Warm Bodies For Rent, Quality and Engagement Not Included

Posted By Debbie on June 20, 2011

There goes another of those ads… you can buy Facebook fans, Twitter followers, and website visitors. You can also buy people watching your YouTube videos, and following your channel. My favourite promise from one of these services: “Users are active, permanent and involved with hundreds of other users.” I’d love to get more detail on what “active” means. And as for “involved with hundreds of other users,” does that mean anything more than these accounts have been assigned to follow and friend other people buying this service?

There is a type of user we all want: someone genuinely interested in us. Someone who shares, retweets, loves our company, buys our service, and tells friends. Is that for rent, and is it the same when it is for rent? Who are these people who are going to be sent to fan my page? If I “order” 10,000 people, where do they come from, and are they being paid to do this? How much could they be paid?

One service I’m laughing at wants $675, and in return, you get:

  • 100 YouTube subscribers
  • 1,000 Facebook fans
  • 1,000 Twitter followers
  • 30,000 Website visitors
  • 100,000 emails to their mailing list members, people who have opted in (but may not have expected to get a message from YOU)

This seems to make sense to me if you’re going for quantity. If you think someone is impressed by you having a zillion Facebook fan page followers, then go buy them. If you think you’re more likely to get more people “liking” your Facebook business page because it has 1200 followers instead of 200, then buy this. Of course, you’re deceiving people by making them think you’re more “popular” than you are. You may or may not care.

However, I would not buy this, and expect real engagement from these people. I wouldn’t expect them to be true influencers among their friends. I would expect them to be people getting $5/day to click on things, follow things, accept emails, and things like that. I’d be surprised if the Venn Diagramme Gods smiled on you, and served you up a load of people truly interested in your company, product, or service.

Conclusion: rent warm bodies if you think showing off (faked) numbers will impress anybody. If you want real engagement, then it’s about quality. I wonder if the money is better spent on Facebook ads, Google Adwords, and other targeted ways to connect with people who are really in your target audience.