Should you buy Facebook likes? Whether you’re the social media manager for a major brand or you’re just trying to get your own business off the ground, it can be tempting to pay for likes. After all, it can take a long time to build up followers organically. There’s all the posting, replying, and upkeep. It’s a lot to handle.

But buying Facebook likes can do more harm than good. In this case, “you get what you pay for” totally rings true. If you pay $10 for 1,000 likes, you’ll end up with an unqualified, disengaged audience — or even fake likes from fake accounts.

In the end, it’s just a waste of money. And what’s worse? It can actually hurt your Facebook performance in the long run.

Here’s everything you should know about buying Facebook likes (and why you shouldn’t do it).
 

How to buy Facebook likes

 
How do you buy Facebook likes? There are hundreds of sites out there that promote paying for likes — and for cheap. Just search “buy Facebook likes,” and you’ll find websites promising to “boost your Facebook likes in seconds!” for prices that seem too good to be true. (Because they are.)

You can pay for likes from sites like Buy-Cheap-Social.com, Boostlikes.com, or even Fiverr. In a few days, your page’s following will go up by thousands.
 

What are fake Facebook likes?

 
Facebook defines fake likes as “external services that sell packages of likes from fake accounts or people without real intent by offering a certain number of likes for a flat fee.”
 

How much does it cost to buy Facebook likes?

 
Buying likes can be as cheap as a penny per like, or 10,000 likes for as low as $5.
 

Is it legal to buy Facebook likes?

 
It’s legal to buy Facebook likes, but it’s bad business.
 

Can you get banned for buying likes?

 
Your Facebook page will not be banned for buying Facebook likes. Facebook’s terms of service don’t actually prohibit buying likes. They do try to ban fake accounts, however. If a big number of your likes are fake, you’ll lose them if Facebook catches them and bans their accounts. “We have a strong incentive to aggressively go after the bad actors behind fake likes because businesses and people who use our platform want real connections and results,” Facebook’s page on fake likes explains.

Facebook also warns against the business consequences of fake likes: “Businesses won’t achieve results and could end up doing less business on Facebook if the people they’re connected to aren’t real. It’s in our best interest to make sure that interactions are authentic, so we staff a number of teams to detect fraudulent activity and shut it down.”

You can check out Facebook’s complete stance on fake likes here.
 

Why you shouldn’t buy Facebook likes

 
There are lots of reasons why buying Facebook likes is bad for business, but they all boil down to one thing: Those new likes your buying? They’re either not real people, they’re not active accounts, or they’re not users who would be interested in what you have to offer. Buying likes does not generate sales — and it can make it even harder to reach your real fans.

EdgeRank: Facebook uses the EdgeRank algorithm to measure your page’s engagement: How many people interact with your post? How many users like it, comment on it, or share it with others?

A high EdgeRank means you’re offering good content that your followers enjoy or find useful. A low one? That means your content doesn’t drive engagement, and Facebook will only show it to a tiny portion of your followers (if any).

Unqualified, uninterested followers and fake users rarely — if ever — interact with posts, even on pages they “like.” This leads to low engagement.

Organic reach: Your page reach is directly tied to your EdgeRank, so when your EdgeRank suffers, so does the total reach of your page. Your content isn’t displayed in as many followers’ NewsFeeds, and therefore your followers’ social circles don’t see your page in their feeds either. It’s a slippery slope to social invisibility.

Lead generation: At the end of the day, the goal of your Facebook efforts is to draw in new customers and sales, right? Buying Facebook likes does absolutely nothing to further this. While it might give you an uptick on your page’s likes, it hurts your overall page reach, and it definitely doesn’t mean there are more potential customers for you to connect with.

Put simply: Buying likes is counterproductive to your lead generation efforts.

Authenticity and credibility: Today’s customers value authenticity and transparency — and they can spot a fake from a mile away. What do you think it says about your brand if they spot hundreds of fake likes on your latest post? Or they notice your following go up by 2,000 in a three-day period? It can damage your reputation for sure.
 

How can I get real likes on Facebook?

 
Now that you know what not to do, how can you get more Facebook likes and drive engagement? If your organic likes aren’t happening fast enough and you need to speed up your traction, invest in Facebook advertising instead.

Facebook ads are a great alternative to buying Facebook likes because they allow you to get super specific when targeting potential fans. Knowing who you’re advertising to means reaching more people who are actually interested in your product or service.

Just a few dollars can bring in hundreds or even thousands of new likes in a couple of hours. And the best parts? Those followers will be qualified.

The moral of the story? Advertise for likes. Don’t buy them.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2017 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

 

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