But it was an extremely sensible question as the person this came from hasn’t done any social media for business, but it made me suddenly realise WHY this sounds tempting to people!
Why put all that effort into designing a dynamic social media strategy and brainstorming awesome social media content when you can spend just $10 on 10,000 likes for your Facebook page or followers for your Twitter account?
Because those likes or followers will not bring any value to your social media community. Those people (if they are real people and not fake accounts) will not care what your business is, they will not engage with you, and they are certainly not potential customers. After a few months they will also start to drop off.
You want people who are specifically interested in you and your product or service. People who will like and share what you have to say, who might (are you ready for this) TALK BACK! Give you feedback, comment with an opinion, or tag their friends in it.
The only way to build a community that will do this is through time, sharing great content and interaction to build relationships. Unfortunately that will cost more than $10 but the value that comes back out of it is far more valuable.