“Kamikaze aircraft were essentially pilot-guided explosive missiles, purpose-built or converted from conventional aircraft. Pilots would attempt to crash their aircraft into enemy ships in what was called a “Body Attack” in planes laden with explosives, bombs, torpedoes or full fuel tanks” – wikipedia
So you have a Facebook page. You’ve been told it’s a necessity for any business that wants success online. You have a great cover image and you’ve told all of your friends to like the page. So now what do you do?
Well, clearly you need more fans. You need to get more people to click on that little like button. Of course, you’re not entirely sure what those ‘likes’ do, but you know you need more of them. You’ve tapped your personal friends list out and none of your friend’s friends are liking it, that leaves only one option left huh. Buy some likes!
For only $20 you can get an additional 500 Facebook likes on your page from a company in India or Thailand, and literally overnight your Facebook page fan-base has grown into a seemingly very popular page. Congrats.
Looks great huh, but take a look a little deeper into what you’ve actually just done to your brand and social media channel.
Prior to buying those links, you had an engaged audience; a group of people who had liked your page because they related to you, your brand or your product/service. These are people who would actually care about what it is your page had to say.
Now, you have 500 additional people who don’t know or care about your brand or message and will almost definitely never interact with your business in any tangible or business beneficial way. Now all your marketing efforts from this channel from now on will be touching people who will have no impact what so ever on making your business a success – aside from having a really cool looking counter of how many fans you have
Beginning the descent towards target
‘But that’s okay, because my updates will still reach the people who actually are interested, even though most are not, right?’
The Facebook algorithm work on a few different metrics – which combined are commonly known as EdgeRank. These metrics are Weight (the priority given to a certain type of post : photo, status, video, link etc), Affinity (how relevant your post is to your most interactive fans or friends), decay (how recent your post is) and more recently frequency (how frequent your account posts).
Lately, Facebook has been displaying content to fewer and fewer of your actual fan-base than in previous times. In the past, if you had 1000 fans and you sent a post out, a very significant portion of those fans would see your post, but this is changing.
Tests I’ve run on accounts with a large amount of followers is showing that even though you may have 1000 fans, your post is actually only showing up in the newsfeed of between 15-20% of them. This number becomes even less with the more fans your page has.
So even though you may have 20% of your fan base who are legitimate ‘fans’, and 80% who are paid likes, you cannot easily dictate which of these fans will be seeing your updates.
But it doesn’t stop there. The reason for this decline in the reach of posts is to encourage page owners to participate in Facebook’s ‘Promote this post’ function. This service allows a page owner to pay a fee in order to ensure their post is seen by their entire fan list.
Below is a screensot of how much it costs to promote a post to a fanbase of around 800 people (and their friends)
On average $16, which doesn’t look too bad right? But considering most of these people reached will be ‘fake’ likes and friends of these fake likes, then what value does it really add to your brand?
Now, let’s bump it up even further. What if you purchased a whole lot of these fake likes, or friends of the fake likes begin liking your page too. Keeping in mind that these fake Likes are often from developing countries (India, Indonesia etc.) and will likely have no real impact in sales to your business or effective promotion of your business.
Here is a screenshot of a page I look after with over 700,000 fans (real ones by the way). This is how much Facebook charge in order to reach that entire fan-base and their friends.
Now we’re talking really big money to reach an audience that is not even really engaged. That $20 investment in fake likes just got very, very expensive huh.
Fake likes may seem like an easy win initially, but in reality they are contaminating your leads, diluting your brand reach and making it more expensive for you to market online in the long run.
Buying Likes is not a social media strategy. It’s pretty much loading up your social media asset with explosives and then flying it at high speed into a perceived target, and if you do that your social media strategy likely won’t survive.