PPC campaigns

Ever since the advent of the Internet, businesses have tried to figure ways to maximize their presence on search engines.

With the development of Facebook and other social media sites, a business’ SEM (aka ‘search engine marketing) results could be influenced by it’s social media engagement. In the case of Facebook, this is achieved through the number of visitors ‘likes’ and fans a fan page (which is equivalent to a website) generates.

Besides word-of-mouth, blogging,  email marketing and your website, another successful and efficient way to gain attention to your fan page is through Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigning on Facebook. By developing a Facebook ad campaign that targets your interested demographics, you are generating more awareness and interest in your brand. Through the use of Facebook ads, you can ask users to ‘like’ your page, link them to your website among other options available.

Unfortunately, this highly desirable ‘like’ has created a black market where you can purchase this important SEM factor. Have you ever noticed that sometimes, a company has not even opened for business, but it has managed to amass hundreds of Facebook fans? There are a variety of companies that solicit businesses to help them grow their presence online, but rather than offering a more creative digital marketing approach where they naturally gain new followers and fans (e.g. Facebook PPC campaigns), they have been purchased. Usually, these come from computer-generated dummy accounts and fake profiles.

While the intentions of businesses that go down this path are understandable, the ethics surrounding this method, and therefore results, will not come off that way. As marketer and blogger Shell Robshaw-Bryan notes, “buying a community is often a question of ethics and trust and won’t do your reputation any favors.” Furthermore, “buying fans will make you look like an amateur, signaling to the competition that you don’t know what you are doing.”

Some argue this tactic offers more visibility for one’s brand faster and cheaper. However, getting a lot of fans is one thing, but having them be active and engage on your Facebook page is quite another. And if you can get them to sincerely like your page, this will lead to a high probability of sales versus buying a bunch of fake likes and fans.

More importantly, it has recently become a violation of Facebook’s terms, which has taken a more active role in curtailing the number of fake likes. Facebook has developed automated systems where “…less than 1% of Likes on any given Page will be removed, providing they and their affiliates have been abiding by [Facebook’s] terms.” So besides the brand dilemmas that come with this approach, it is also something that could get you removed from using Facebook and considering there are around a billion users, that is not a chance worth taking.

Also, the lack of engagement might imply to a visitor of your fan page that you offer a not-so-great product and/or service. In the case of Facebook, not only can you see the number of people who have liked your fan page, but you can also see how many people are currently talking about your brand. This is a key ratio to determining how engaged your fans are with your business and if you have a 1000 likes, but an extremely low number of people talking about it, people might wonder if your business is as popular as it appears.

Plus, you do not want people just liking your brand; you want them talking about it so stick with generating real fans through Facebook PPC campaigns and post interesting, engaging content on a consistent basis that your fans will share with their friends.

In essence, if you really want to see your business grow successfully, both offline and online, invest your time and money on taking a slower, but more organic and honest approach to Facebook. It will be worth it in the long run!