Is buying Facebook likes worth it? Should you advise your client to buy Facebook likes? It can be a very tempting offer to pay for likes. This is further encouraged by the fact that growing an organic audience is time-consuming and requires a lot of effort.
There are two main ways of buying page likes for your brand – The legitimate way and the illegitimate way. The illegitimate way is to visit websites such as boost likes and purchase some likes for a given price.
Such websites rely on click farms usually located in developing countries such as India, Nepal, Indonesia, the Philippines & Bangladesh. Click farms extend to generate likes and followers on a social media platform. Employees of a click farm will be paid 1USD per 1000 clicks of the like/follow button.
Facebook prohibits such a way of buying likes, instead, they offer a legitimate way of buying likes through advertising your business. A link to buy likes is usually prominently displayed for you to buy likes fairly quickly, however, buying likes comes with the unintended consequence of advertising to click farms where your ad will be seen by people not interested in your business but interested in the payout the receive from click farms to interact with ads.
Facebook defines fake likes as “External services that sell packages of likes from fake accounts or people without real intent by offering a certain number of likes for a flat fee.”
The issue with fake likes is how they behave. They do not behave similarly to legitimate organic likes. You will grow your audience after buying likes however, an unintended consequence of buying like the legitimate way is a drop in engagement. This is caused by the people that followed your page via ads. Usually, the ads we are served will be triggered by our past interactions with other ads, content, searches, our interests etc. The people being served the ad may like what your ad is all about, only to find that after they liked your page, they do not share the same beliefs. This leaves you with an audience that does not interact with your content which consequently reduces your distribution score and even fewer people seeing your content. Fake likes further decrease your Click Through Rate which in turn further tells the platform that your followers are not interested in a particular post so it should not be served to a broader audience.
Usually, when you publish a post, Facebook will serve it to a small batch of your followers to gauge their reaction. Should the audience react with the content it will then be served to even more of your followers including their friends. Now imagine that there are fake likes in your audience, with fake likes the post will be distributed to even fewer real fans which then receives less engagement, them you reach a small number of people. This negative loop continues over and over to a point where you can remain with a large following, however, still find your content is shown to a minuscule amount of people in your audience.
Now, what are your options? Should you really abandon Facebook ads? No, you can improve your page’s visibility by further promoting your content and optimising it for engagements. This comes at an additional cost. This then means there should be a balance between your pages likes and engagements. The system is not perfect but you can make the best out of the platform.
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