Buying Facebook fans was unusual and even controversial a few years ago but has turned into a growing practice. It’s common to find tweets for “buy fans now” or multiple search results in Google for related services.
I’ve always been curious how these “fan factories” work and if anyone actually buys fans, so I decided to look into their methods. Here are the results of my investigation.
Most of the websites I researched offer Facebook fans and Twitter followers, but some also sell YouTube video views. For the purpose of this article, let’s focus on how the process works for Facebook. Different companies have different methods and not all of them are clear about how they deliver the end result. Some are offering “targeted” fans (usually by country and interests), but, judging by a few negative reviews, there’s never a guarantee you get what you paid for. Here are a few ways these companies generate fans for your page:
- Inviting friends. Buyactivefans.com is using this method. Facebook has an audience-building tool that allows a page admin to invite any of their friends to like the page. You can’t invite people who are not your Facebook friends. So in order to generate you thousands of new fans, people you are paying to must have thousands of Facebook friends from different countries and backgrounds. Invited friends need to respond by liking the suggested page in order to count as a fan. Only the page admin can invite friends, so you will have to grant someone admin privileges, which does not require you to give away your Facebook login. Be leery if someone is asking for your email and password because it could be a scam.
Pros: this is a legitimate method that many page owners use on a smaller scale
Cons: when you make someone an admin of your page, they can see your page insights, list of your fans, and potentially post anything they want on your timeline.
Can you DIY? Not with an equal success simply because you don’t have 4,000+ friends.
- Driving traffic from other Facebook pages. That’s how Usocial.net claims to generate fans for your page. Have you ever read comments on a post and have come across something like “hey, great discussion, check out this page?” That’s usually what companies like Usocial mean by “driving traffic from relevant pages.” They find where your target audience hangs out on Facebook and suggests them to like your page.
Pros: You get relatively targeted fans who could be interested in what you sell
Cons: This method is a bit invasive and can be considered spamming.
Can you DIY? Absolutely, if you choose to.
- Advertising your page through their network. Fanpagehookup.com practices this technique. Many companies specializing in trading fans have a vast network of blogs, affiliate sites, social media accounts, etc. They are well-connected and receive substantial traffic to their websites, so they can easily promote your page to their audience.
Pros: you get fans with minimal effort and investment from your part
Cons: Non-targeted fans will be irrelevant for your business
Can you DIY? Yes, but you will have to find someone who will host your ad and you still have to pay them (unless you are doing barter).
- Paying people for likes. I haven’t seen a company actually say that they pay Facebook users to like your page, but I’m sure that’s a possibility. When I see a website that doesn’t disclose their fan generating methods (like Fansfollowersherd.com), I assume that’s how they do it. Another shady tactic is liking your page from fake accounts that are created just for that purpose. In this case, your fans are not real people and will never visit your page, interact, or buy.
After reviewing my observations, I don’t think buying Facebook fans is as horrible and immoral as it sounds. Essentially, you are paying for someone to advertise your business to their network (unless the fans are paid to join). Similar results can be reached using Facebook’s ad platform or effective e-mail marketing.
Buying fans has its niche in modern social media marketing, and we can’t argue with that. It’s usually useless for building relationships with your target audience, but it can work well to give your page a temporary popularity boost (especially if you just launched your page).
If in your particular situation you (1) need fans as quickly as possible, (2) value quantity over quality, and (3) don’t have a better use for your cash, then go ahead. Finding a trust-worthy company is not easy, but doing research and reading reviews should help. And if you decide to attract targeted fans the “old-fashioned” way, give us a call and we’ll help you with your online marketing and social media strategy.