Pretty bad advice - "ignore all that shit" - that "shit" referring to everything except creating fake Facebook profiles and verifying them with pre-paid SIM cards, then basically spamming study groups? It's a fascinating case study, and there's some white hat, scalable, and interesting tactics that come to mind from this, but ignoring all other marketing channels and tactics is awful advice.
cut him a bit of slack. It's very easy to say something that can be misinterpreted the wrong way - you've been guilt of that MANY times. How many 'explanation' blog posts have you done in your career? Remember when you started your web crawler?Seems like he just got a little carried away in the excitement of the post, rather than anything to critique too seriously.
The only reason I think we should give him a bit of slack is that Facebook's maximums are often pretty silly. But again, I'd really want to see what exactly they posted to those groups. If they just spammed with copied messages, I'd tell others to avoid this tactic. Facebook will find it, track it, and ban you.
Well, I think we all agree that people that make social media postings sometimes go a bit over the top with their wording! (regarding the " all other shit") Though, other marketing tactics are still relevant, I agree! This article probably simply tried to speak up against google AdWords campaings that cost a lot and do not get masses to your website...
There's no lesson here.
The lesson I'd love to hear him share is how to scalably produce (or curate?) valuable content for a dozens of different niches and verticals. Somehow that bit got left out!
Well, thats an aspect I havent thought about! Though, I ask myself it needs to be scalable? Imagine a campaign that aims on young professionals... I recon 5 different postings would be enough for the 3000 facebook groups that can be found to this topic! Don't you think?
Right, but how to scalably reach out and post on 3000 Facebook groups. With only $50 (suspect they're discounting cost of labour and sweat!).
thats right, especially because facebook has enforced a lot of measures to avoid automized spamming...Though the $50 only cover the simcards. Still, I can not imagine any other tool to drive that much traffic to a website! Do you?
Hmmm... this sparked an upset reply from Glen @Viperchill https://twitter.com/ViperChill/status/334741723471286272
To clarify, there were two points in this post.
1. Buy lots of sim cards to verify lots of Facebook accounts - meh...
2. Engage with lots of niche Facebook communities, to drive a tonne of targeted users who sign up with you - whoa! Tell me how!
I wish the post was more about the process behind posting to niche Facebook communities. How to find them, share relevant content with them all on a scalable, manageable fashion. That's interesting, and that's what we as a community should takeaway and try.
Curious how far you could take the 'post to Facebook groups' model.
nice story - but the 50$ do not include the (much higher cost) of salaries...
so I'm going to be the guy who leaves the first positive comment? Agree with others that your costs don't really add up - and other marketing channels should not be ignored - but HUGE KUDOS to you for actually doing something different. I haven't heard of other people doing this - even if I don't agree with it morally - but appreciate you sharing.If anything it shows the power of groups, which not many people are talking about. I look forward to more :)
Everyone is a freaking critic all of a sudden. The poor response to this is actually pretty unsettling. Maybe it's a bit outside of "inbound" - but he still managed to get 20,000 REGISTERED users to convert on his website. Impressive for sure.
This is an extremely creative way to generate traffic. Since when are we the type of community to put down creative ways to generate traffic? Sure it's a bit spammy, but still somewhat qualified traffic - 20,000 registered users confirms this.
The lesson here is that Facebook groups could be a tremendous untapped resource for helping to drive traffic to your website.
Im interested how that went!
Yes. Paying 6 people for their time is expensive. One person plus the budget equivalent of 5 salaries can do a lot of legitimate marketing.
Yep, nice story but this would work only for b2c companies, I doubt you could achieve these results on b2b.
(And of course it breaks Facebook TOS and it's quite spammy :P)
Well, it really depends on how you formulate it! Different wording for different target groups might change a lot! ;) Though the question is more how sustainable this kind of user recruitment is?!
shooting an email to our SMM manager, gonna try this tomorrow (b2b)
Interesting read, nice to have something different to the usual "Create Great Content Post" that seems to be regurgitated over and over. Not something that I would personally do but it is all about finding what works for you and your business. Thanks for sharing.
I'm sorry, but this seems pretty... spammy. Using SIM cards to fake Facebook accounts?
I'd love to see what was posted. Some of Facebook's rules are pretty stupid. Did they go in and spam the groups with "CHECK OUT THIS PUZZLE NOW" stuff? Or engage in RCS? It makes a difference.
Oh, and upvoted because it's creative, and it deserves discussion either way.
This is a hacky way to generate cheap traffic by brute force. It's kind of cool but could hurt your reputation long-term. It seems useful for a bootstrapping start up (as the article suggests) with low ambitions.
Well, bearing in mind how hard it is for startUps to get up to the first 10000 users, I would still consider this to be a useful tool, that gets you there! Posting into the same groups over and over again will lead to bad reputation of course...
Still never thought of a marketing technique like this! impressed!
Yes it's spammy but it did work. From a purely commercial point of view that is a very clever move. Maximum return on the little money a start up company has. Is it ethical and something we as marketing practitioners should preach about? Probably not. But it did work.
I feel like this post is a bit contradicting, this article claims that content is not king and to forget all the content talk yet, when your posting these posts you are doing it in relevant communities and you are customizing each post. The only thing I disagree with is the fake accounts, I think 6 people doing social media should be using more then one site for earning users. ie we have a Google + page that we've gained over +1000's (which are now users that follow us and see all or posts and re share them) in three weeks, thing is we are two people, and we each only delegate one post a day through our brand. Takes about 5 minutes a day. If we had a team of 6 people only doing social I would not need fake accounts.
It is not hard to work out what they have done here:
1. Set up huge amount of fake accounts and place limited information on these accounts example 3 photos/basic information (they use the sim cards for the accounts) from my analysis they have used more than 6 accounts.
2. Use software to manage fake accounts.
3. Go to Facebook pages and groups and post direct URL with matching content with terms like "Found this while watching [insert page name] for example "Big Bang Theory" or they go to Steve Jobs page and post "be successful like Steve jobs sign up here:
4. Do the same process over and over.
Now the problem with doing this, is all it takes people to report the URL for spam, once this happens Facebook then blocks the URL from been shared via Facebook. You see the same thing with affiliate sites all the time. The problem once a URL is blocked it is very hard to get it un blocked especially if it is for your brand. The reason I would not do this for my brand is that it just makes you company look spammy and can result in a ban via Facebook. It is not really a long term strategy, now I look at some other stuff these guys are doing for the company they have clearly invested a bit of money into it.
Sure enough I see SMB's taking this advice on and they thing wow I can get 20,000 users in a short space of time, all other advice is SHIT, but in the end of the day it is not long term advice it is short term advice which is going to do long term damage.
What does everyone think about the undertones content marketing here? Despite the content, questionable or not, this post generated tons of discussion and I'm sure has generated quite a bit views.
Only had 10 until I started tweeting about it ;)
The story is somewhat missing the actual copy that has been used?
This was the worst advice I've ever seen. What will you tell the VC when he asks you how did you get those users? "Well, I spammed Facebook with Fake accounts." Oh really? That sounds like a great way to build a company. Why didn't you use oDesk to hire some cheap labour to do it for you if you're going in that direction, go all the way.
That's no way to build a business. I would never ever use a service or a product from a self admitted spammer.
...because everyone uses investors?
I think you have to look under the "wrapper" of how he has chosen to pitch his article and not get caught up in that and examine what really was achieved. It's up to the individual and type of project to decide what colour hat you want to wear on any given day. For me its an interesting leverage of a popular platform taken to an extreme that I might scale down to one real FB ID.
Am I misunderstanding the site? If you have 20,000 unique users on the site I would expect to be able to see my match to at least a fraction of these users… however after substantial efforts I only seem to be able to connect with about 35 different people… 20,000 vs 35… please explain?
Totally agree with RandFishkin comment , Such methods are not good
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