I’m sure you will have seen countless services that offer to furnish your new company Facebook or Twitter page with hundreds or even thousands of new followers/fans for a cost. It seems very tempting to chuck a relatively small amount of cash at these services and see your following grow to fantastic heights in a matter of days, but however attractive this sounds, you should first pose the question of why exactly you need these phoney friends.
Marketing to the non-market
If we put this into a real-life scenario, I can’t imagine you would be particularly keen to pay off a group of people to just say they’ll be your friend but, for arguments sake, let’s imagine that you are. You send an invitation out to all your new friends to attend a party at your place; Daft Punk are DJing, Jack Nicholson is hosting a Whiskey tasting session and Jenson Button is running a Go-Karting track in the garden – it’s going to be awesome!
The day of the party comes – Jack is unloading his whiskey, Daft Punk are assembling their robots and Jenson is laying the Go-Kart track around the garden pond and tool shed. You’ve invited every one of your 193,221 newly acquired Facebook and Twitter friends so now all you have to do is wait for that first doorbell. You sit patiently on your stairs, tray of hors d’oeuvres and champagne in hand as 8pm, 9pm, 10pm whooshes past. Nothing. Not a solitary soul even so much as peers through window. Even your nosy neighbour at No. 36 is unusually quiet on the curtain twitching front.
At 1am, Jack Nicholson is drunk and passed out in the bathroom, Jenson Button packed up and left hours ago and Daft Punk have eaten all the crisps and are now playing the Greatest hits of Matt Munroe on loop while powering down their robot entourage. It’s a sad sight and I doubt you’ll be at the top of the list for future bookings with your esteemed guests.
Ok, this analogy may be a tad fantastical but the fact remains, buying in friends really doesn’t do you any favours in terms of popularity.
The value of true friendship
What value can these phoney friends actually bring to your business? They aren’t going to interact with your content, they’re not going to share anything you post and they’re certainly not going to buy anything off you. Why are they there? Figuratively, they are just a room full of grinning profile photographs and trying to hold a conversation with a grinning profile photograph invariably turns out unfruitful.
True value comes from social organic growth where your followers are genuinely interested in your brand and from here you can tailor your content specifically to the kind of material that promotes interaction. A successful corporate Facebook page requires patience and good content from the off.
Why buying Facebook fans is a bad idea
- Yes, your page looks like it has a great following but you are essentially marketing to nobody
- A company page with a sudden explosion of followers looks a bit suspect. If your potential market sees this, any trust you want to instill becomes relatively null and void
- Buying your fan numbers will do little for your business – interaction and engagement is key to a successful page and 3000 fake likes certainly won’t kick off a conversation with you
- Buying fans to get the ‘ball rolling’ will have the same effect as starting from scratch so your time, energy and cash could be better spent.
Putting the ground work in to build your following organically is always advisable. Yes, it may take a while but with great content and a friendly brand appropriate tone, your followers will be encouraged to keep in touch and interact with you over a longer period of time and your following will grow naturally.