Why You Should Never Buy Facebook Likes

I’m going to blow the lid off of a common misconception with today’s post, and tick off a bunch of people who’ve made a business out of selling Facebook Likes in the process.  If you’ve ever bought fake Facebook likes, you aren’t going to like what I’m about to say… but you’ll definitely want to read it.

If you have ever bought Facebook Likes, you should delete your page and start over.

Yes, I’m dead serious.  And there is no distinction between “real human likes” and bot generated likes.  If you purchased them from a Like seller, and they aren’t people who were genuinely interested in your content, the statement applies.

So what would compel me to make such a bold statement?  Math.

When you first started your Facebook page, someone probably told you the following. Heck, it might have been me who told you, because I used to think the same thing, that low like counts would discourage new people from liking your page, so you should get at least a couple hundred “seed followers” so you have some “social proof”, right?

Well, whether that was right or wrong in the past, it’s wrong now.  And by the way, if you think about your own activity on Facebook, I guarantee you have never said “Wow, what a great page – but only 10 other people like it, so I’m not going to click the Like button”.  No one thinks that way. It’s “fake psychology” the Like sellers have fed you.  But nevertheless you, and many others, bought into this mentality and pony’d up a few bucks for some fake Likes to your pages and then went to work on attracting “real” likes later.  Today, with the timeline changes well underway, those fake Likes are costing you visibility – and visibility is much more important than the number of “people who like this”.

Here’s the problem.  In the old days, if you ran a Facebook page everything you posted was seen by everyone who liked the page. Today, who sees your posts is determined by an algorithm called EdgeRank.  EdgeRank is more or less an “importance score” that’s based on engagement levels, including:

  • How often your posts are Shared
  • How often your posts are Liked
  • How often people Comment
  • How often people VISIT your page

On average, only 16% of the audience who’s Liked your page will see your posts in their news feed.  This percentage will go up or down for each individual – individuals who have added you to interest lists, or frequently Like/Comment on your posts, will always see your posts in their feed.  But people who don’t will not.  The more individual post engagement you have, the more “important” Facebook considers your posts, and the more people will see them.

But if you’ve purchased fake Likes, those visitors aren’t interacting with your page.  This gives you a very low score, and makes EdgeRank consider your page and its posts “unimportant” – which means even fewer than 16% will actually see it.  And since you probably have more fake likes than real ones, the real numbers are even lower.

For example, lets say you started a page and bought 5,000 Likes, then went out and promoted the page to real people and ended up getting 500 real likes.  While 5,500 Likes might “look good” on the page, your audience is 91% fake and 9% real.  That 91% will never interact with your page’s content.  They will never visit your page, never share your posts, never Like your posts, and never comment on them.

Pay attention here, this is important:

Since only about 16% of your total audience – including the fakes – will see an unpromoted post, that means out of your 500 real followers only 80 human beings are likely to see it.  Now, how many of those 80 will actually Like, Share, or Comment on your post?  The average is 10%, so that means 8 people are likely to engage your post.

BUT – Facebook doesn’t know 90% of your audience is fake or purchased, so they’re still counted in the algorithm.  So from Facebook’s perspective, out of the 880 people your post was shown to only 8 interacted.  That puts your EdgeRank at under 1% for the individual post, and 0.14% for the entire audience.

See what happened here?  Facebook thinks what you post isn’t important.  No matter how great your content was, or how many of your “real” followers liked it/shared it/engaged with it, EdgeRank still determined that 99.86% of your audience doesn’t care about what you post.  The more often that happens, the less often your posts will appear in the news thread.

There are only two ways out of this…

  1. Get enough “real” followers that they outweigh the number of fake ones by a factor of 3 to 1
  2. Delete your page and start over

Sorry guys.

If you’ve found yourself in this situation, what I would recommend doing immediately is to start a NEW Facebook page, get some content on it, and then make a post on your existing page that lets people know you’ve created a new page and will stop updating this one.  Then, promote that post with the maximum amount Facebook will let you spend, to ensure that all of your real followers see it.  Hopefully enough still remember you, and will follow you to the new page.  This will let your new page start to flourish, without the burden of the fake Likes, because now 100% of your audience is interested.

But don’t wait on this… every day that goes by, all of your efforts in your Fake-Liked Facebook page are in vain.  When you get down to it, there really isn’t any good reason to buy fake followers on any social network. Especially when you can use Bill Guthrie’s method for attracting followers for one cent each using Facebook’s own advertising system.





10 replies
  1. B
    B says:

    If you can fake/buy each of these…

    How often your posts are Shared
    How often your posts are Liked
    How often people Comment
    How often people VISIT your page

    …then the page will be fine and there’s no need to trash the page, right?

    • Ron Rule
      Ron Rule says:

      Is it worth what it would cost to buy your way out of it? I mean, I suspect part of the reason Facebook created EdgeRank was to purposely devalue the pages of people who were buying Likes. If you’re buying fake post likes in an effort to increase the appearance of engagement, you would have to do it on every single post indefinitely until the activity of your real followers outweighed all of the fake ones. That could get pretty expensive.

  2. Blaine Dunning
    Blaine Dunning says:

    I have seen people who have offered facebook, twitter and other social media likes and I’ve stayed away from them. Haven’t built a large following but at least they are real, good think I never paid for likes.

  3. Tim Dini
    Tim Dini says:

    You are spot on here Ron. Edgerank is one of the most important elements to consider when marketing on Facebook, and your ‘math’ in this article is correct.

    Facebook also looks for deep interactivity within the Facebook platform itself. So any marketing you do on Facebook should stay on Facebook.

    In other words, don’t set all of your links to outside pages. A handful is fine, but most of your links should bring people to a Facebook Fanpage or App whenever possible.

    Posts that are not marketing related are another way of developing good Edgerank so add them often as well. And don’t forget about Promoted Pages. Facebook charges $7 to promote a page and you can use them to build higher Edgerank – just be sure the ratio of marketing and outside links is low.

    Loved your 58K Visitors strategy Ron. I haven’t yet put it to use but I have a client that wants me to set-up a campaign using it.

    I’ll let you know who it performs.

  4. Miriam Slozberg (@msmir)
    Miriam Slozberg (@msmir) says:

    If you are buying Twitter followers and FB followers, your reputation does tank. Good that you put this out there. People can easily discover if you have bots following your pages/profiles and respect they once had for you will disappear. It is better like you said to have 100 likes and most of those likes interacting with you than 5000 bots that do nothing.

  5. Visakan Veerasamy
    Visakan Veerasamy says:

    Yes! Justice at last. I don’t understand how people think they’ll be able to get away with it in the long run. Or maybe they’re just not thinking that far ahead.

  6. Omar Surie
    Omar Surie says:

    What happens if you are getting fake likes that you didnt pay for? I am starting to get all this likes from Bangladesh and places like that and they seem like fake accounts but I didnt pay anyone to do that. How Can I deal with this?

    • Ron Rule
      Ron Rule says:

      There isn’t much you can do other than block them if you’re certain they’re fake. People who make fake accounts (so they can sell Likes on Fiverr, etc.) will usually like real tons of real pages so if someone views the profile it looks like they aren’t fake. When you block/ban a user, they won’t be counted as part of the EdgeRank algo.

  7. Mike
    Mike says:

    Hey Ron,

    Question: What happens if you are within a paid network to create likes and shares on the posts. Therefore creating a good “edgerank”?

    Surely this combined with rockstar content cannot be a bad thing.



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