It's a tone that you'll find to be quite common in web communities.
Social media websites are intended as a bit of fun for users, to allow them to communicate with friends. Like with many things on the Internet commercial interests have spoilt the fun, and buying friends on Facebook and Twitter is yet another way that business ruins the fun for everyone.
It's not my intention to come across as "a jerk", but it's a subject I feel quite strongly about, and not just because it ruins the experience for the average user. By paying to increase a meaningless number you're wasting your own money and are buying into the commercial experience that the likes of Facebook are desperate to sell to people.
As stated frequently on forums like these when a touchy subject arises, you don't need to get offended over someone disagreeing strongly with your opinion/actions. It was never my intention to come across as rude, but you simply cannot expect to talk about an unethical subject without someone feeling strongly about it. As always, feel free to contribute to the discussion.
I disagree strongly that a strong presence on Facebook and Twitter makes your product seem any more legitimate. Over the past few years there has been far too much emphasis on having loads of followers/fans, and quite frankly I would say in my professional experience that for a brand with no business on social media websites it is anything but professional.
You state that "it works", yet you provide no proof other than "it works for me". By stating this you've undervalued your own work! For all you know you could have achieved the exact same thing without spending money on fake friends, and you could have your brand integrity secure. By paying for fake friends you're no better than the kid in the playground that had to buy sweets for the other kids to hang around him.
I've worked with a number of companies that generate millions of dollars of profit a year. Each and every time I have gone against the use of social media where it has not been warranted, and have used it sparingly when our users have required a voice to provide feedback or generate leads for us. I have the experience to say with certainty that our competitors have only ever damaged themselves by clearly buying fans and followers by the thousand. To paraphrase an email I received last month, one of the businesses that chose our product over a rival chose us because of our integrity. Our prices weren't the cheapest, and we weren't the larger brand, but we controlled our own social media and kept it as organic as humanely possible. Our rivals paid for fans and followers and their fan page was clearly nothing more than a holder for paid fans.
If it's so successful then give us some numbers or something to latch on to, because so far you've provided no proof against my, frankly, experienced scepticism.
If you've got a family to feed and you've not good any solid evidence to suggest that your social media then I'd suggest you spend your money more wisely.
In your previous post you stated that your customers saw you as more legitimate, yet you were concerned over its ethical implications. The average user is pretty good at sussing out truthful pages from lying pages, and in effect you have distorted the truth about your product to potential users.
Yes, social media "possibly" helped you, but I'd wager that you would have found success regardless of your campaign and that, if anything, by pandering to beggers you may have turned away a prince that would have offered you a lot of return business.