Do not be puzzled if your friend has shot to instant fame with 1 lakh likes on Facebook. To break it down, marketing firms are at play here. Individuals and firms are increasingly making use of ‘pay-for-like’ services, at costs ranging from anywhere between Rs. 999 to a couple of lakh rupees.
Though Facebook is not involved directly in such business activity, several advertising and marketing firms are offering the service online, making using of the social media.
Facebook has over 1.5 billion users across the globe and 82 million users in India. The social media is fast evolving as a marketing platform for wide variety of businesses across the globe.
“We are into the business for the past two years. Apart from business houses, our clientele include socialites, NGOs and celebrities who crave popularity on the social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter,” said Chetan, managing partner of New Delhi-based Apple Media Services.
A basic Rs.999 service would ensure 1,200 likes on Facebook and 50 followers on Twitter. The upper limit is a couple of lakhs for other associated services, Mr. Chetan says.
These marketing firms use email, mobile and other online platforms to market ‘likes’.
“It’s the easiest and quickest way to let people know that you exist in a particular region. I am making use of this service to market my law firm on the social media. It has worked well,” said Digvijay, a Hyderabad-based legal practitioner.
To attract genuine likes and followers, marketing firms employ techniques like posting quality content, using vanity URL and frequent posting of hyperlinks to different kinds of content, etc. on Facebook and Twitter pages.
It’s not just Apple Media which is into such business. Several public relations and advertising firms are offering such services to individuals on Facebook and other social networking sites.
“Most Facebook pages relating to celebrities, politicians, business houses and NGOs are managed by either agencies or marketing firms. We do it as part of the package and it’s a new fad these days,” said a senior public relations professional based in Mumbai.