We’ve been asked many times over the years about buying fans and followers (even as recent as last week when it was suggested to a client by an outside source.) We were interested in learning the opinions of a broader audience, so we took it to the internets.
Purpose: To demonstrate (un)popularity of this tactic.
Clarifications: There are two methods of ‘buying’ fans. *This may have skewed data. Several people who voted ‘yes’ clarified that they meant paid social channel ads and possibly some that voted ‘no’ meant to like farms. With that said, some people commented very strongly that you should grow organically, so the data is a little wishy-washy at best.
(1) Purchasing fans from third party sites. It’s as easy as Googling. Pick a page then choose your ‘package.’ (Don’t let the price scare you, it includes shipping and taxes – no hidden costs, other than the cost of your soul.)
(2) Targeted ads via social media channels. On a technicality you can ‘buy’ fans if you run a Facebook ‘Like’ Campaign. This is where you serve up ‘Like Our Facebook Page’ ads to your target audience, avoiding the whole ‘spray n’ pray’ method.
Hypothesis: An overwhelming majority will say ‘no’ to buying fans; with particular emphasis on growing organically and definitely not purchasing them from third party sites.
Data Collection: Over two days, we collected information via polls on Twitter and Facebook (tremendously scientific.)
The internet says you should not buy social media fans, especially from third party websites that have zero connection to your business.
No one understands smoke and mirrors better than marketers. We understand that perception and optics can be excruciatingly important. Some of the worlds biggest brands still focus on vanity metrics such as likes, follows & fans.
“I have thought about it, especially when I sit in meetings with well-received content but the numbers aren’t there. It’s like wow if numbers are what you want… I can get you numbers if you give me 24 hours and I can hit someone up on Fiverr.”
But just because big brands get away with this focus, doesn’t mean other businesses can afford to do the same (you can’t pay bills in likes, tweets, RTs and shares.) So if your business objectives are, say, revenue – buying fans won’t help you get there. Check out this actual scientific experiment by Harvard where they examined customer and non-customer behaviour on Facebook.
Focus your time and resources on the audience you want to attract in a meaningful way. It takes time, effort and creativity to drown out very noisy social media channels. But as someone recently pointed out – there’s still room for businesses who take time to actually listen to their audience and create and share relevant stuff.
Below are some fascinating comments & feedback from those who participated in this very scientific research.
(We have not included any identifying information as to respect their privacy. If you see your comment and wish to be tagged, please let us know!)
I’d sincerely like to thank everyone who took the time to weigh in on this very scientific study. 😉
In case you were thinking about purchasing fans or followers, here’s an FAQ I grabbed from a random website. [Seems completely legit.]