Buying “Likes” & “Fans” is a Waste of Time and Money

As social media managers have learned over the past several months, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get your content seen by fans who have opted into your Facebook marketing messaging by virtue of “liking” your brand. I can’t tell you how many times I still come across people who were hawking services like buying “Likes” and “Fans”. It’s been happening for a long time now and those chickens are starting to come home to roost for Social Media Managers who used this strategy. Instagram users take note because it’s a problem there too. It’s making it significantly harder for social media managers to reach their audience.

Brand managers are starting to flee from Facebook because they now realize it was stupid to pay to have a bunch of fake fans to “like” your sponsored posts. Ok, so your brand has 50K “Fans” and your posts are getting hundreds of “Likes” but if you bought them who are you really reaching? The answer: You’re reaching click farms in India, that’s who. You’re getting no return on investment and you’re actually paying good marketing dollars to reach these “ClickFarms”.  A huge waste of time and money.

I recently had a major web design firm actually try to advise me to limit my Facebook use because of the fact that Facebook was not reaching real people. Really, Major Web Design Firm? A company with 5000 “fans” and 3 Facebook postings with hundreds of “Likes” is lecturing me on the failed reach of Facebook???

Anyway, as an old school blogger who has been doing this a long time I would like to say Goodbye and Good Riddance to all those Social Media Managers who tried to take shortcuts in building their brands. If you would like some actual strategies on using Facebook correctly, strategies that are working for me, here are a few that I am using. Yes, the Facebook pages I build and manage were all built organically. That means that I never bought advertising or fans. Most of the fans are there because they looked us up or found us through an eBlast. Still many others have checked into the business and then started being a fan. That being said…

Checkins Drive the Most Traffic

The best tip I can leave is that checkins drive THE MOST traffic. If you have multiple locations for your business and only have one page you are losing out on valuable, free, Facebook impressions. An impression is when your brands page shows up on someone’s timeline. It’s up to you to generate postings that will compel people to click on them.

For small business’s, you may find that your business’s may be running under the same name but in distinct, individual, geographical communities. A separate Facebook page for each location of your business, especially if it is a small business, is a great option. Yes, I have blogged about this before…

You can have checkin contests to encourage checkins or you may want to try using a wifi hotspot. Right now I am running a hotspot in a small business to encourage checkins. The Wifi is free as long as people checkin on Facebook. The service is pretty new and I have been testing it out the last 3 months but I have to admit, even if the “Likes” are not growing as fast as I would like the Facebook impressions of those pages are going up. This means people are checking in multiple times and every time they checkin it’s getting posted to their timeline, hence more impressions and more eyes on the business. This is not an endorsement of the service but the Wifi service is here…

Content is King

Remember that content is king and you should never use your Facebook pages for purely marketing. Have some fun with them. Create some great graphics. Entertain, inform, put a smile on your fans faces. You will need to pick up some photography skills, you will need to handle customer complaints online and how to take them offline and you will need to be a jack of all trades when it comes to technology. The social media world is always changing but content is still king.

Never, and I mean, NEVER, let an outside company tell you how to manage your communities. Third party companies have plenty of tools at their disposal and they may come across as experts that can give you crazy numbers for a return on social media investment. There is a right answer and a wrong answer to social media and if your consulting with companies that are giving you the wrong answer it may be time to just go it alone before you waste time and money. Build your Facebook pages organically and you’ll be fine.

Just remember, Facebook is “Part” of your marketing strategy. Never put all your marketing eggs in one basket.

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