Businesses like Likes.
Working in agency land, I see this a lot. Jeez, any person who’s been on Facebook more than a couple of weeks has seen it a lot. Businesses know they should be on Facebook. They’re pretty confident they know that the metric that matters on Facebook is that little blue thumbs up icon and how many numbers you can get next to it. What they don’t often know though is why they want those Likes. What good do they bring to the business?
“We’re not sure, we just know we want more of them”
And from this all too commonly said phrase, comes the booming business of selling likes.
For just $5 a clearly reputable source on the Interwebs will guarantee you 250 likes on your page or post. If you’re willing to hand over $50, they’ll even hook you up with 5000 if you like.
Hellooo social media silver bullet!
People with ‘Social Media Guru’ and ‘Facebook Expert’ emblazoned on their LinkedIn profile worldwide rejoiced. They could finally meet those outlandish KPI’s they promised their bosses.
All of a sudden in the space of a month, a small Facebook following with the average 5-10 likes per post can be transformed into the Facebook equivalent of Maroon 5 (somehow popular, but nobody knows exactly why). Now you’re getting hundreds of likes almost overnight! WOOOAAHHH!! MAD SOCIAL MEDIA SKILLZ YO!!
And those thousands of new fans who are suddenly in love with your status updates each day are rushing onto your website to buy your product, signing up to your events and subscribing to your newsletters right? They are. . . . right?
This is where it comes undone. Why isn’t social media converting for us? I’m so surprised that all these people from India are liking us, especially when we don’t even sell our product over there! We have 15000 people who like us so why is no body coming to our events? Why do I have 50,000 fans but only 2 real leads this month?
That’s because you’re judging success on a false metric.
A Like is a vote from someone who actually digs what you do. It was built to give your business and amazing opportunity to find people you can interact with on their personal timeline because THEY, not you, have invited you to interact with their life on their personal newsfeed.
It’s every marketers wet dream. Customers who have not only chosen you as a preferred option but even promoted you to their entire friend list! What other advertising medium lets you do something that cool?!
But instead, some businesses are choosing to fill up this amazing gold mine of data with 2cent clicks from India and irrelevant profiles from Papua New Guinea. All to get more of those little like notifications on a picture they pulled off Google Images of a grumpy cat with a witty blurb of ‘Like this is you wish it was still the weekend’.
What the hell kind of marketer allows that to happen to their brand!?
Too many unfortunately, and it’s coming back to bite them in the ass too. In September Facebook announced a crack down on ‘fake Likes’. Sites who utilise Likes from ‘like farmers’, fake accounts and Like button bots are in the firing line. And with the amount of data at Zuckerberg’s billionaire fingertips, how difficult do you think it is for them to see some sort of trend in the accounts responsible for fake Likes?
Chances are that if you bought a bunch of Likes from somewhere like Fiverr, then you’re probably not the only savvy social media mastermind who is a current customer of theirs. Your 2000 new followers are probably carbon copied on another 400+ Fan pages out there on Facebook. One of those pages gets found out – and they will – I’m guessing the breadcrumb trail will pretty easily lead them back to your business page.
Buying Likes is kinda like those clever websites who invested in thousands of links from link farms and directories to rank #1 in Google – all those sites are doing awesome on around page 178 for that search term right now.
So in summary, it’s your brand you’re representing. If you wanna get hundreds of likes because ‘That’s just an awesome thing to have’ then go for it. You’re not only playing with fire, you’re disrespecting your customers and brand. Each new paid Like is making each new real Like less valuable. Good for you. You’re a social media genius!
Buying fake likes isn’t a social strategy, it’s just lazy. It’s cheating and it’s not even a good cheat move.