Brands, like human beings, crave a buzz. And with entire industries behind the social media curve, it’s little wonder some are keen to buy friends and influence.
Need a million followers – fast? Click Farms promise to get you where you want to be. Like hillbillies brewing hooch, a clandestine sweatshop army will click you to a million Likes for just $600. With estimates of fake Facebook activity generating $200 million a year, that’s a small investment for brands desperate to gain traction as they play catch-up online.
There is no shortcut to growing a sustainable
Followers who are just passing-by
Effective at making a great noise in a hurry, the Click Farm promise of instant popularity attracts those still blinded by the numbers game. But the rules have changed. Faking it is losing it, as Google’s algorithms favour relevance and recommendation, quality over quantity.
In this context, the big social numbers are unlikely to translate to the balance sheet. Rather than establishing credibility, you’ll fall foul of the search engines, your Followers will pass on by, and online-savvy customers will spend their money elsewhere. In the Social Marketing recommendation culture, Click Farms – like hooch – may make you blind.
The only way to get real traffic is to earn it
There is no shortcut to growing a sustainable customer base – particularly for insurance brands which depend upon credibility and longevity. Credibility is earned – it was ever thus. Quality, relevant content is the key to attracting – and holding – your customers’ attention. Rather than buy a million likes only to feel lonely in a crowd, enhance your reputation by being interested and interesting – listen to better understand customers in order to provide genuine news and relevant offers which cut through, rather than add to, the online noise.
So forget the quick fix, the dubious thrill of illicit popularity, and remember the principles of effective marketing. In this most measureable medium, a measured approach is the key to long-term brand engagement. After all, trust can’t be bought – but it can be earned.