Monday, February 2, 2015

Why You Shouldn’t Buy Facebook Likes

Last week one of my readers sent me an email telling me that he had over 5,000 'Likes' on his Facebook account and more than 3,000 Twitter followers. He is a modular home builder and was super excited.

I asked him what he was doing to get so many people to 'Like' him and the answer surprised me. He was buying fake friends! He had no idea who they were or where they lived but he was happy that his company's Facebook page was so popular.


It's probably my senior mentality speaking but I didn't know you could do that. My blog doesn't have a Facebook page and it won't because it is not targeted to the general public, only modular housing folks.

My curiosity aroused, I Googled "Buying Facebook Likes" and was surprised just how easy AND cheap it is. Then I read about the downside of buying likes. One of the worst is that Facebook routinely purges Likes from pages that don't have any reason to have so many Likes.

Here are several of the biggest reasons you shouldn't buy 'Likes':
  • Low Engagement = Low Facebook Ranking
  • Causes you to alienate real Likes
  • Purchased Likes won’t become your customers

Low engagement = Low Facebook Rating
Having 10,000 Likes on your Facebook Page doesn’t mean much if they aren’t engaging with you. 

Bought fans don’t engage because most of them aren’t real people. Even if they are real people, they aren’t at all interested in what you have to say.

Facebook uses the most intense algorithm that determines which posts go into users’ News Feeds. It’s difficult enough to get your posts into the News Feeds of your Facebook Fans as it is, but when your Facebook Page has little or no engagement (especially with a large number of Likes), your ranking will drop and no one will see your posts – including your real Likes.

For future reference, here are the four factors that affect your Page’s ranking:
  • If a Fan interacted with your posts before: If they Like every post by your Page that Facebook shows them, it will show them more from your Page.
  • Other people’s reactions to a specific post: If everyone on Facebook that’s shown a post ignores it or complains, it’s less likely to show anyone that post.
  • Your Fans’ interaction with posts of the same type in the past: If your Fans always Like photos, there’s a better chance they’ll see a photo posted by your Page.
  • If that specific post has received complaints by other users who have seen it, or your Page has received lots complaints in the past, your Fans will be less likely to see that post.


It Can Cause you to Alienate Real Fans
OK, let’s say that the unthinkable happens and these bought Likes do engage with your Facebook Page. This will be good for your overall rankings, but not with the Likes that actually matter to your business. It will basically create a red herring in your Facebook Insights. Although you’ll see a lot of engagement, it won’t be coming from the people who are really interested in your business.

So where will this lead?

If you start constantly posting things that your “Fake Fans” are engaging with but your real fans are not, then all of your effort will be for nothing. After a lot of testing you may find that you’re getting the most engagement with posts that include funny cat photos.

Unfortunately, if you sell, for example, exercise equipment, you won’t actually be posting something that is relevant to your Fans who are interested in exercise and will potentially buy from you. This will cause these real Likes to lose interest in your Page and they’ll stop seeing any of your posts in their News Feed.

Purchased Likes Won’t Become Your Customers

Facebook Pages, like any marketing channel, are meant to help generate more sales for your business. 

If you’re just engaging with people on Facebook who have no interest in the products or services you sell, then it’s a futile activity.

As I mentioned above, you may be able to engage these Likes with certain posts that they are interested in, like pictures of cats, but your chances of engaging them with posts about your modular homes and converting them is zero.

1 comment:

Stephanie Burroughs said...

I know a professional skater in my area who did this. His account got spammed by the "likers". Most of them were children from South America. The spammers started posting comments on his FB page with links to a virus. As well, he said he analyzed his reach and 90 percent of his likers were from South America. Thank you for sharing this information!