A business has contacted you offering to add a few hundred unique “likes” to the company’s Facebook page. These could open the door to more potential customers, but is paying for Facebook likes ever a good idea?

Facebook presence

As you probably know, if someone clicks on a Facebook like button whatever it is they’ve liked – be it a business, product, comment, picture or service – will appear (with a link) in their personal Facebook timeline for all their Facebook friends to see.

Friends with benefits

For a small business, the beauty of this is that you can draw in new customers or clients – after all, human nature dictates that most people are keen to have, or do, what is popular amongst their peers. Unfortunately, the downside is that the Facebook like process doesn’t really start to reap any real benefits until you’ve hit quite a few hundred likes and, for a small company, this can take a long time.

Buying in the likes

Therefore, if you receive a telephone call from a business offering to add 500 unique likes to your Facebook page for £50 it can seem a tempting offer.

Good, bad and ugly.

Although there are scammers that pretend to offer this service but then run off with your money, there are genuine businesses that can add unique likes to Facebook in return for a fee. However, that’s not the problem.

A genuine issue

The trouble is that many of these businesses use Internet “bots” (web robots) to create the unique likes that have been purchased on an automated basis; that’s how they can do it so cheaply. Whilst this isn’t technically unlawful, utilising such a service is likely to put you in breach of Facebook’s terms and conditions – it also uses it as grounds to shut down company profile pages and ban all future access.

  1.  Don’t believe any suggestion, or promises, that “Facebook won’t find out” . It runs powerful scanning software to detect abuses of its systems and bots aren’t that hard to find.

The human touch

But what if the person selling the unique likes can prove it will be real people clicking the buttons? There are some businesses out there that can offer this; however the humans carrying out the work invariably use accounts that are set up solely for this particular purpose; in other words, they don’t have any other Facebook activity.

Tip 1. As well as not actually being in your demographic area, they’re highly unlikely to have any real friends who would be interested in what it is you do. For any business on Facebook, that’s the whole point of the like button.

Tip 2. Whilst it may sound like a quick, cost-effective, way to boost business, our advice is to give those who offer likes, or other social media desirables such as Twitter followers, on a paid-for basis a wide berth.

Businesses that offer this service tend to use web robots to create the unique likes – that’s how they can do it so cheaply. Whilst it’s not unlawful, Facebook deems the technique to be a breach of its rules and routinely shuts down the profile pages of companies that use it. So it’s best to steer clear.