There has been a lot of talk recently about the shocking, tidal wave of fake Facebook likes that some brands Kaufe facebook likes to boost their standing on social media platforms. The need to succeed online and the drive for success is causing desperate brands and so-called marketing professionals to use less than honest tactics in their vain attempts to boost rankings and popularity.

We’re here to say, for the record, that while suddenly acquiring 50K likes on your Facebook page may initially look impressive, it will not do anything to encourage real conversations, or real customers to interact with you, and it certainly won’t impress your customers, Facebook, or Google.

Literally thousands of these underground businesses, claiming to sell ‘real’ Facebook likes are springing up everywhere. They are not SEO professionals and they certainly aren’t internet marketing specialists; selling black market mass interactions online is illegal.

Fake Facebook fans are not cool, not clever and will seriously damage your business reputation. But, don’t just take our word for it, let us illustrate our point.

The first two clues are in the terms underground, and black market, both of which accurately describe these companies, but also, should give you an idea about how unofficial, and unauthorized their services are. Have no doubt, most of these services are unethical, illegal and certainly fly against Facebook’s terms and conditions. Now, just to be clear, from a legal perspective, it’s the companies offering these services who will ultimately have to face the long arm of the law when they are caught, but your business could also suffer. Here’s how:

No-one likes a cheat. We know how fierce competition is online. There are literally millions of businesses out there all vying for their own corner of the web, the visitors, the customers and the ales. But, if there is even the slightest sign that you are using less than honest methods to promote yourself, or are engaging in any kind of unfair or illegal tactic, don’t be surprised when they choose not to trust you. One single doubt about a brand can infiltrate every other part of it, effecting how the entire company, its products, services and staff are all perceived.

Just consider the recent irrevocable damage done to the online dating industry when a number of companies were reported to be using fake dating profiles to lure lonely people in. Millions of dollars in revenue lost, instantly. Now, Facebook likes may not seem so important, but they are a vital part of your online identity within the social network, and they are one of the first things users look at as a gauge of your popularity. But, users are not stupid, it’s very easy to look and see where fans come from, and it’s really easy to spot a site which has thousands of likes but no one seems to be home!

You can also find yourself without a Facebook page entirely if you engage in these underhanded, cheating practices. Facebook has the right to end your page and cut you from the site if you are caught cheating or violating the Facebook terms & conditions in any way. And don’t think they won’t. A simple Google search will show a long list of Facebook cheater ‘scalps’. Facebook is cleaning up all likes that look fake -e.g. that all come from one place or which all seem far too quickly.

It is also a complete and utter waste of money! Take it from us, we spend all day working hard to develop and carry out SEO strategies that work, so businesses can boost their rankings and following online. Real internet marketing is not cheap and not quick but it does work. If you have budget for promotion, please don’t spend it on fake likes. Instead, why not set up your own charity fund-raiser? And then give the money you might have spent buying likes, to a worthy and deserving charity. Then write all about it on Facebook! We guarantee that will do far more for your brand than the sudden and creepy influx of 50K likes, all from somewhere in the Far East!

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