You’ve probably seen the ads or been spammed on your Facebook business page: “BUY LIKES/FOLLOWERS – 10,000 for $5” And they’re not lying. Thousands of likes or followers will be delivered overnight. Guaranteed. An impressive achievement to be sure. But what’s the true cost of such numbers?

Obviously, some brands and individuals view buying “likes” as a popularity tool. People buy social friends to look cool on social media. But at what cost? Buying fake likes or followers would be the same as buying fake designer clothing – What’s the point? The pieces aren’t real. You may look and feel like a success in your fancy duds, but if they’re not real and you know it. You’ll always have the thought of “I hope no one notices” running through the back of your mind.

At soulpepper, we discourage buying likes, friends and followers. Sure you may look successful with a million, billion or gazillion likes, but it’s a fake accomplishment. You didn’t get there by building relationships, starting conversations or catching the interest of people. Instead, you whipped out your credit card and presto, there they were. The number looks impressive at a quick glance, but when people who may actually be interested do look at your page, your posts (the likes, comments, and shares of your content) will reveal a lack of engagement, and you’ll definitely get caught. All those posts with no likes, comments, shares or any type of engagement will definitely be a red flag. In the end, buying all those likes makes you look worse than if you had a lot fewer with actual engagement.

Which brings us back to the point of this post. What’s the advantage of buying fake likes? There isn’t one. It may seem like a good idea at the time, or make you look popular for that moment, but having a high number of likes or followers with no engagement just plain looks bad. Worse, all the content you’re posting and sharing won’t be seen by anybody because your entire following is not real.

A better idea is to think about your audience, who you want to target, and who you want sharing your content. Before you post something, close your eyes and think: what does my demographic look like and what would they want to see? Make your content interesting, valuable, and outstanding. Everyone’s news feeds are flooded with content so ensure yours is unique. Also, don’t forget to engage your audience to let them know you’re out there; comment, share, and like your audiences’ posts to start that initial conversation and get them visiting your page. “It’s called ‘social media’ for a reason states Social Selling Evangelist, Melonie Dodaro, “Don’t forget to be social!”

So get to it. Now is the perfect time for little Spring Cleaning. Wipe those fake users out of your social channels. Start fresh, and carry on!

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Written by Rik Klingle-Watt

About the author

Rik Klingle-Watt is a soulpepper and the writer of Not Business as Usual, an award-winning documentary about disrupting the business quo.

soulpepper is a digital marketing agency on a mission. We help companies that are up to something good, increase leads, attract more customers and drive more dollars to their bottom line. Check out our newsletter for more great ideas on how to build your ecommerce empire.