How Do People Cheat at Social Media

June 27th, 2014 |

About is all about being plugged into social media. We strive to provide informative, relevant, and unique perspectives in the world of social media.

So much has been made about social media in recent years that nearly every company you can think of has taken notice.  Not only have they started trying to establish a presence on the most popular platforms, they’re also dumping staggering amounts of money into it.  While most social media efforts are legitimate, the lure of cheating is so strong that many companies have fallen prey.  Cheating may sound like a great idea at first but it can have major repercussions.

Fans For Sale 

One of the most popular ways of cheating social media systems is to simply buy fans and followers.  There are people on a variety of different websites that offer to sell not only a few followers but, in some cases, hundreds of followers.  The price for these fake followers is surprisingly low and it can be a very enticing prospect.

The idea that a company’s Facebook page, for example, could go from a handful of followers to hundreds of followers overnight is hard to resist.  Buying fans may sound like something only a small, rather shady, company might do.  The truth is that even some very large and recognizable companies are doing this. 

Synthetic Networks 

Another popular method of cheating social media is to have multiple accounts.  A company may have a branded Twitter account, for example, and then set up a number of other accounts that look like regular users.  These fake accounts will then share things posted by the branded account.  They may also speak positively about the company without ever mentioning that they’re affiliated.

The purpose behind this is that social media really is all about being social.  Their goal is to make is seem like real people are interested in what the company does.  Social proof, as it has been called, can be a very strong force but this synthetic social proof rarely does much good.


As is usually true with any type of cheating, there are always consequences for doing these things.  The companies that run sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr are very concerned with the trust people place in their products.  They are constantly tweaking, changing, and updating things in an effort to create a more reliable experience.  Companies that do things like buying likes and followers can easily wake up one day to find they have been banned from the site.

Worse yet, is the damage this cheating does to the company’s reputation.  People are very suspicious of a company that has thousands of likes and followers, especially if the company is not very recognizable.  Users are incredibly savvy and they are wise to these methods of cheating.  When a potential customer thinks a company is cheating, they will have a hard time trusting any sort of marketing material in the future.

The unseen consequences are harder to calculate.  Cheating is, in essence, admitting that you and your company don’t understand social media or the users on the site.  There is not much to be gained by cheating because you won’t be using the sites in a way that offers any sort of return on your efforts.  Social media is for connecting to people and establishing relationships on a personal level.  Cheating simply does not do this.

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