Should You Buy Facebook Fans?

We’ve all heard the saying “You get what you pay for”, and that’s something to remember if you happen to be tempted to purchase Facebook fans.

It’s no secret that an underground market has emerged that will happily sell you manufactured Facebook Likes. (One search turned up a market price of $199 for 10,000 likes.) I’ve had clients ask if this is the strategy I use to build their social media presence, and I cringe at the thought while quickly assuring them that it’s not something I would even consider. Ever. It’s a pathetic strategy that is both deceptive and unethical, and is a complete waste of money and time.

In the world of automotive sales and leasing, credibility is key. A local auto leasing company, like a lot of small businesses, uses a Facebook page to promote its services and within a relatively short period of time (they joined Facebook on June 6, 2012), their Facebook page has garnered more than 5,000 fans.

But most of those fans are unlikely to lease a new car any time soon because most of them don’t really exist. This company’s Facebook numbers have been artificially inflated by a network of zombie accounts run by a bot master.

The most popular city for this company’s fans: Lahore, Pakistan – not exactly commuting distance to North Texas. The most popular age group for their fans is 18-24 years old, which doesn’t seem like the logical age group for people interested in leasing a vehicle.

Smart Screen Shot

This leasing company is hardly the first company that has purchased fans for the sake of looking popular and they certainly won’t be the last to do so. The bigger issue beyond the poor quality of fans lies in the mindsets of those who choose to buy them. They’re still looking for that magic bullet for their business and sadly, that mentality never leads to success. It’s almost guaranteed that these bought fans and the handful of real ones in the mix will never turn into customers, and if they never do, then what’s the point of having a Facebook page to begin with?

Our client D&M Leasing is the largest consumer car leasing company in the nation with two locations in North Texas in Grand Prairie and Dallas, and one location in Houston. Their Facebook page is an accurate representation of effective social media marketing.

With more than 16,000 fans, the most popular city for D&M Leasing fans is Dallas, TX. The most popular age group for D&M Leasing fans is 25-34 years old, which makes way more sense in terms of who is most likely to lease a car.

D&M Leasing Likes

Need even more proof that the “fans” from the first Facebook page aren’t interested in becoming potential customers?

Check out the screen shot below of a comment left on their Facebook page in response to one of their leasing specials they posted.

Smart Fake Comment

The comment makes no sense and has us scratching our heads. Ready to see what a legitimate Facebook strategy produces? D&M Leasing posted their own leasing special below.

Real D&M Comment

The facts speak for themselves. As long as you have a product or service that adds value to people’s lives, people will naturally like your page. How? You just need to know how to use the tools that Facebook gives you to provide everyone a chance to learn more about you. What happens when you do these things? You end up with many people who actually like your company and who want to do business with you.

So if you think that buying Facebook fans is the way to go, just remember that to everyone else, your page might look awesome because you have a gazillion fans, but you’ll be stuck with the heartache of knowing that you’re not making a single dollar from them.