Social Boosting Services in 2024: A Small Business Owner‘s Guide

Social media is indispensable for modern small businesses. But the pressure to show high follower counts can tempt entrepreneurs to take shortcuts. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the controversial practice of social boosting, so you can make smart decisions.

The Rising Popularity of Social Boosting

Recent surveys reveal just how vital social media has become, with 85% of small businesses utilizing social platforms. Of those, 78% report social media significantly improved their business exposure and increased traffic.

But gaining real, engaged followers takes significant time and effort. Social boosting services promise a quick fix – you pay them a fee and they deliver likes, followers, views, and comments from phony accounts.

The global social media bot market is now worth an estimated $1.2 billion. But are these empty numbers really worth the investment?

Why Do So Many Businesses Use Social Boosting?

Vanity metrics like follower counts hold tremendous sway. Accounts with higher numbers appear more successful. But counterfeit social signals like bot followers rarely translate into real business growth.

The Pitfalls of Fake Followers

Researchers invented a fake Instagram influencer named Bertha and bought her 5000 bot followers. Initially, engagement skyrocketed along with followers. But within weeks, the bots dropped off, leaving engagement rates dismal.

This resort town provides another sobering example. Businesses collectively spent thousands boosting social media, only to find zero rise in tourism. Without authentic engagement, follower counts were meaningless.

Red Flags to Watch For

Warning signs you may have fake followers:

  • Sudden follower spikes, but low engagement rates
  • Followers from unrelated demographics
  • Followers with default avatars and few posts
  • Accounts that only follow you or hundreds of random accounts

These should all raise red flags about the legitimacy of your social media following. Prioritize quality over quantity.

Inside the Social Boosting Industry

Let‘s look at some of the most prolific players in manufacturing social media followers and engagement.

SocialPros

  • One of the largest social boosting companies, focused mainly on TikTok services
  • Provides followers starting around $10 for 250
  • Engagement options like TikTok hearts and views available
  • Delivery speeds and retention rates not reliable

SocialViral

  • Broad services for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and more
  • Starts at $69 for 1000 IG followers
  • Claims real, active followers from worldwide sources
  • Many report issues of bot accounts and fast drop-off

Mr. Insta

  • Long-time Instagram specific provider
  • Relatively expensive at $39 for 250 followers
  • Features auto-refill subscriptions
  • Reviews suggest subpar services and product

Stormlikes

  • Focuses on likes and followers for Instagram
  • Starts at $2.99 for 100 followers
  • Provides retention guarantees
  • Several flags for fake engagement and bans

Peakerr

  • Specializes in TikTok followers and likes
  • Claims profiles are "drip fed" for a natural look
  • $7 for 100 TikTok followers
  • Marketing uses misleading scarcity tactics

Rantic

  • Provides Instagram and TikTok services
  • Starts at $24 for 500 followers on TikTok
  • Claims no password required
  • Multiple reports of damaged engagement and growth

SocialBoomy

  • Instagram and TikTok provider
  • Starts at $2.97 for 100 Instagram followers
  • Mentions refills but no clear policy shared
  • Many negative user reviews on delivery

Why Social Boosting Can Destroy Your Business Goals

Beyond basic distrust in dishonest metrics, social boosting can damage your business in multiple ways:

  • Penalties and Bans – Platforms like Instagram are getting better at detecting fake activity and penalizing for it. Buying engagement often results in banned accounts, wiping out your entire presence.
  • Distrust from Followers – Savvy social users can spot bot followers a mile away. Real followers are more likely to ignore or unfollow accounts with disingenuous metrics.
  • Poor Conversion Rates – Counterfeit followers don‘t become customers. Vanity metrics like followers won‘t actually grow your business if the accounts are fake.
  • Social Algorithm Penalization – Platforms recognize bot activity and will stop promoting your content organically if you violate policies. Your reach plummets.
  • Wasted Ad Spend – Social ad targeting depends partly on engagement metrics. Fake followers can increase your ad costs while decreasing actual ROI.

The risks overwhelmingly show that any perceived benefits of social boosting are short-lived mirages. There are much better ways to cultivate an audience.

How to Grow Your Social Presence Authentically

Here are my top tips for gaining real, lasting followers as a small business:

  • Leverage existing contacts – Encourage colleagues, friends and family, newsletter subscribers, and existing customers to follow you.
  • Optimize visual branding – Ensure logo, handle, profile pic, and posts use optimized images, video, and graphics that catch the eye.
  • Engage meaningfully with your niche – Comment on relevant posts, provide value, and build community around your specialty.
  • Partner with micro-influencers – Find creators in your industry with engaged followings and collaborate on giveaways or promotions.
  • Run promotions and contests – Encourage follows by offering discounts, free samples, or entry into prize drawings.
  • Advertise strategically – Use paid tools like page promotions and influencer shoutouts to get content in front of new, targeted audiences.
  • Post consistently – Maintain engagement by posting new, high-quality content as often as resources allow.
  • Analyze metrics – Use insights on your best-performing content to refine your strategy.

The Bottom Line

Growing an authentic, thriving social media presence takes dedication and patience. But the lasting benefits for your brand reputation and conversions make it beyond worthwhile. Avoid the empty promises of social boosting and stay focused on providing value to the right audiences.

What has been your experience building social media followings as a small business? I‘d love to hear your insights and advice in the comments below!