By Steve Neville
I recently received an email asking whether or not buying Facebook likes is a good idea? After all, as the company explained, they could pay $200 for 5,000 likes and have a Facebook page that rivals that of “big businesses” in a matter of days. Awesome, right?
My answer to them was not, “no,” but h#$% no. Pardon my symbols…
And here’s why I am so against the prospect of “buying likes”:
Because worthless numbers don’t equal “success,” in any form, for businesses using social media. Engagement, interaction, and influence does.
What’s the point of 5,000 followers if none of them care about your business? It’s a 100% FACT those followers only showed up because someone paid them for ten seconds of their time to click a simple like button. They will never engage, interact, or contribute anything positive (monetarily or socially) to your business. They are, for a lack of a better term, are social media prostitutes who want your money and then want to never hear from your business again.
And, as the great Levar Burton once said, you don’t have to take my word for it. There’s a million experts on social media blogs out there that agree. Like this blog on Techinasia, and this article on Mashable. And whatever million obvious reasons we all come up with for not wanting to buy followers, everyone agrees that the main reason boils down to relationships. Be it creating them…or destroying them.
For example, what about your “true fans” that came to your page because they genuinely liked your business and your content? What will happen to them when they no longer feel like they are a part of your business’ growth? What will your true fans think when a whole flock of “followers” show up the next week and it’s clear you’re buying likes?
Are your fans, who believed you were there for them, now just another number?
Most importantly, what will happen to your business if your true followers leave? Would you rather have 5,000 people chatting about what service pays them the most to like page on YOUR business page, or a smaller number of your loyal friends acting as brand ambassadors ?
Honestly, you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. Respect your friends, build relationships, and let the numbers come to you.
One of the greatest influencers I have ever come across in social media is a man named Robert Caruso, or @fondalo as his Twitter followers know him. He has well over 38,000 followers, but I can personally guarantee he earned everyone of them. He is dedicated to social media, he is dedicated to building relationships with everyone that follows him, and he always interacts and engages with honesty.
He embodies everything social media should be about: Relationships, open and engaged discourse, and honesty.
If you work consistently in social media, followers will come. I believe in our company because every single employee here believes that there is no substitute for hard work in social media. That creating positive content, engaging with others, and EARNING every single like we get is the key to building relationships and business. In essence, we won’t buy likes, but we would welcome a chance to deserve it.