Buy Facebook Likes or Grow Organically?

Buy Facebook Likes or Grow Organically?

facebook likesIs it right to buy Facebook likes to build your Facebook Page?

Buying likes by going to one of those spammy sites that offers 1,000 likes for $10 dollars (or similar) is extremely damaging to your brand.  You will end up with a large number of fans and very low engagement.

Do you think it’s difficult for Facebook to work out what you did?  90% of your fans are from one country and no one from that country ever interacts with your Page updates?

Google has been very open about the fact that is it trying to get rid of spammers, which we have seen with all of its changes over the last couple of years.  Facebook are behind Google in this regard, but they will catch up. Part of this will mean they will implement more controls to monitor pages that have Facebook fans who are mostly fake.

However, spending money on Facebook to grow your fanbase is essential if you want to grow quickly.

I was speaking with a company in the UK last week and they showed their graphs of growth for Facebook fans.  When they were not running advertisements, their fan base was growing very slowly.  As soon as they ran ads to promote their competitions, their fan growth shot up.

So, what are some legitimate and useful ways of buying Facebook likes?

1.  Running Facebook Competitions

As mentioned above, Facebook competitions increase engagement on your Page.  More engagement means more fans.

For example, Antavo has a competition app with some viral features that encourage fans to share.  Antavo is a paid-for application so you are paying to increase engagement and awareness and, ultimately, you are paying for more fans.

When you set up an application with Antavo, you define the type of app you want, specify the imagery you want to see, update your text (in your language of choice), and then you set the viral sharing features.

 

Antavo

Users have the option of entering the competition again by sharing out details to their friends!

 

If a user sends out the link and their friend subsequently enters the competition, they get an additional five entries.  They have the option of sharing it out on Facebook, sending a tweet out about it or emailing a link to the competition.

You can set up the competition so it is ‘Like Gated’.  This means that someone has to be a fan before they can enter the competition.

As more people share it out, more people will become fans.  This is a great way of increasing your fans and, although there’s a cost involved, it is more natural.  You would expect that the friends of your existing fans could also be relevant people who are worth targeting.

When you are running competitions on your Facebook Page, you want to make sure that the prize is relevant to your target audience.  You only want to attract people who will make ‘good fans’.  Good fans are potential purchasers of your products and services, or key influencers who can influence other people to buy your goods.

2. Target email subscribers

When someone visits your website and subscribes to your content via email, that is a good person to also have as a Facebook fan.  They probably arrived on your blog and really liked what you had to say!  In fact, they liked it so much that they want to see more of it and gave you permission to email them on a regular basis.

So, these are people who are good potential fans of your page and, if you target them with an advertisement on the same day they subscribe, the conversion rates will be quite high.

The type of advertising you might want to consider setting up in this case is called retargeting.  This means that, after they visit one location on the web, you can retarget the same person in another location.  This is why, when you’ve visited an online store, you might see ads for that same store all over the place for a few days!

Perfect Audience is an excellent tool for retargeting on Facebook.  You can target a visitor on all pages of your website, or you can target just one specific page.  In the following screenshot, you can see that you select ‘path’ and enter the specific page:

 

Perfect audience setup 1

Set up Perfect Audience for a specific page

 

If you are building email subscribers then, after they subscribe, you should direct them to a ‘thank you’ page.  This allows you to track goals in Google Analytics to measure conversion rates and, in this example, it also allows you retarget only those people who actually subscribed.

Note:  On my thank you page I used to include a Facebook Like widget embedded within my page.  This allowed people to become a fan after they subscribed but, too often, the box didn’t appear.

With Perfect Audience you can now target email subscribers to become a fan.  You display ads directed only at them.  You can set up a time limit for how long you want to advertise to them, too.

Again you are buying fans!

3.  Drive people to a ‘Welcome’ page

A couple of years ago, you could force non-fans to see a ‘welcome page’ before they got to see your timeline.  This page was often used to convince people to become a fan.

You can’t do this any more, but you can still use a welcome page.

For example, if you are running advertisements to build your fans, then sending people to the timeline means you will end up with poor conversion rates.  You can still direct people directly to a welcome page and, on this page, you can strongly convince them to become a fan.

To create a welcome page, use an app such as Shortstack or Agorapulse which allow you to set up this custom landing page.

Here is an example of a landing page created with a strong incentive to become a fan.

 

Facebook landing page

Create a custom welcome page

Summary

Unfortunately, with Facebook, we’re in a world of pay to play.   On average, less than 5% of your fans see your content, so just sharing great content is not going to help you build a big Facebook fan base.

This means that you do have to buy likes if you want to grow quickly.

Buying likes from spammy sites that will give you hundreds of thousands of irrelevant fans for a low cost is actually a very high cost  measure, because it is damaging to your brand.  Very soon, you’ll be going through and removing invalid fans in the same way as you try to remove dodgy links from your website.  It will happen!

Investing your money in the right type of fans makes sense and is actually essential.  Be smart about how you are targeting people and, wherever possible, try to encourage your audience to share out your content.  You kickstart more awareness and sharing with money, but then you hopefully get some additional fans for free through the sharing your existing fans do, e.g. using Antavo or similar.

That’s it, that’s all I have to say!!

I would love to hear your opinion.  Do you agree with what I say?  Do you have anything to add?

How are you going to buy Facebook likes?

Ian

 

Growth image by Shutterstock




 

About the author

Ian Cleary

Author: Ian Cleary is the Founder of RazorSocial and is super passionate about helping people leverage tools and technology to improve effectiveness of your social media presence.

  • Sara Piccola

    Hi Ian, thanks so much for mentioning ShortStack in this post! We now offer businesses the ability to post their apps anywhere online without relying on Facebook which makes the idea of a Welcome Page even more valuable since people don’t have to be limited by Facebook guidelines. We of course always support organic growth, even with low organic reach, the right fans are still valuable and it’s better to have fewer fans that are of higher value than a ton of fans that don’t really care for or interact with your business. Thanks for the great article!

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thanks Sara, I think most Facebook app providers will drop the word ‘Facebook’. You guys are just ahead of everyone else! Ian

    • http://www.antoniocalero.com/ Antonio Calero

      I didn’t know that Sara (I’ve been offline for a couple of months and now am trying to catch up with everything)

      I must say Shortstack is my favourite tool, and this new option gives me a new reason. Please, keep up the good work!

  • Richard

    Hi Ian, do me a favor! At the top where you show how many shares are throughout the networks, change flares to shares and delete my message. Nice blog by the way, I do intend to flare… share it myself. Just thought I`d help you out.

  • http://warrenwhitlock.com/social-media-expert Warren Whitlock

    The word “organic” never really fits for business. Popular use comes from the business (paid of course) that optimizes a site to be found without ad dollar spend.. meaning the readers get what they are looking for.

    Facebook users aren’t searching. Most businesses there are interrupting them and that’s advertising. The payments made to Facebook or other vendors are just one cost (content and labor cost too).

    When I see the word “organic” in food, I assume it’s a marketing term. When I hear it applied to Facebook, I think “someone is trying to get ads without paying”

    What you shared here, what I know you teach elsewhere is straight on great advice. This rant is just about the word :)

    • Patrick Costello

      Great article Ian. Warren, good point, but I think that organic CAN fit for business with the right tools. People clicking the share button for an article yields a free ad without paying for ads. However, it’s only an “ad” if the publisher can easily control the message, and that typically isn’t possible to do easily or systematically. My company, Naytev lets you do this by applying a/b testing and machine learning to how your content shows up when it’s organically shared to social media.

      We typically seeing a 30%+ boost in referral traffic from organic social shares. Sorry about the product plug, but it’s hard to provide evidence for why organic can be a direct fit for business without mentioning our findings. Would love to hear other examples of how folks are finding ways to get organic to be a fit for business.

      • http://warrenwhitlock.com/social-media-expert Warren Whitlock

        you missed the point. the word “organic” is used to describe a business practice that costs real companies real money.. it’s not some magic fairy dust letting people find the business for free.

        MOST of what I do utilizes things outside of ads. We use time and money elsewhere to create content worth seeing and build relationships with buyers and prospects who love to share it. It’s not free, it’s “organic” in that there are humans made of cells involved.

        We do pay for ads. That accelerates it. My point, again, is that the myth of there being something owed by Facebook that was earned by using their free system is just plain silly.. a misunderstanding.

        I’m preaching to the choir here I know… assuming that we have lurkers who didn’t know this. Nothing wrong with that, good information is takes work to find (unless you have Ian doing it for you LOL)

        • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

          Thanks Warren, I love seeing a good discussion on the blog!

          • http://warrenwhitlock.com/social-media-expert Warren Whitlock

            :)

      • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

        Thank you so much for your response, your tool looks really interesting. Want to send me an email on the contact form on Razorsocial so we can check it out.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Hi Warren, if you become a fan of a Facebook page and provide useful valuable content then your fans shouldn’t see it as an interruption!

      • http://warrenwhitlock.com/social-media-expert Warren Whitlock

        Edgerank shows stories based on what it calculates as important, fresh and desirable to the user. I have to agree with Facebook, most users don’t want to see a page’s new post over the best friend’s cat photo.

        Again.. My only reason to rant here was the term “organic” which is inaccurate in describing business. It’s not you, me, or anyone we know.. we’re stuck with that term.
        :)

  • http://www.antoniocalero.com/ Antonio Calero

    It’s incredible that there are still Pages buying Likes and using the number of followers as their KPI.

    I don’t understand why so many people have so many issues with paying Facebook to achieve their objectives, but they are OK to pay link farms.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Yes I agree Antonio. Too many people talk about the big number!

    • http://warrenwhitlock.com/social-media-expert Warren Whitlock

      not surprising when compared to the #oldmedia reaction to declining results of banners. As engagement goes down, the add more of them.

      Most big campaigns are still entirely numbers driven… which means there will be opportunities for the rest of our careers.

      • http://www.antoniocalero.com/ Antonio Calero

        Exactly: that’s what happens with people that are not Social Media savvy and focus only on ‘fluffy’ goals. But as you say, that’s only good news for most of us!

        • http://warrenwhitlock.com/social-media-expert Warren Whitlock

          my fluffy goal in life is to not worry about things I can’t change.. and that’s most everything.

          • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

            Thats’s a great goal not a fluffy one!

          • http://warrenwhitlock.com/social-media-expert Warren Whitlock

            “fluffy” as Antonio referred to. Hard to make “not worrying” a KPI, but it certainly has an ROI.

  • Cameron

    I Believe that paying to facebook for getting likes is not a good idea, I think you should work hard and try to get organic likes which will really give your site high quality traffic rather than just a bunch of paid likes from people who are almost not even interested your pages content.

  • Khakan

    Facebook has also started to give more value to money rather than quality, I would never ever invest in getting paid likes and exposure for my page, I would rather stick to the old organic way because it’s natural, paid things I think would never ever give you the quality of organic likes to your page and your website

  • Lisa Anderson

    I can honestly say i dont see the point in buying Facebook likes as surely they arent real people!

  • http://bartenders411.com/ Prabir Kumar Mondal

    Internet marketing has become an integral part of marketing strategies today and various social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are becoming popular day by day and influencing their members in making their buying decisions.

  • http://www.webdesignreview.co.uk haris awais

    buying facebook like is good way to show traffic in numbers but they are of no use if you dont have quality one day you will fall, this is not how seo works

  • Jason Marnie

    It depends in which way they use the word organic, i dont think buying facebook likes ect is the way to grow or build a business on. I dont exactly understand how this would be a positive for a company.

    • http://www.webdesignreview.co.uk haris awais

      obviously ,google already mentioned to be natural in your approach of seo ,so buying facebook fake like would’nt help

  • Sally Marie

    This is again one that i am unsure about, how do you know if it will be affective or not? wouldnt it be easier to go for a well trusted approach.