Facebook, like any social network, is powered by people and user content, and so, in theory, the more users connected to your business page, the greater the reach, but in practice, that could not be further from the truth, as Facebook, like any social media or content driven platform, is motivated by quality and not quantity, and so when it comes to increasing the likes of your business page, the temptation to buy likes rather than put in the effort to obtain them genuinely might seem like a quick fix, but it comes with a whole range of other problems.
The reality is that hard work and engagement pays off, not numbers.
We will explain some of the pitfalls of buying Facebook likes and provide you with alternative strategies to grow your page the right way.
Damaged Ranking and Lower Organic Reach
Facebook uses a very complicated algorithm to measure tens of thousands of elements that determine if your post or page is of interest to your followers, and what sort of priority it should allocate to it. The previous system, called Edgerank, has been replaced by a comprehensive machine learning algorithm, which measures the engagement of your page through likes, shares, comments, and other interactions. If your page and content scores highly, that in turn will more likely mean your future posts appear in your followers’ news feeds, thus increasing your overall organic reach.
By their very nature, bought Facebook likes are essentially unengaged and disinterested followers. These fake likes will not result in genuine engagement, leading to a lower rank and decreased organic reach.
Negative Impact on Reputation
Having a large number of fake likes can also damage your brand’s reputation. When real users visit your page and see that your posts have little to no engagement despite having thousands of likes, they may question the authenticity of your brand and its followers.
This is evident whenever you look at a page where likes have been purchased. If a page has 20,000 followers, for example, but only a handful of likes or comments, it immediately should set off alarm bells for users browsing your page.
A large number of fake likes can also harm your reputation with your existing and potential customers. When they see an influx of fake likes on your page, they may question your brand’s credibility and trustworthiness.
Trust is vital in building relationships with your customers. When they notice that you have bought fake likes, they may feel deceived and lose faith in your brand. A simple check on your followers will quickly reveal if your followers are local, associated with your business, or, most likely, based thousands of miles away from your operating area.
If customers question your brand’s credibility due to fake likes, they may be less likely to purchase your products or services, leading to missed sales opportunities.
When you made the decision to start a Facebook page for your business, it is most likely because you wanted to increase business through brand or product awareness, and reach more of your target audience. That can never happen when you buy fake likes, because these likers will not be your target audience and will never use your services, and so, your advertising efforts become ineffective because you are targeting the wrong people.
Although they might seem cheap, you would get more success handing out money in the street to encourage people to like your page, because at least they would be within your local catchment area. Buying fake likes is a waste of money.
Increased Risk of Being Hacked
When you buy Facebook likes, you expose your business to potential security risks. Some Facebook like sellers may be hackers who can gain access to your account and sensitive information.
Purchasing likes from untrustworthy sources can put your payment information at risk, potentially leading to financial losses and identity theft, and even the possibility of your page or account being totally taken over by hackers who could post almost anything, remove you from your account, and potentially shut you out, resulting in you having to start completely from scratch..
Removing Fake Likes is Not Easy
If you have already bought fake likes, and perhaps realised the error of your ways. removing them from your page can be a tedious and time-consuming process.
While you can report fake users to Facebook, there is no guarantee that Facebook will remove them. The only way of removing them from your page is through a laborious and manual process.
Removing fake likes from your page can take a significant amount of time and effort, which could be better spent on more productive activities.
Having a large number of fake likes on your page can distort your analytics, making it difficult to understand what is working and what is not.
With fake likes, your page may appear successful on the surface, but this false impression can prevent you from making necessary improvements to your marketing strategy.
When your analytics are skewed by fake likes, it becomes challenging to identify which strategies are effective in engaging and converting real customers. Remember, engagement is the magic key.
Legal Consequences and Penalties
While buying Facebook likes is not explicitly against Facebook’s terms of service, it can still lead to penalties and legal consequences.
Facebook continually works to detect and remove fake likes and accounts from its platform. If your page is found to have a large number of fake likes, it may be penalised or even removed.
In some cases, Facebook may take legal action against providers of fake likes, which can indirectly affect your business.
Loss of Authenticity
One of the most significant drawbacks of buying Facebook likes is the loss of authenticity that comes with it. Authenticity is essential in building trust and credibility with your audience.
As we have already mentioned, when you buy fake likes, you are acquiring a disengaged audience that is unlikely to interact with your content or become real customers.
Having a large number of fake likes can make it difficult for your brand to build genuine connections with your target audience. Engagement equals connections, equals trust, equals business.
Buying Facebook likes can also raise ethical concerns, particularly when it comes to supporting click farms and other unethical practices.
Click farms are operations in which low-paid workers generate fake likes, comments, and shares on social media platforms. By buying Facebook likes, you may be indirectly supporting these unethical practices.
If your brand values ethical business practices, buying Facebook likes can be contradictory to those values and potentially damage your brand’s image.
Alternatives to Buying Facebook Likes
Instead of buying Facebook likes, consider the following strategies to grow your page organically and authentically:
Create Valuable and Engaging Content
Focus on creating unique, valuable, and engaging content that your target audience wants to see and share.
Use Facebook Ads
Invest in Facebook ads to reach your target audience and attract genuine likes from people who are interested in your products or services. Facebook ads can be directed with granular detail, such as a specific location, demographic, or even interests of Facebook users, amongst other metrics.
Leverage Influencer Partnerships
Partner with influencers in your industry to reach a broader audience and attract genuine likes from their followers.
Engage with Your Audience
We cannot stress the importance of this enough. Engage with your audience by responding to comments, asking questions, and encouraging discussions to foster a sense of community.
Social media, of which Facebook is one, is all about being social, it is about engagement and interaction. Many businesses make the mistake of making their posts all one-sided, posing content or information but never responding to the audience, thus minimising the overall impact.
Engagement builds loyalty and trust.
In conclusion, buying Facebook likes may seem like a quick fix to grow your page, but it can have long-lasting negative effects on your brand’s reputation and online presence. Instead, focus on creating valuable content and engaging with your target audience to grow your page organically and authentically.