Consider carefully before paying for Facebook likes
If you have paid for FB likes for your page, then you have to, absolutely have to watch this video clip. Watch it to the end and let it sink in. Yes, we’ve all been had.
If you have a Facebook page for your business, then you may have been tempted to pay for Facebook likes. There is then the immediate obstacle in that Facebook wants you to pay again to get to that exact same audience that you paid to accumulate. This has been a topic that has been hotly discussed on various forums. It even got a mention on the Tangents blog a year ago – Facebook’s diminishing value for page owners. There are regular articles that hit the news about this and similar topics, for example: Warning: If You Have A Facebook Fan Page, Read This
Of course, Facebook tries to spin what they are doing – trying to sweet-talk this as them giving you what you really want – e.g., an article on Mashable: FB news feed – high quality content. I don’t fall for this line of explanation, because the reason I follow certain pages on Facebook such as a favorite band, is that I want to hear more about them. But now FB is squeezing them to pay for their audience to see their posts. It’s an disingenuous game that everyone is wise to.
All of this ties in with a few other things that I often mention:
- If you are a photographer chasing FB likes from other photographers, then you are going down a dead-end street in terms of marketing and promotion.
- FB likes aren’t $$ in the pocket, or food on the table. Again, if you can’t translate FB likes into real business, then garnering FB likes without a specific plan, is a dead-end pursuit.
- Don’t be envious of other photographers with a massive number of FB likes – they are most likely artificially inflated with worthless likes.
In my opinion, if you run a small local business, as most photographers do, then you’d do well to change your FB page to only be visible to the country you are in. You aren’t Coke or Ikea. You are local.
For example, I set my FB page for renting my photography studio, to be only visible to people in the USA. As much as I love people across the planet, a FB like on that page from someone in the UK or Brazil has no meaning.
You can set your FB page to only be visible to certain countries, or you can block certain countries.
You can change the visibility of your FB page like this:
Edit Page >> Edit Settings >> Country Restrictions
Ultimately though, you need to be very thoughtful about how you promote your Facebook page if you do it via Facebook itself. Don’t get conned. But right now, I am so cynical of all this, that I feel if you pay Facebook at all, you have actually just been conned. Facebook is allowing their system, and us, to be exploited and manipulated for Facebook’s financial gain.
13 Comments, Add Your Own
1Jason Rodgers says
I totally agree with you Neil, when I first started with Facebook I wanted as many likes as possible, as many friends (I use the word friends loosely of course) as possible. Now I’m deleting people and un following people that I don’t need and don’t wish to be friends with. I paid for ads with Facebook once, never again. I’m concentrating a bit more on Google and I’m sure Google+ will be bigger and better soon, I just wish people would get in there and give it a go!
2Philip Lord says
I totally agree with this video. I have paid for likes and it has done no good at all. DONT DO IT !
Very true Neil. The best advice I saw online in response to this, was to start building your own mailing lists instead, where you control everything and where the reach is close to 100% all the time. I see a lot of websites since recently feature a mailing list signup box prominently on their website for automatic notifications of updates.
4Mimika Cooney says
So sad but true. We can no longer assume ‘likes’ are a true indication of popularity. Thanks for the great article!
5Neil vN says
6Neil vN says
Now here is an amusing WTF? moment. Within hours of me posting this article, an email rolls in asking if I could place a link in the article for payment. Of course, I ask what link? Here it is … the email from one of the companies that run the click farms. Yup, they want to pay me $10 for the year for a link to their Facebook click farm. Unreal!
7Neil vN says
And as amusing, is Facebook asking if I wanted to promote my FB post about this.
Wow! Unreal! I have never bought likes but am pretty confident that someone I know has. I’ve never understood why people would pay money when those people don’t engage anyway. A waste of time and money imo. Yes some people may go to your page and think wow they have so many likes they must be really great but then if they were actually serious in hiring you I am sure they would read at least half a dozen posts and see what people are saying. If there are no posts and no engagement why would people hire you? I’d certainly click off and go somewhere else.
9Neil vN says
From the article in Time magazine, dated March 22, 2104:
“The tech blog Valleywag reports that Facebook is planning to dial reach down to 1% to 2% of followers eventually.”
And I predict that with that, a mass exodus will slowly start.
10Neil vN says
Facebook zero is an inevitability.
“Facebook Zero is a reality now facing every brand and business with a presence on the platform. Action is required, and specific decisions will need to be made with regard to content planning, paid support for social media activities, audience targeting and much more.”
11Neil vN says
“you are essentially paying Facebook to build a list of people that you can then advertise to.”
Facebook pages are a bad investment for small businesses.
12Daniel Venter says
Wow, I have a very very different experience with facebook. Since we started our page in March 2013 our reach has been growing day by day. At present our average reach per post exceeds 5000 people organically with over 100 likes per post on average.
We have tested, theorised, optimised and found exactly what works. There’s a lot to understand about it but truthfully speaking it’s an absolute goldmine for business, especially small businesses.
One needs to remember that it’s not a selling platform but rather a community based platform. Content is king and when you post something that turns heads and has a wow factor people tend to share, comment and interact with the posts.
Feel free to check out.
13Neil vN says
“We have tested, theorised, optimised and found exactly what works.”
Daniel, care to tell us what you’ve found out what works?
For myself, if I post an album to FB of a bride’s wedding, then it gets a ton of traffic, and I get around 50% of my audience size is reached. I assume that with all the guests and bridal party sharing the album, and commenting on the photos, that it naturally boosts reach.
If I post a link to an article on the Tangents blog (whether just with intro text, or with a photo), then one of two things happen, cyclically:
I’ve found that FB cycles my other posts I will get two posts with high reach, and then one, two or three in a row with minimal reach. And then a high bump again. NO pattern. All with the same style of posting.
All I can deduce from this is that FB is working this in the hopes that someone will pay for reach. And once that happens, you’re caught in a different cycle where FB will throttle your reach even more unless you pay.
Anyway, please share with us what you’ve found works for you to get that high a reach that you say you’re getting.