I was recently on a conference call with a Surrey-based business, when my colleagues and I were asked our opinion on buying ‘likes’ for their Facebook page. The client in question had been approached by a supplier who claimed to guarantee a large number of Facebook ‘likes’ for £50.
If you don’t work in the field of social media marketing, this looks like an attractive deal at face value, particularly if you want your business to appear popular.
But it’s not necessarily, and here are three very quick reasons why:
1. ‘Social’ is all about engagement. Whether you are targeting customers, prospects, partners, community members or anyone else, successful marketing using social media channels such as Facebook should be all about engaging with your network. Simply having lots of ‘likes’ rarely does anything dramatic, meaningful or measurable to a business’ bottom line. And simply pumping out self-serving messages in isolation is also less effective. Building an interaction or relationship with your visitors is way more powerful.
2. Buying likes doesn’t guarantee quality. Our experience with clients who have taken the £50 option of buying ‘likes’ is that the quality of those followers was highly questionable. The analysis showed that a high volume of those likes came from overseas, largely from countries such as China, Russia and Taiwan. If your business doesn’t operate in those locations then they’re pretty useless as a metric of success.
3. ‘Boosting’. Given the choice, our advice would be to spend that £50 with Facebook itself. If you are running promotions, campaigns or competitions on your page, then you can ‘boost’ them. You’ll see this option when you’re logged is as the Facebook page admin. It’s a form of advertising that basically extends your reach to take your business beyond your network and into your network’s network.
As example of this in practice, Creased Cards’ first store was opened in Brighton just prior to Christmas 2013. It sells a diverse, unique and fun range of cards and gifts and my colleagues at communications agency, Gasp! created a Facebook caption competition concept for the retailer.
It was ‘boosted’ which gave the campaign a reach of 34,700 people, of which 2,200 engaged with Creased Cards. This is a very focused marketing penetration that would have been near impossible to achieve through other marketing channels – not for the same modest budget anyway.