This past week I was browsing Fiverr.com, an online marketplace where people sell services for $5, when I came across several “gigs” that claimed to get a Facebook fan Page hundreds of new (and legitimate) Likes.
The concept of buying Likes is not new. After researching the topic, it turns out there are a lot of options when it comes to buying Likes– going through Fiverr is just one way.
Most of the articles you’ll find on the web after searching for “pros and cons of buying Facebook Likes” are one-sided: don’t do it. I decided to do a little research on the issue to present you with the facts so that you can form your own opinion.
1. Instant gratification is awesome: Especially if you have a new Facebook Page, the temptation to buy Facebook Likes is very real. Most services that are available for purchasing Likes even offer overnight “delivery.” The instant gratification of seeing a fan count grow by 200 percent in just a matter of hours is exhilarating.
2. Buying Likes can be inexpensive: With Fiverr, for example, it’s only $5 to buy hundreds of new Facebook Likes. Five dollars is not a lot to spend. Depending on your views, this is a very low-risk, high-reward situation.
3. Engagement metrics will take a hit: The mass majority of fans that are purchased are fake. Fake accounts do not engage. For Page admins and social media managers, it will be very difficult to justify, correct, or even improve Facebook engagement metrics if a large percent of your fanbase is purchased.
4. Fan count is not sustainable: There are several ways companies that sell Facebook Likes get their Likes. One of the more popular ways is that businesses find or create false Facebook user accounts for the purpose of Liking Pages. The problem now is that Facebook has become more diligent in deleting fake accounts. In August Facebook announced they have plans to disable more than 83 million fake accounts. This means that all your new likes can be taken away just as quickly as you purchased them.
5. Your Facebook efforts will become worthless: Facebook is only valuable to your business if your fanbase is made up of real users engaging with your brand. Otherwise, your brand’s Facebook efforts will only become an expense. Without a genuine online audience, there are no gains.
6. Buying Likes can get you in trouble: From what I can find in my research, Facebook does not penalize Pages that choose to purchase Likes. However, if you’re employed by someone and they catch wind that you’ve purchased fans, it then may become a matter of poor ethics.