Should you buy likes on social media?

“Should I buy likes?” is a question I get asked a lot by businesses large and small.

The answer is simple – it depends on your objective. I’m going to give you the definitive answer about when you should and shouldn’t “buy likes” and what that even means…

But firstly, there are many reasons to be on social media and you need to know why you’re there and what you’re hoping to gain from it. Reasons include:

  • Establishing credibility. All “real” businesses have social accounts these days. Facebook and Instagram are almost as important as Google. If your business doesn’t exist in the social space it will make people suspicious that it might be a scam.
  • Connecting with your buying audience. You may have used catalogues, eDMs and a variety of other communications to stay in touch – and these are valid tools. But social media has expanded the marketing repertoire and given us a way to communicate in a much more targeted way; and to turn our communication into a two-way conversation.
  • Communicating your brand personality. Marketing collateral tells your buying audience a lot about what your business does but social media gives you a chance to show them who you are. It’s more personal.
  • Keeping your audience engaged. Not everyone encounters your brand when they’re ready to buy. If they’re at the research phase, they may be “just browsing”. Social media lets you keep them in your circle of influence so that when they are ready to buy; they’re more likely to buy from you rather than a competitor.
  • Building social proof. If your customer is researching products and finds a supplier with 500 fans and another with 50,000, they’re more likely to trust their peers and go with the business that has the larger following. Similarly, if you’re Taylor Swift of Justin Bieber and need to prove that you’re a major superstar, having the biggest fan base is a powerful way to do it.

What is “buying likes”?

Buying likes traditionally means paying for spam followers to artificially bolster the number of people who support your account but some people also refer to advertising as “buying likes”. There is a huge difference.

Spam likes offer a fast and cheap way of getting a lot of followers but they are worthless to your business because:

  1. They may be fake accounts, so they won’t interact with your page/handle. This will make your account feel dead to real visitors and also to the bots that measure engagement levels on the platform.
  2. They don’t care about your product, so they will give you the illusion that you have a strong following with a solid customer base but you’ll never sell to them.

By contrast, advertising on a social media platform will enable you to engage  a highly targeted audience of people who:

  1. Are strongly interested in your product
  2. Identify themselves as potential customers and,
  3. Follow your page because they like what you offer.

Spending money to attract people like these to your brand is worthwhile because if you have a good follow-up strategy, you can transition them from your social platforms into your marketing funnel. This means you can use social media as a steady source of lead capture that generates income for your business while simultaneously generating social proof, credibility, connecting with your audience and doing all those other great things that social media can do for your business.

So should you buy likes? No. But if you want to stay ahead of your competitors, you should definitely consider how your business can benefit from integrating social media into your overall marketing strategy.

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