A couple days ago I spoke a little bit about the dangers of buying likes and followers on social media. You can read that here. I believe that topic warrants a full article which is what you are reading now. So pay close attention.
Social media is more relevant today than it has ever been and there is strength in numbers.
Having a large number of ”likes” on Facebook or followers on Twitter serves as social proof that whatever it is your business is doing, it’s doing it well.
Why? Because that business probably has two million likes or followers that think so, engage with your content and are potential paying customers for your business.
When you realize your competitor’s Facebook or Twitter page has seemingly left you in the dust, there is the great urge to want to catch up by any means necessary. Having only a few hundred followers or even less means you are losing out on market share while your competitors gain the edge.
Some businesses that find themselves in that situation buy likes – not acquire, emphasis on the buy. What this means is that in a very short amount of time, with literally zero effort and some money spent they find themselves way ahead of their competitors. So here is what they do benefit from:
Some numbers: Other than cheap thrills, you get some numbers, because of the number of followers or likes you have. People who are unaware may trust you a lot more than someone else that has very little followers.
Some people can think “wow, this page has a lot of likes, everyone must think they’re cool, I think so too.”
Job well done right? Wrong!
Some companies have been guilty of this in the past. Case in point a small company based in Miami, Florida Hey Dude kicked off an advertising campaign to get more customers.
Unfortunately for them, most of those fans were not real and here’s why.
From May 13th only one person was talking was talking about the site. What do you know, in just 3 days the number jumped over 11,000.
Still not convinced? The most popular city where all those fans come from is all the way in Dhaka, Bangladesh, thousands of kilometers away from Miami.
Buying likes will hurt you and here’s why.
1. EdgeRank: Facebook uses the engagement your page generates to understand how interesting your content is and how other people engage with them.
Having a bunch of inactive users who have no emotions and are not engaging will make you look bad and your content will reach less people organically.
Facebook is strongly against this practice. Not too long ago, they shut down 83 million accounts that were fake or displayed shady behavior. chances are, if you continue to buy likes, you will be shut down.
2. Credibility: internet users have become smarter nowadays. People will be able to see right through you. What happens when your Facebook page has over a million fans but your latest post has only 3 likes? Hardly credible in my opinion.
3. Understanding: I’ve spoken about the importance of having a marketing strategy many times. The dangers of buying followers means that you will have no metrics or statistics to use to measure performance.
You cannot extract any meaningful information about your followers like how old they are, where they live, gender, their interests, the list goes on.
4. Advertising: What would be the point of advertising to fake spammy followers? All efforts that you put into boosting your post or paying for Twitter business ads will result in wasted money because those fake users cannot be filtered out.
5. Time: Of course time. By the time you realize the huge mistake you have made in buying followers, you will spend a lot of time cleaning up your social media pages.
To put it simply, buying likes and followers is exactly like paying people to be your friends. What will happen then when the payments stop? There are somethings that just cannot be bought and they should stay that way.
Facebook, Twitter and every other social media platform can be extremely effective in marketing your business but you need to put in the time and energy to get the most out of it.
Not having a social media strategy is a complete waste of time. You can read more about that here.
Below is an experiment that aims to prove the dangers of buying likes. Three Facebook pages were created with roughly the same names.
Account #1 Meow cats with likes generated both organically and through Facebook ads.
Account #2 Meeow cats with likes bought from seller 1
Account #3 Meeow cats with likes bought from seller 2
The results of the experiment literally speak for themselves. The pages with bought likes received zero engagement and that is the real harm. Gathering likes is all well and good but the real profit comes from engagement.
Having more Facebook likes does not mean you will have more business. It can be easy to confuse quantity over quality
What is interesting is that people who like your page may never engage with your content. In fact, only 1% of users who like business page will visit the brand’s Facebook page!
You can put that into perspective. You have just reached a personal milestone of 1000 likes on Facebook. Cause for celebration? Certainly.
990 of those users will probably do nothing to support your page. Maybe just 10 people will visit your page and click around a bit before something else grabs their attention.
What I am trying to say is that acquiring likes shouldn’t be the main goal of your marketing strategy.
Engage your customers. Use Facebook as a platform to communicate with them and solve their problems. Have decent conversations with them. You will build deep, strong and lasting relationships with your customers and that is what matters the most.
Do not give into the temptation of buying followers, likes, fans or anything else of that nature. Not only would you discredit yourself, but you will waste time, money and effort in the process.
Have a clear strategy on social media and create good valuable content that your audience will enjoy.
Feature Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net
In Post Images: Adespresso.com, Techhive.com