On Twitter, you need as many ‘followers’ as possible. On Facebook, you want lots of ‘likes’ (a thumbs-up sign on the screen). If you have these, you count – but what if you only have a few? Don’t worry, you can now buy them via a website, and “this is just the beginning”.
Individuals and companies who want to get known can no longer do without social media. The trick is to get as many people to ‘follow’ your Tweets or to ‘like’ you on Facebook. These and other social media rankings play a major role in how quickly you can be located by online search engines.
Social media in the Netherlands
Twitter: 3.2 million Dutch residents use Twitter; 1.5 million of them tweet on a daily basis. The numbers have increased by 25 percent so far in 2012.
Facebook: 7.3 million users in the Netherlands; 4.3 visit their page every day. The numbers have increased by 45 percent this year.
Buy 100 followers
A Dutch website, Socialmediadeals.nl, where you can buy followers, likes and other social media rankings, has finally arrived. The site is doing good business, reports free newspaper Metro: it only sold 500 followers in February but, in April, the figure had already jumped to 15,000. For just 17 euros, you get 100 Twitter followers while, for a little over 14 euros, 100 Facebook likes can be yours.
Socialmediadeals does its business by getting in touch with contacts on behalf of an individual or company. The contact posts a call on a website for people to come forward to register as a follower on a Twitter page or to post a like on a Facebook page - in exchange for payment.
The development is especially interesting for people on Twitter. Their power and influence is largely judged on the number of followers they have. Buying followers could be a lucrative proposition for politicians or companies.
Staff at the Dutch branch of Facebook argue that likes only have a value if there is a real link between them and an artist, brand or organisation.
New media expert Professor Jan van Dijk agrees, saying it will soon mean nothing whether or not you have hundreds of followers or likes. He thinks, though, that there’s no stopping the latest development: “This is just the beginning”.