Caveat emptor, or let the buyer beware, so the saying goes. Never was a truer word spoken when it comes to anyone entertaining the thought of buying likes and followers on social media. By that, we don’t mean the targeteted ‘likes’ campaigns you can run across the social media platforms – we mean the dirty, fake, blackhat kind. You know the kind we’re talking ’bout.

Everyone wants to be popular, whether it’s in the real world or online, and the majority of businesses plying their trades across the social media platforms work their socks off for every follower they have without flouting regulations or bending the law. Sadly, a few unscrupulous companies and individuals choose to buy that popularity instead, and we’re happy to say Facebook is not letting that particular dog lie.

The company recently filed a lawsuit against Spain-based outfit MGP25 Cyberint Services, claiming it provided software to automatically distribute fraudulent likes and comments on Instagram. 

It’s not the first time Facebook has pulled out the legal big guns. In March last year, an investigation into Devumi, which reportedly sold fake likes and followers to celebrities and social media influencers, led to a New York’s Attorney General ruling that such practices were, essentially, illegal. 

While there are still plenty of sources out there willing to dabble in this murky corner of social media, we at 24 fingers would advise in the strongest possible terms to never consider buying likes and followers without running a proper campaign that’s verified through the social media platforms.

It’s the goal of every business operating on social media to reach the widest possible audience and make sales. But artificially inflating your figures isn’t the way to achieve it. Bots, whether they’re bought and paid for or not, will never engage on your page. Not only that, they’ll trash your analytics and could do irreparable harm to your business reputation. 

Facebook’s decision to pursue these occasional rogue traders through the courts doesn’t just make for compelling news headlines, it also makes social media a safer, more transparent place for everyone, and that makes good business sense. 

Want to build your fan base? Talk to us at 24 fingers and we’ll show you how to do it in the right way.