Getting those “Likes” on social media can sometimes feel like you’re pulling teeth, especially if your social media strategy isn’t delivering anywhere close to your expectations. An emerging tool that caters to those businesses with mounting frustrations over their social media difficulties, “click farms” offer an easy way to get those numbers where you want them—for a price. Of course, for someone yearning to see thousands where only hundreds are showing up, paying a click farm for the illusion of social media popularity can be tempting. However, the truth is that this dangerous practice can cost you more than just popularity; it can cost you your reputation and your business.
The Risks of Using Click Farms
Often found offshore, click farms charge as little as a half-cent per click to boost a company’s social media popularity. Whether the goal is to attract potential employers, increase revenue or get more online popularity, click farms often employ low-paid workers to create fake accounts and gain thousands of likes and followers in short time frames.
The practice of using click farms to boost your social numbers can be toxic to your business for several reasons:
- There is no way to accurately measure results in a company’s social media campaign, which makes strategic marketing more difficult when it comes time to try new approaches.
- Social media giants like Google, Facebook and YouTube are now investing time and revenue in everything from weekly false account purges to “fake like” auditing, so your business may end up purged and banned from creating an online presence at all.
- In many places, click farms have become a new form of slave labor, which means the reputation of companies that employ them can suffer significantly.
- Advertisers are increasingly intolerant of businesses that use click farms, and often dissociate from businesses that they find may be employing unethical marketing practices.
Essentially, using click farms to boost your presence and reputation in the social media community can actually have an adverse effect and, in some cases, it could cost you your business and reputation.
Real Social Media: The Way to Go
Building a company’s social media presence and rallying the attentions of an online community may take time, but the value of organically creating a social media culture around your brand is well worth the investment. Here are a few reasons why:
- A solid social media reputation can result in higher conversion rates. Turning your social media fans into customers is easier when they know the company they’re doing business with is honest.
- Advertisers appreciate investing their time, energy and money with companies they consider ethically sound and that they can trust.
- Your business can create truly innovative and effective online marketing campaigns based on demonstrated results and accurately crafted strategies.
The temptation of creating the illusion that your brand has exploded in the social media world can be frustrating, and click farms serve to actively foster that illusion. But the long-term repercussions of employing these resources can hurt your business. Only genuine, organic social media growth will work properly to ensure the success of your business now and in the future.