Should You Buy Facebook Likes?
Tempted by offers to buy 10,000 Facebook Likes for $40?
Before you do, let’s step back for a moment. Why do you want Facebook Likes?
If you just want a vanity number of Likes to look “Big” or “Popular” then go for it. But if you really want to derive ANY business value from your Facebook Page, then STOP RIGHT NOW.
This article will dive into how buying likes works, why I recommend against it, and then give you three awesome strategies to generate real Likes that work for your business and maximize your Facebook ROI.
Let me explain…
How do you Buy Facebook Likes?
There are a number of websites that offer to sell Facebook Likes. Just search “Buy Facebook Likes” on Google and you’ll find a long list. Before writing this, I did some research on the top websites where you can buy Facebook Likes. Basically the premise with these sites is that you pay them a fee and they add Likes to your Facebook Page or website. I’m not sure how or where these Likes come from, but I’m skeptical to say the least.
Where do “Bought” Facebook Likes Come From? Who Are These Users?
The most “legitimate” site I checked out, Boost Likes, puts a lot of emphasis on them being “Real”, although I’m unsure what they mean by that. “Real” as in the Facebook account exists? Even if they are real people, there is no way to choose ones who will actually be interested in your business or industry. It’s just a generic mixed bag. And who knows what country they live in or what language they speak. In reality, there will be a very low likelihood that any “real” accounts that Like your Facebook Page will have any interest in buying from you in the future.
Still think that buying Facebook Likes is a good idea?
3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Buy Facebook Likes
- Low Engagement = Low Edgerank
- Causes you to alienate real Likes
- Purchased Likes won’t become your customers
Low engagement = Low EdgeRank
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.
EdgeRank is Facebook’s 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 EdgeRank 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 Edgerank:
- 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 Edgerank, 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 in your industry niche and converting them is zero.
Alternatives to Buying Facebook Likes
So now that we know the reasons NOT to buy Likes, how do we go about increasing Facebook Likes? Here are the three best techniques we’ve found to do this, FAST:
- Like-Gated Facebook Contests
- Like-Gated Coupons on your Website
- Facebook Ads
Like-Gated Facebook Contests
Facebook contests are the fastest way to engage users and drive new Likes. The lure of a big prize (one that’s relevant to your specific target market) makes it a no-brainer for your target customers to “Like” your Page and become your Fan.
How Does a Facebook Contest Get Users to Like My Page?
A Facebook contest that lives in a Tab on your Page can be “like-gated”. This means that a person must Like your Page before they can access your contest. How it works is, a person who has not Liked your Page will see a like-gate image instead of the contest when they arrive at the contest Tab on your Page. The image will have some text that instructs them to click the Like button above the tab to access the contest. Once they Like your Facebook Page, the contest Tab will refresh to display the contest to them.
Should You Buy Facebook Likes?
This requires some code to do on your own, but a Facebook Contest App like Wishpond’s handles this for you in the back-end. To set up a like-gate all you need to do is check a checkbox and it’s done.
After contests, coupons are the best and fastest way to get new Likes. Recent studies have shown that 57% of social media users Follow a brand for access to competitions and free stuff. Even something small like a 25% Off coupon to your store will do the trick.
Using a Facebook Coupon App like Wishpond’s makes it easy to create a Tab on your Facebook Page where people can download a coupon. And just like with the Facebook Contest App mentioned in the previous section, you can like-gate your coupon with a single click.
The best way to promote a like-gated coupon is to feature it on your website. Visitors to your website are obviously interested in purchasing from you, so a free coupon will be very enticing to them. And as they’re already showing interest in your business, they are perfect people to have Likes your Page and engage with.
Why should you pay to advertise on Facebook? Because it’s extremely effective. Facebook’s targeting options make it easy to target a precise audience of people who are highly interested in your products.
Not only that, but Facebook offers a budgeting option specifically for the goal of generating Facebook Likes called Cost-Per-Like. By effectively testing and targeting Facebook Ads, we’ve been able to drop our Cost-Per-Like to as little as 20 cents. Learn how to A/B Test your Ads to get the lowest Cost-Per-Like.
The best way to use Facebook Ads to get new Likes is to use them in conjunction with a like-gated Facebook Contest or Coupon. Just make the click destination for your Ad be the contest or coupon Tab on your Page and start counting your new Likes.
If you’d like to get new Facebook Likes without buying them, here are a few free resources for you to check out:
Have you or anyone you know tried buying Facebook Likes? How’d it go? Let me know in the comment section below!
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