You might have come across some services that offer to provide you with hundreds or even thousands of Facebook 'Likes', and for anyone new to Facebook with just a handful of fans, this can seem like a very tempting offer.
Firstly though, you need to stop and ask yourself - why do you want to buy likes? Sure, it's nice to look popular, but what good will looking popular really achieve? The truth is, nothing at all.
The real value of Facebook comes from genuine fans. These are the people that will be past/existing customers and people who largely, have an actual interest in your brand and what you have to say. They are effectively, receptive sales leads and as such, it is generally worthwhile investing your time into engaging with them as they are far more likely to convert into customers or purchase from you again.
Only genuine fans have a real intrinsic value to your business
The low down is, buy likes and your fans won't have any genuine interest in your brand and certainty won't be receptive to anything you do; in which case they are of little or no real value to you. It makes much more sense to build communities organically which is always our preferred approach. Sure, this takes a little longer to achieve, but it will result in a much higher quality of fan who will have real intrinsic value for your business.
Why buying Facebook fans is a bad move
- Your new 'fans' will have no interest in your business or your messages - why spend your time marketing yourself to none-prospects?
- Buying fans is often very obvious - a competitor or customer can easily spot a sudden explosion in the size of your community and could very publicly question this, stripping you off the trust you will have inspired in your real fans.
- Buying a community is often a question of ethics and trust and won't do your reputation any favours.
- Growing a community of fake fans will do little for your business; it's all about engagement and fake fans won't engage with you.
- Buying fans will make you look like an amateur, signalling to the competition that you don't know what you are doing.
If you come across a service selling you Facebook likes or an agency promising you a ready made community or a guaranteed number of fans, you should be on your guard and be aware that organic growth is the only approach guaranteed to provide you with real, sustainable benefits.
I've found few examples of businesses that have bought likes and actually benefited; for example, sometimes 'getting the ball rolling' on a new community may be helped by the number of fans you have, the thinking being that a busy community is more appealing than a small one; I disagree however. If your Facebook wall is full of interesting content and lots of interaction, then regardless of that community consisting of 100 or 10,000 people, it's going to be appealing and will grow.
My advice? Focus on growing your community organically by publishing great content and being generally engaging. Not only will you enjoy steady and sustained growth, but you'll have a community of actual fans who do care about what you have to say and most importantly, are willing to listen.