The world of small business Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), and Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns can be quite confusing and difficult to navigate. And we can testify. As a marketing consultancy for small business owners, and as a small business ourselves, we do our best to be one step ahead so we can help pave a smoother path for our community partners (clients). These days, similar to the social media marketing space, it seems that there has been a steep spike in the number of companies that have entered the world of paid online marketing campaign management. There is definitely an increased need for search engine marketing and pay-per-click campaigns in a world where search and mobile discovery surround us. But, how do we pick the right SEO, SEM, or PPC partner to help us build our business’ online presence? This is where it gets very fuzzy and perhaps messy.
We received an email recently from an internet marketing company seeking our business to grow our Facebook page followers. The message read:
Hello [Founder’s Name],
We noticed you only have [X #] Facebook Fan Likes. We can promote your page through implementation of a rigorous social media campaign resulting in a guaranteed increase of 700+ additional Facebook Likes within 1-2 days for only $35.00 plus tax and unlike Facebook advertising which can be costly, we guarantee results or your money back.
Is this something you’d be interested in? Please let me know and we’ll get started.
If I had a red pen to edit that message, there would be marks all over it. Anyone else stare blankly in shock that a business would write something like this to solicit a new client? Shocking that the single word ‘only’ made the message accusatory. And, really? 700 ‘Likes’ in 1-2 days? Okay, maybe I’m just traditional or maybe it’s the Southern hospitality that Austin projects, but I value relationship building and learning about other companies when first making contact, rather than a cold-call email criticizing a number that I believe should represent building trust in the social media world. And, unless they were going to be writing valuable content to share on our Facebook page or provide an incentive that wouldn’t cost us (or our clients if we were to recommend them) too much money for those who engage on the page, their offer was, in fact, not something we were interested in. Would we like to have more Facebook followers? Sure. But we would want them to represent a true relationship we’ve worked hard to establish and the support we’ve gained from people and businesses who believe in what we do. One last thought. There are several ways that message could have been re-crafted to be more positive and friendly and, well, this many words shouldn’t even be devoted to a company with this kind of solicitation letter.
But how can we make this scenario productive? We talked to our Search Engine Marketing partner, WebVega, to get their perspective on 1) the letter and 2) their offer to increase business page Facebook ‘Likes’ by 700+ in 1-2 days, what we call ‘buying Facebook ‘Likes’. Here is what they shared:
LocalizeAustin (LA): How realistic is increasing someone’s FB followers by 700+ in 1-2 days? What would someone need to do/spend to actually achieve this goal?
WebVega (WV): It is something that can be done… it’s definitely not the first time I’ve seen this type of service advertised. And there are ways to do it legitimately; it would most likely be successful with a big brand with a big budget and some type of big promotion; “like us on Facebook for specials or discounts on (blank)”.