I alluded to this in my last post, but there’s a tremendous opportunity for someone to sell Facebook engagement.
The people who sell likes are getting rich beyond their wildest imaginations. And the smart ones, or someone else altogether, are about to get even richer by selling likes AND engagement.
Yes, Facebook Engagement is the Internet’s next big goldmine.
No, I don’t condone it. Purchasing likes and engagement is abhorrent to my social media soul. I’m just calling it like I see it, and I see these scammers getting incredibly rich.
Let’s Go Buy Some Likes!
You wouldn’t believe the companies, celebrities, musicians, even politicians that have purchased likes. It’s a lot of people you would think would be able to garner a large amount of fans without hardly any promotion. Instead, these accounts have millions of fake accounts that they’ve paid to like them. Why? It’s an old school way of thinking, that likes are the most important measure of success on Facebook.
It reminds me of the desire of some of my former PR clients to be featured in printed publications. It didn’t matter to them that the real win was an online article that had some nice anchor text hyperlinks, that a potential customer could use to immediately visit that clients’ website and submit a contact form. No, if they couldn’t hold it in their hands and turn the pages, it wasn’t real to them.
These guys who purchase Facebook likes are the same way. The “if my page has less than 1,000 likes, it doesn’t exist,” mentality that completely ignores whether any of those 1,000 ever see the page’s content or give a shit about the company in the first place.
Here Comes Edgerank, and $$$
But they’ll come around. They’ll realize that Facebook LOVES engagement. They love pages that earns comments, likes, posts, mentions, shares and all that jazz. The pages that get that engagement are the ones Facebook promotes front and center on News Feeds and Search Results.
It’s called EdgeRank. It’s Facebook’s algorithm that decides what’s important, what’s legit and what’s worth making sure people see. Much like Google’s algorithm, it factors in a lot of elements, such as links, interactions, quality (does it have a photo?), and so on. If you have great EdgeRank, then you’ll show up in nearly every one of your fans’ News Feeds and in Facebook searches. If your EdgeRank sucks, no one will find you.
Right now, the pages that buy likes are getting crushed in EdgeRank, because Facebook sees a ton of traffic but zero engagement. The interaction has to be there for Facebook to care, and for these pages to see any benefits.
And someone out there will be smart enough to capitalize on it. They’ll provide a thousand or a million accounts, all connecting, commenting, liking, sharing and, to the average onlooker, feel 100% legitimate. Right now you can buy “shares” of a post for a couple hundred, so it’s already starting.
Nut Check for Facebook
Facebook has to be on top of the issue, and able to recognize which accounts are buying this behavior. They need to shut it down, because it’s going to piss the hell out of those of us who are legitimately trying to engage with real people and build our pages out organically.
What do you think about pages who buy likes? Do you agree with me that engagement is the higher calling on Facebook? Let me know in the comments.