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May 6, 2019    Burn Book

Accounts Faker Than A Friend With a Maserati and an Unpaid Mortgage


Cell Phone Labor Lines

In the dark recesses of abandoned shipping warehouses and factories on the coast of China, dwell digital colonies of automated cell phones – blinking, clicking and swiping, day in and day out, to serve one purpose – make you more popular on social media. Or in reality, make you appear more popular on social media.

I am talking about phone farms – collections of thousands and thousands of ‘bot accounts’, often housed in the small enclosures, that desperate social media wannabes pay for in bulk to boost their digital resumes. From follows, to retweets, to likes, phone farms provide a myriad of fake personalized advertising services to give you the clout you need. And given the demand for social media proliferation, this has been quite profitable for those behind the endeavor.  

Take Rantic for example, the social media bot-farm who was considered to be the industry leader. Considering that the Facebook fake likes industry brought in $200 million in 2014 and fake twitter followers were projected to be a $40 – $360 million dollar business, being at the top of this totem pole is pretty sought after .

But for anyone who’s gotten a follow request from a questionable 5’4’’ russian girl named Anastaysia, asking you to join her private web chat, you can tell why this would be annoying. Unsolicited followers aside, what about all the entrepreneurs on social media trying to build a respectable and authentic brand, who are getting beat out by these hollow accounts that hold absolutely no foundation?  

Is this the digital marketing world we want to end up in? With accounts faker than a Beverly Hills boob job?

Social Media Made of Silicon

While many up and coming digital influencers and brand strategy consultants might think that paying for a bot farm to bolster your social media stats is a quick and easy way to stardom, there are a few things you should consider first.

Think of your account as a ladder, constantly being built towards the heavens of page views, click throughs, and ego-induced selfies. Now think of your followers and fanbase as the pegs that make up that ladder. If they are hollow, meaning your using bot-farms to get fake follows, your latter will become weak and has a good chance of breaking over time.

Now consider this – something I’ve seen multiple times in my career as a digital marketing consultant – an account with 876,552 followers but not the post likes to match. That many followers is great, it can be authoritative. But when you look at the posts, and they are only getting about 200-300 likes, suspicions arise. While your typical social media follower won’t notice, your more savvy audience, the ones who might be more willing to spend some money, will notice that and immediately be thrown off.

At this point, it doesn’t matter how many followers you have. Your hollow ladder has started to wobble and it won’t be long until your real fans start un-pegging themselves and everything comes crashing down.

The key here is to think of the long-run. What would happen if your real followers found out you were using fake followers? What happens if Instagram initiates a policy to end spam and deletes over 174 million fake accounts like they did in December 2018?

Uprooting the Farms  

From an audience’s perspective, these bot farms are incredibly manipulative as they are actively creating an illusion for the consumer. Portraying a brand, product, or figure that’s beyond its actual worth. Maybe we will get to a day where Robots can have their own IG accounts. But this time they’ll be able to follow what they want, like funny R2D2 memes and stuff. Until then, things must be done differently

As branding and advertising consultants, we already have a bad reputation for being deceptive. While we at Rock Candy Media have our own opinion on this, we can’t deny the fact that these bot farms are poisoning the ink well of social media marketing and the advertising industry as a whole.

That’s why we’ve always scoffed at ideas as ludicrous and heinous as bot farms. Quite frankly, they remind of us Spam factories. Pumping out fake crap that’s not good for anyone. Part of the reason we started an Austin branding consultancy was to shatter these preconceptions. To show consumers that advertising is much more than a sales tactic. That it can be a form of entertainment. Maybe even a source of inspiration.

It’s not just a means to an end. It’s an invitation into a personalized advertising story that we are constantly writing for brands and businesses. The difference between them, the other Austin ad agencies and us, is that we put the ball in your court.

We lay it all out for you. Read you the introduction. Show you the storyline. And offer you a seat. What we promise is that our invitations will always be unique and our personalized advertising techniques will always authentic, never masking the truth and always giving your our bare naked exposé. From top to bottom.

Want to take a look at what one of the best advertising agencies in Austin, Texas looks like? Our myriad of services are just beyond the horizon. Come take a look.

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