Facebook - Buying Likes or Organic Marketing?

By Matt Weston

It is estimated that almost all social networkers use Facebook. The site towers over all other social media platforms, boasting over 500 million users to its name.

With immense popularity can come problems, however, and for Facebook these problems are the thorny issue of fake accounts and “click farms”.

Exposure to the problems of fake Facebook profiles hit the headlines in July 2012, when the BBC’s Technology Correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones, raised the issue in this piece for the BBC website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-18819338

A payment to Facebook to advertise his company seemed to produce some strange results for Rory’s fake company, ‘VirtualBagel’.

Within hours, his company’s page was being “liked” by thousands of Facebook accounts based in the East (Egypt, Indonesia, Philippines) by those who seemed to “like” anything and everything.

Meanwhile, the success rate of his advertisement in the UK and the US couldn’t have been more of a contrast – it seemed nobody in those two countries was interested.

What was happening here? Well, there’s a good chance that “click farms” were involved somehow – a form of online fraud where a large group of low-paid workers are hired to click on paid advertising links for the supposed benefit of the company.

This problem behind purchasing advertising on Facebook was picked up on by the popular YouTuber ‘Veritasium’, who had read the piece by Cellan-Jones and had decided to conduct his own experiment on this issue.

This is his video on his findings, entitled “Facebook Fraud”:


In short, the more artificial “likes” a company accumulates, the less engagement and outward reach it receives. This is, as ‘Veritasium’ says, worse than useless. There must be a better way.

The “better way” is surely organic marketing – a natural way of advertising your business. It seems clear that purchasing advertising is a shortcut, and one that does more harm than good in the long run.

Growing the presence of your company on Facebook organically may take time, but it will ensure your company has a good reputation on the site and should lead to a higher level of engagement with others.

To market yourself on Facebook in an effective way via organic marketing, think about the content you produce and upload to the site. Make your content short and snappy, and utilise multimedia such as images and video.

Try to create your content so that it reflects your authentic voice, and strive to make it entertaining or educational – preferably both!

So there you have it. The advice is clear – don’t be suckered in by Facebook Fraud. Organic marketing will bear fruit in the long run!

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