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I always knew in the back of my mind that some people/businesses paid for Facebook likes and Twitter followers, and possibly for other social networks too. But it’s only really been on my radar recently when I started using the website Fiverr for a client, and also looking closer at the freelancer site PeoplePerHour which I have used quite a bit recently for various freelancer needs.

You only have to look at the data

While looking at a Facebook page yesterday, of someone I actually know, I noticed a huge increase in likes, and also the ‘people talking about’ was massive. Only the week before the likes had been reasonably low.

Here are some stats and a screenshot of what anyone can see on any Facebook page:

  • Between the 31/07 – 06/08 this page had 750 likes
  • At this moment 11/08 it has 8,592 likes and the people talking about it is 8,340!!!

I was pretty shocked at this. I am sure other Facebook pages have a similar looking picture, but this is someone I know so I was even more surprised. The question for me now is, do I mention this to them? They had told me that their Facebook page had been doing really well, and they didn’t know why they were getting so many likes. It’s quite deceptive I think.

So how do you get these new likes? I have no idea… I don’t know how you can get new likes added to your page just like that, I can go and buy one of these gigs on Fiverr, or hourlies on PeoplePerHour but I have no clue how it all works.

Organic is best

I am a firm believer that increasing your likes and followers on social networks should be done organically. Yes it takes time, it’s not something that happens overnight. I have been running my Facebook page since August 2011, so 2 years exactly… and I only have 493 likes as of today! It’s not a lot at all comparing it to other pages I see on Facebook, but my fans interact with me, I don’t feel there is anything else I can do to increase them at a faster pace.

The same goes for my Twitter account, I started that at the same time as my Facebook page, admittedly I already had some followers from when I used it as a personal Twitter account, but that was just a couple of hundred. I now only have 3,178 followers. Again, it’s not a lot but it’s enough for me.

What are the rules?

Facebook clearly states that you cannot buy likes for your page

I’ve seen some suggestions that if you don’t buy over 1000 likes at a time, Facebook won’t pick up on this. For the page I mentioned above, I don’t know whether that’s going to be around for much longer, an increase in that many likes is surely going to tip Facebook off.

It just leaves me to say, think carefully about doing this. Ask yourself some questions, will buying likes (which are likely to be fake profiles) improve my business? Is it worth risking Facebook removing my page? Will this deception cause more harm to my business than good?

I’m now going to see what other pages I can find which have paid for likes… it will be interesting to see whether this is a growing trend.

What are your thoughts on this?

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