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Botting: why you should never buy likes

SMPerth // 13th June 2017
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Buying social media followers…

Stop right there.  No, just no.

Your brand is on social media and you’ve been putting the effort into posting content but things are a little slow on the follower front… You’re thinking that you could buy some likes to add some credibility.

 

Numbers don’t equate to credibility

Basically, when you buy followers you’re paying for a bunch of fake profiles. ‘So what?’ you say, ‘It still increases my numbers and makes me look good. Who’s going to notice?

You have to earn credibility, you can’t pay for it. You think that a rapid increase in likes overnight won’t be noticed, and have your other followers questioning how?

The other give away is that your posts won’t have a healthy ratio of likes to followers, so you may have a few thousand fans on your Facebook page but you still only get a handful of likes and comments on your posts. Hmm, how do you justify that? Your fans and potential customers coming to your page will also notice this, think it’s a bit weird/dodgy and more than likely choose to go elsewhere.

 

You can forget about engagement

Often bought page likes come from ‘click farms’ located in places like China and India, which give you followers that have absolutely no relevance to your company in Australia. As well as this, fake profiles won’t interact with your posts, so overall your engagement will suffer, big time.

And your algorithms will go out of whack too. You may have heard of Edge Rank, it’s Facebook’s system of working out how engaged your audience is with your content. It helps determine your organic reach. If you’re sharing content to a mostly fake fan base that don’t interact then your ranking will suffer, and you’ll be lucky if your fans get to see your posts.

 

It’s a costly affair

You’ve bought a couple of thousand followers for your Facebook page. Now you’ve built an audience you’re going to boost one of your posts. The ad is going great, you’ve got lots of clicks on it, the budget got spent really quickly too! You take a look at the data and something seems a bit strange…not one person has acted on your promotion, not leads, no conversions. What has gone on?!?!?!

You’ve effectively advertised to all of your fake followers. Ok so how do you filter out the fake profiles? You can’t.

Oh.

Aside from this, Facebook has been extremely strict in removing inactive and fake profiles. So you’ll be paying for something that has a use by date.

 

Skewed data

Data is important for marketers, we use it to learn about our audience and make decisions about the content we post. We can find out their age, gender, where they’re located, their interests. As it’s not possible to segment the data to eliminate the fake profiles adding a whole bunch of fake profiles is going to mess up all the lovely data from the real fans of your page.

Deleting the fake accounts from your followers is a huge waste of your time, there is no magic button that can get rid of them all in the same way that they appeared. It has to be done manually.

 

Be authentic

Buying likes is a lose-lose situation. You pay money for something and you end up with less than you had to begin with, not to mention the additional pain of having to fix it.

Social media is about building a community of brand advocates that you interact with. If you have 100 followers and they engage with your posts then your page is doing its job. Sometimes less is actually more.

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