Have you been working hard to increase your social media following but just haven't been able to get things moving? As any social media marketer will tell you, getting started is rough. Usually it takes something to kick-start your efforts, either some viral content or yes, paid advertising.
Let's face it, advertising exists for a reason: It works. If you're like me, however, you spend a lot of time avoiding advertising on the basis that you don't want to be "sold." After all, salesmen are slimy and always trying to just take your money in exchange for something you don't want or need.
At least that was my outlook until I got into the business of selling and marketing not just my own products and services, but other people's too. It wasn't until I realized how hard it was to get a product or service in front of an audience that I knew was in their best interest to spend the money on that I started paying more attention to ads people were paying to put in front of me, and a whole new world of products and services that might make my life better or more enjoyable was presented to me.
Not everything will grow organically, sometimes you need to give it push, and paying for traffic can be a great way to do that.
But what should it cost you?
In this article, we're going to focus strictly on Facebook likes. While Facebook has their audience problems as the younger generation flocks to other services like Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter, where their parents aren't watching their every move, any publisher will tell you it's still king in terms of driving web traffic.
For more on this, I reached out to John Finnerty, Managing Partner and co-founder of Media Extension, a Manhattan-based digital marketing firm. "The cost of a Facebook ad to garner a quality Facebook like is usually about $0.50 per-click or better. That will generally result in a cost-per-like of about $1.50 or more ... and that’s for a huge brand name," Finnerty says.
Sound expensive? Quality traffic usually is. So what about those cheap services you'll find on Google? Sites like boostlikes.com advertise real Facebook likes, claiming, "Our Facebook likes are real human accounts, and are not created with software or other illegal techniques."
My opinion on services like this is that they do actually have their place. If you're looking for a quality audience that is going to be highly-engaged with your content, then look elsewhere. But services like this can be useful in getting the ball rolling and improving your brand's social image. Think what you want but you will be judged by users when they come to your page and see you have 17 likes. In that case, paying $70 for 1,000 likes on Facebook (actual pricing from BoostLikes) may be worth every penny regardless of whether or not those users ever interact with your content.
[EDIT] Seth Godin just posted about this concept on his blog this morning:
That's why it usually takes years for something to become an overnight success. The culture changes from the edges, and gradually, we come to answer the question about a hat or a software network or a car with, yes, in fact, people like me actually do use something like this.
This explains why Kickstarter campaigns do so well after they hit their minimum... social proof.
That's exactly what this kind of a service can give you in the eyes of your consumer, social proof. Most people don't want to be leaders, they want to fit in. Being a leader means being different, and that's uncomfortable for those who spend most of their lives just trying to fit in.
BONUS: 10 Reasons Why a Do-It-Yourself Website Will Be the Worst Business Decision You Make
What do you think? Have you had success (or failures) with paid social campaigns? Share your experience in the comments below.
Photo: Flickr | Ksayer1