If you follow a lot of companies on Facebook or market your own business on the social networking website, you may have heard of at least one company that has bought Facebook likes. The process is generally frowned upon and many businesses have had negative media coverage as a result of buying likes, but companies still do it. Should you spend thousands to get Facebook likes on your company profile? Are there any specific situations where this method of social media marketing might be justified?
They do it because they want to increase their social media presence and brand visibility quickly. Building a brand on Facebook and other social networking sites properly (the organic way) can often be painstakingly slow. You could be stuck with just a few likes on your profile page for months, especially if you are focusing on many different areas of your business at once. How you can get your message across if you do not have a big enough audience? Many conclude their only option is to buy fans and likes to get the ball rolling, but it very rarely works.
Don’t get us wrong; some businesses have bought Facebook fans and benefited from it. It does get the ball rolling on your Facebook community and increases the number of real Facebook fans to a degree, but there are two problems. The first problem is that this does not happen often enough. If you think that making your Facebook community look busier and bigger will get you more fans, you are playing a risky game, because people are generally more savvy when it comes to social media these days and can often tell if links have just been bought, especially if likes are a round number such as 5,000. The second problem is that buying Facebook fans is not worth the cost. Measuring return on investment when it comes to social media is difficult as it is, why make it harder by adding an expense that you know isn’t going to drive any return?
People Can Easily Figure Out You’ve Bought Your Fans
We touched on one way you could be rumbled earlier, but the truth is there are many. A metric under your profile’s cover photo called ‘Talking About This?’ shows how many people have actually engaged with your brand in the last week. Even hundreds of fake likes cannot change the fact that nobody is actually talking about your business; thousands of likes but no engagement is an instant red flag. This can turn away many that have genuinely come to check your company’s profile and also negatively impact your EdgeRank.
Genuine users, upon finding that you have bought fans to show your business as popular, will not just not do business with you, they’ll share what you’ve been doing on their own social media accounts and elsewhere online. Your reputation is unlikely to recover quickly. The impact is much worse on smaller companies, who usually are not able to recover from this blow. Unfortunately, smaller businesses are more likely to be the ones who fall into the temptation of buying Facebook likes.
Even if you do see some benefit from buying Facebook fans, the value for money you get is still poor. Facebook fans can cost thousands of dollars, and you have no idea what affect it is going to have. You might as well place the money you will spend on Facebook fans or likes on a roulette wheel and see what happens. Buying fans is a violation of Facebook policies anyway and is looked down upon by both online and offline business communities. Invest in ethical social media marketing practices instead.
Here is how to get real Facebook likes.
Invite clients and other contacts that are genuinely interested or involved in your niche to join your Facebook community. They can make a positive contribution to your community by engaging in interesting, informative, useful conversations.
Facebook is obviously not the only platform for expanding your web presence. You can use your own website and other social networking sites to promote your page. Add a Like button on all pages of your website and invite followers on other social networks to follow your Facebook profile.
There is nothing like a good contest or offer to get people excited about your brand. Create an interesting contest on Facebook to get people to participate and engage with you. Good content will find its way around the community and get you a much wider fan base naturally.
Do not use your Facebook profile to just advertise your products or services; instead, use the platform to offer something of interest and valuable to readers. Ask yourself whether you are giving your audience good enough reasons to come to your Facebook page and to engage with you. If not, give them a few. Remember successful empires are not build by those who are always obsessed by thoughts of ‘what is in it for me’ but rather by those who dare to ask themselves, “Do I offer anything of value to my customers?”
These natural marketing methods work for everyone. And the best part is that you do not need a big budget for them. Why opt for fake fans when you can get real fans that are genuinely interested in what you have to offer?