Recently, some discussion around this was brought up by Mark ‘Rizzn’ Hopkins and I took great interest after reading more information on uSocial. They make large promises to deliver a certain number of followers in a certain number of days. At a cost. Their biggest promise is 100, 000 followers in 365 days for a minor $3,479 (normally $4,970). That is an incredible increase from an account that has no followers up to even a few thousand.
The first alarm was the simple fact that uSocial themselves only have ~15, 500 followers at the time of writing this posting. (They also claim 18,000 in their online propaganda which leads me to think they lost massive followers when Twitter removed bots.) Then, they are following back all 15k which I bet most are the same bots that are driving their numbers. How can they guarantee you will have that many followers when the company themselves is not able to meet that claim?
It leads me to believe that most of what you are purchasing are bots or other accounts that are not true humans as we would hope when engaging such a service. What kind of business ROI would we get from a bunch of bots? Who guarantees the actual results? How long will these followers stay? Where is the interaction? How do you get feedback or is anyone there to even click on your blog posting links or product information.
The second part is that they offer the service to push your product, 3 times per day for a month, to their followers. I am not sure how many of us follow accounts just to get advertisements. Having one here and there from the person that owns the account pitching their own goods is expected and I take no offense. Having a feed of all ads? How productive is that? Plus, if most of their followers are bots, who are you really reaching?
Summary – buying followers is not economical nor helpful. Building great products or having something important to say will grow your base. That or buy your way onto the Suggested User List (SUL). A sure guarantee to add followers. A tight community of thousands is far better than a loose collection of tens of thousands.