Selling Facebook Fans… A Social Media Low!

Image from Tim Lederman.

I had thought about this topic over a year ago, but never fully developed it. This week I received an e-mail that made me decide the topic is important.

It seems that a metric that many people attribute to success is the number of followers or fans you have.  While I believe it is important to grow your fan base to amplify your messages, having thousands of fans doesn’t guarantee success.

More important is how engaged your fans are.  Will they respond to you or act on information you share?

In order to protect the innocent (or not so innocent), I’m going withhold the name of the company.  But here is an excerpt of the e-mail:

We are looking for blog owners in the social media niche that would be willing to schedule a blog post about Facebook which would include a link to our site. We offer a reliable Facebook marketing service.

We are interested in contextual links (link inside a blog post) or a blogroll link.  In exchange we’ll give you 1000 facebook fans within 4-7 days.  Having those additional fans will definitely be an advantage since having 1000 new fans means 1000 potential clients.

This company claims to be able to get you a number of fans for a cost.  The whole concept of this is a slap in the face of everything that is social media.

The operative word in the e-mail is potential.  There is no guarantee that the fans will turn into anything more than a number.  In fact I would suggest that the likelihood is very low.

A more important statistic to look at instead of likes, is monthly active users. You can see your monthly active users by clicking on the Insights link on your Facebook page. A like really means nothing, but the monthly active user number is the number of people that have interacted with or viewed your page or its posts.  The higher the number, the more people that you’re truly reaching and motivating to respond.

So if you’re ever approached to buy fans or followers, turn the other way and run.

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