Stop Buying Facebook Likes: Why It’s a Bad Idea

Buying Facebook Likes

I had to check myself to stop this article from turning into a rant on why legitimate businesses need to stop buying Facebook likes. I’ve worked on many Facebook pages in my time as a freelancer, and I get a flourish of questions form my clients relating to this. There are many reasons this is a bad idea and I’ll discuss them here, but first, it’s time for a short FAQ to make sure you’re up to speed (and to improve our search results, of course):

  • Are Facebook Likes Important? Yes
  • Is It Against the Rules to Buy Facebook Likes? Yes and no, mainly no.
  • Are Paid Likes Really Genuine? Yes, but not in the way you think.
  • Why Do My Facebook Likes Decrease? Because your page is being un-liked.
  • How Do I Get More Facebook Likes? Read my guide on “How to Get Facebook Likes”.

“Buy Facebook Likes Cheap”

I hate this ad. I see it everywhere. In fact, as soon as I started writing this article I was interrupted by a Facebook notice to tell me that someone had tried to spam such a message on one of the pages I manage.

It’s something you’ll see all over social media and even on Fiverr. It’s a nuisance and like all spam, it defies belief. There are many reasons you would want to “buy likes” of course, but the methods used by these spammers are counterproductive and will do more harm than good. In the above FAQ I linked to a guide on how to get more Facebook likes. In this guide I explain why buying likes is important, but why those paid likes need to come from Facebook themselves and not from a random spammer on Fiver.

Buying Facebook Likes: How Paid Likes Work

Everyone has to begin somewhere. The biggest pages began with zero likes. Businesses with millions of customers began with just a handful of them. In 2017, Facebook changed the way their pages were displayed so that the number of likes weren’t immediately visible to everyone landing on your page. But it’s still important for businesses to get a respectable number of likes. It’s a way of declaring, “Look at us. People like is. Really. It’s true.”

For a business that has a product to sell, this is especially important. Many customers won’t trust a page with so few likes. For pages built off the back of communities and content websites, it’s more about respect than anything else.

In either case, page owners are often tempted into getting likes via one of two methods, both of which are a waste of time. I know that because I was in the same position myself when I created my very first Facebook pages over 4 years ago. I made those mistakes, I wasted my time.

Like Exchanges

My “Like Exchange” came from a book community. It was created for first-time authors and self-published authors. At the time, I was just starting out. I hadn’t had the success that would come later and I was new to most forms of marketing. When I signed up, I noticed that one of the very first Facebook author pages to join the exchange was from an author known for producing best-selling toilet paper. I figured that if it worked for her, then why wouldn’t it work for me?

These exchanges require you to add your page to a list and to then work your way through that list, opening each page that joined ahead of you and liking it. It’s like a pyramid scheme, and just as useless.

The first problem is that you have to like from your personal page (likes from Facebook Pages don’t count), which means the few friends/family I had on my page were suddenly inundated with notifications regarding my apparent newfound passion for erotic literature. The second problem is that, like all pyramid schemes, the only people really benefiting are those at the top.

And then you have the spam. Every like was followed by a copy-pasted message declaring, “I just liked your page, please do the same for me”. One of the pages I added to this exchange was still in operation three years later and I was still getting those messages every now and then. In fact, that’s what drove me to give up on it. By that point, the page had around 500 likes from fellow authors, none of which had ever interacted and none of which had helped to grow the page in anyway.

And that leads me to the biggest problem: none of these likes were coming from people who actually wanted to discover new authors and read new books. They were coming from authors who had already liked 500+ other pages and so would probably never see anything you posted, let alone pay any attention to it.

Buying Facebook Likes

The other useless option requires a little less time and doesn’t cost a lot, but it gives you likes that are even more useless. You see ads offering to “Sell Facebook likes” everywhere. They show up in Facebook comments on popular posts. They are sent to your Facebook page as a post and as personal messages. They even show up on Twitter, because targeted advertising is really not a spammer’s forte.

They promise to offer “Genuine” likes, and this is something that many prospective buyers have a hard time believing. But it’s true. They do come from “real’ accounts, which means, technically, they are “Genuine”.

These likes are coming from people who are not in your demographic and don’t even speak the same language. They are cheap because they are useless. The vast majority of these likes will drop off after a few months, and none of them will pay any attention to the things that you post.

It’s easy for other customers to see that you have basically opted for this cheap cop-out, and it messes up your Facebook demographics. You need these to see how people are interacting with your page, which in turn allows you to create more targeted ads. If you suddenly have an influx of people who have never heard of you or your product and don’t even speak the same language, that data becomes somewhat skewed.

How to Get Genuine Likes

The answer is simple: get your likes through Facebook. You can essentially use Facebook ads to pay for likes, and the likes you get are infinitely more useful. If you don’t have a lot to spend and only care about the number, then simply target cheaper areas like India (which costs a fraction of what it costs to advertise in the US and UK), and then make sure you target people who speak your language, are in your demographic and are interested in your product.

If you do it right, you can get between 100 to 500 likes for just $10. That’s about the same as you would pay to purchase likes from a spammer. As with those likes, they will come form India. The difference is that these likes are from potential customers who will actually interact.

There are other “cheap” areas as well. In South Africa, you can generally get high quality users for just $0.05 to $0.10 each, which is about a tenth of what you would pay for a user in the US, UK, Australia or Canada.

You’re paying to get your page out there in the Facebook system and are being charged for every time a user clicks the “Like” button. So, even though you’re going through the official platform you’re still paying for likes. But at least you know where they are coming from and at least they actually benefit your business.

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