You Can’t Buy Friends! Or Can You…?

Aug 2011

GOP Candidate Newt Gingrich is a friend fraud!  That’s right, the former House Speaker pays for his friends! Or for his Twitter followers, at least.  During his presidential campaign, Gingrich boasted an impressive, yet suspicious,  1.3 million followers on his Twitter account, shaming his opponent Mitt Romney’s shabby 63,000 followers.

Unfortunately for Gingrich, one of his staff members gave him away, revealing that Gingrich allegedly paid agencies to obtain followers for his Twitter account.  For a hefty fee, these agencies mass-generated fabricated accounts who then followed Gingrich, boosting his follower count and online persona.

What’s shocking is that these services aren’t just available to politicians and celebrities.  Recently, we discovered that these friend-aggregating agencies are quite common and readily accessible to just about anybody.   So for a price, you can pay an agency to get random strangers to “like” you on Facebook or follower you on Twitter.

Did everyone just completely miss the point of social media? You know, to build an honest community and to engage with your audience?  Sure, you can buy 5,000 Facebook fans, but what good will that do for you when these people are complete strangers from halfway across the globe who have no interest in you or your business?

It’s possible for you to buy your friends or followers on social media, but how genuine are these relationships if you do?

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