I've heard from several business this week who have bought social media followers because they "don't have time to engage". Effectively they're saying they don't have time to engage an audience, so bought a disengaged audience instead. So they've paid to increase follower numbers out of vanity, the followers they've bought have no interest in their business.
Can you sell to an audience you bought online? An audience that didn't follow you because they were interested in your products or services? Can you sell to an audience you paid for? That in the majority of cases are fake accounts that won't reply, run by spammers? Can you expect to engage with bought followers? Can they be brand ambassadors for you?
The answer to all these questions is a resounding 'no'. You've wasted your money. We touched on this at Henley Business School a few weeks ago. You can't sell to someone through social media that you've never had a conversation with.
That conversation and your story are your online handshake. If both are catchy enough and engaging, then you've earned a follower. Earning your social media following is far more valuable to you than purchasing it. Want to know why? Just ask.