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Buying Your Social Media Likes – What’s It Really Worth

Written by Georgina Thorne
On & Categorised in Social Media
Buying social media likes - she is digital

The controversial subject of paying for your Social Media likes, and whether or not it’s a good idea came up in conversation with a friend who is looking to up her social media game.

She asked me if she should buy social media Likes to boost her facebook profile.

My initial reaction was that you should avoid the temptation and keep your pages and profiles authentic if your to gain any kind of business value from them – But, if you look at it from a social proofing angle, could there be some benefit to it?

The debate was such an interesting one, I decided to write an article explaining how buying Likes works, why I would initially recommend against it, but also the flip side of using it to social proof your platforms.

How Buying Likes Works

Buying your social media likes is not like paying for page likes with ads directly through a platform like Facebook. This is where you pay external websites like boostlikes.com a fee of say £10, and they’ll add 100 likes to your page.

This might sound like an easy way to boost your profile, but the problem with this is that you never know where those Likes have come from.

I checked out, Boost Likes, and they put a lot of emphasis on the likes being “Real”, but they don’t actually clarify what they mean by that. Does the account even exist? And even if it does, there’s no way to choose the profile of someone who’s actually interested in your business or industry.

You’re essentially getting a random bunch of Likes, and if your lucky the account will actually exist. But who knows what country they live in or what language they speak, and the reality is, the chances of those accounts having any interest in buying from you in the future are slim to non existent.

Reasons Against Buying Social Media Likes:

  1. Low Engagement = Low Edgerank
  2. You could isolate real fans
  3. Purchased Likes won’t convert to customers

1. What’s Low EdgeRanking?

Having 10,000 Likes on your Pages wont mean much if they aren’t engaging with you. Bought fans don’t engage with your posts 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. If you’re getting lots of likes and comments on the post from your page, your EdgeRank goes up and Facebook will show more of content in feeds.

Now, the opposite happens when your posts are getting little or no engagement, and that’s emphasised when you have a tone of bought page likes but no likes on posts. The consequence is your EdgeRank will drop and no one will see your posts, and that includes your real Likes.

2. You Could Isolate Real Fans

OK, let’s say that your bought Likes do actually engage with your Facebook Page. This will be good for your overall Edgerank, but will have a massive effect on the Likes that actually matter to your business.

This will make the data in your Facebook Insights pretty useless. You might see lot of engagement, but it won’t be coming from the people who are really interested in your business.

So if you make decisions regarding the type of content you post based on your analytics, you could end up posting out duff content.  It might look popular from the statistics (fake fan likes), but your real fans aren’t actually interested in, making your efforts all for nothing, and your real fans will start to loose interest.

3. Purchased Likes Won’t Convert to Customers

Your social media marketing efforts, regardless of the channel, are all about generate more sales for your business. So, if most or all of your engagement is with people who aren’t actually interest in your industry niche, then your efforts are totally wasted and the chances of converting those fans into paying customers is zero.

 

On The Flip Side

 

Reasons For Buying Social Media Likes:

  1. Social Proofing your page
  2. Gaining access to onsite advertising features

 

1. What’s Social Proofing?

Social proof, also known as informational social influence, is a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behaviour for a given situation – Wikipedia

We’ve all checked out the social media channels of a business we’re thinking about buying something from. What are they talking about, what are people saying about them and how many followers do they have? It’s important to us, it gives us a sense of security in the fact that if so many other people are supporting them, they must know what they’re doing, right?

And chances are you’ll end up following them too, because you don’t want to miss out.

The opposite is also likely to happen when you don’t have many followers. People may see your social media stature as a reflection of your business and if you don’t have many followers, then maybe your not very good at what you do.

It’s possible that having fake Likes would generate more real likes as people want to join the bandwagon, and you could generate business because of the popularity perception or Social Proofing.

2. Gain Access To Onsite Advertising Features

There is also another way that buying your social media likes, your audience could help you out.

Say for example you’re a start up business and you’ve set up your chosen social media channels. You’ve been updating them 2 or 3 times a day with decent content, you’ve managed to get a bunch of your your friends to like your page and now your page Likes number is stuck at 28 and no matter what you to do, you can’t seem to increase your followers organically.

What do you do?

This is where buying your social media audience could help. In a post by Kristi Hines she explains a few reason how buying social media likes has it’s perks when it comes to your Facebook page:

On Facebook, you can’t choose a username if you have less than 25 likes. You can’t see page insights if you have less than 30 likes. You can’t create Offers if you have less than 100 likes. You can’t use Promoted Posts if you have less than 400 likes.

It doesn’t matter whether these likes are relevant, real, or otherwise – when you have them, you can use these (and other) features on your Facebook page. – Kristi Hines

So, in the case of a start up with very little Likes, could buying a few Likes (say 100) be a good idea if it means you have access to other onsite paid for advertising features?

Providing you know when they were added to your page, and monitor all the new interaction from that point, you could still make the most of the page analytics, and make informed decisions on your content.

In Conclusion

Personally, when it comes to paying for Likes I still stand by my initial reaction of, “you should avoid the temptation and keep your pages and profiles authentic if your to gain any kind of business value from them.”

If you’re going to bother using social media to promote your business, you might as well do it properly. That’s the only way you’re really going to understand your audience, what their habits are, what content they’re in to and how you can serve them better.

Buying social media Likes is a short term fix and, and is it worth it? No I don’t think it is.

It might take a bit longer to hit the high numbers and require a bit more effort, but when you do, that will be worth it.

When that happens you will have gained so much more knowledge from your audience, built lasting connections with your fans and will start to see a real difference in your sales.

There are other, more legitimate, ways you can build your social media audience without buying likes, yes they’re harder, but that’s what makes it so rewarding:

  • Do your research and create a killer content strategy for your target audience
  • Add official social following buttons such as the Twitter follow button or Facebook Like button on your website.
  • Add links to your social profiles in email signatures, forum signatures, business cards, brochures, etc.
  • Take advantage of the paid for ads feature on your social media channel

Addition Reading 

5 Steps to getting more customers using Facebook

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