Since Facebook launched it has become one of the most valuable companies in the world, and certainly the biggest social media network today. Talk of falling membership seems premature as over 2.9 billion users log in to Facebook every day, and only Google and YouTube have more web traffic.
It was 18 years ago when Facebook was launched in 2004. The company floated in 2012 with a share price of $38, and the company is now valued at around $430 billion. Incidentally, those shares were trading at over $135 at the time of writing.
Facebook is no longer simply used for adding friends and sharing different updates. The platform is now a powerful marketing tool in its own right. This has led to businesses buying followers, likes, and shares, to boost their page’s visibility.
But, should you buy likes, and what are the differences anyway between a genuine like and a fake one?
Is it possible to buy Facebook likes?
There are now numerous services that will supply anyone with likes for a price. They usually operate with very attractive pricing and packages. For instance, 1,000 likes on a Facebook photo targeted at a US audience would be approximately $100. And 10,000 page likes would be $175.
For a business investing in digital marketing, these figures would be well within budget. But, there are two kinds of bought likes, those that are genuine and those that are completely fake.
Ideally, only real Facebook likes would ever appear on a post or page for maximum engagement and growth. However, fake likes can be bought, and they can provide some benefits, but they can also cause harm.
What are the distinctions between fake and real likes?
Fake Facebook likes come from automated growth services that use thousands of fake accounts and bots. Real Facebook likes come in two different forms. One is where a user who is genuinely interested in you likes your posts. The other is also bought but instead of being a bot, they are from accounts with a real person behind them.
Buying real likes is not as good as having genuine followers, but they bring a number of extra benefits and less risk than using fake likes.
Below are some of the differences between fake and real likes.
Fake accounts are obvious
Depending on how the account was set up it can sometimes be quite easy to spot a fake one from a genuine user. The URL name could be different from the profile name, and this may also appear generic.
If your genuine audience starts noticing that you have a large number of fake accounts it could harm the trust they have in your brand. Facebook has rebranded as Meta and is working hard to create a platform where bots are eliminated along with fake accounts.
Fake likes can be removed
Although you won’t get banned for buying fake likes and followers, you will be impacted negatively when those accounts are shut down. Every like you have that comes from a fake account will be removed if those profiles are banned.
Sudden drop-offs in likes will look suspicious to your real followers. This can harm reputation and brand loyalty.
Real likes come from real people
If a real person likes your page or post, they can interact and comment. Around 5 billion emojis are posted on Facebook each day and sent in Messenger. This adds personality to comments and makes your engagement look clearly genuine.
Fake accounts cannot interact or engage with you or your content. Even if bots are able to leave comments they will be repetitive and generic. This goes for some bought real followers too.
Fake likes can be spotted
A sudden meteoric rise in likes will stand out, as will your flatlining on later posts. Buying likes can give your page a boost but you will plateau unless you keep buying more fake likes, and then your profile will be full of accounts with nothing but bots operating them.
Real likes could improve your EdgeRank
One of the reasons why social media marketing is important for businesses is brand awareness and reach. Facebook has an algorithm called EdgeRank that is used to promote posts that have high engagement.
If you have real likes then you are more likely to receive engagement such as comments and shares. This can improve your EdgeRank and help you to show up in more newsfeeds.
Real likes can increase revenue
Fake accounts simply aren’t manned by anyone real so they can’t engage. More importantly, perhaps, they cannot buy anything either or recommend your products and brand.
If you grow your audience naturally you will attract individuals who are truly interested in your brand. This leads to elevated conversion rates and increased revenue.
Buying fake likes can help to provide a page or post with a boost. Social proof can then see this audience increase even more. However, if the accounts are spotted they will be removed along with any associated likes.
Gaining real followers is the only real way to increase engagement effectively providing you are posting immersive and relevant content. If you are to buy likes then these should be from real users instead of bots so at least there won’t be a drop-off at some point from account removal.