general criticized the agency for spending $630,000 to boost the numbers.
In one case, its fan tally rose from about 10,000 to more than 2.5 million.
While the Federal Trade Commission and several state attorney generals have cracked down on fake endorsements or reviews, they have not weighed in on clicks. Meanwhile, hundreds of online businesses keep on selling social media followers and fans from around the world.
Social Media 202
Social Media 202