How to avoid paying for junk followers on social media

Social Media Strategies

I can understand why companies want to pay for followers on social media. They want to have as many people as possible to (maybe) engage with the brand organically on social media in the future. What companies may not be aware of is a good chunk of accounts they pay for on social media could be junk. In 2012, Facebook actually admitted that almost 10 percent of the accounts in its system were fake. If you still want to look into buying followers on social media, I have a solid strategy to make sure those users are legitimate.

The solution is simple: remarketing. First, make sure you have the Facebook pixel or Twitter website tag properly installed on every page of your website. The pixel and website tag not only allow advertisers to set up conversion tracking, but the respective social platforms can also cookie users who visit your site. In both Facebook and Twitter, you can create audiences of just the users who have previously visited your website. These remarketing audiences should then be added to your social media campaigns as the main targeting option. Now you’re set up so when previous site visitors frequent one of the mentioned social platforms, you can show your “follow me” ads to users who have been to your site before. They’re already familiar with your company. No more wasting ad spend on people who have a lesser chance of interacting with your brand.

And you can get even more specific with your targeting and upload your own lists of customer email addresses or phone numbers to create more custom audiences. If the user information matches what the social platforms have in their database, a robust customer-match audience can then be used as the only targeting option for your follower growth campaigns. You’ll now have 100 percent control of who sees your follower growth campaigns. Say goodbye to wasted ad spend on fake accounts.

Joe Martinez is senior manager, paid media and community at Milwaukee-based Granular.

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